Kathryn Meany

DIRECTOR, WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE; Manhattanville College School of Business

The women sitting around green-felt-covered tables studied their playing cards and poker chips, plotting their next moves. Las Vegas? Try the second annual summit of The Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) at the Manhattanville College School of Business. Earlier, Director Kathryn Meany had welcomed 160 professionals to the event. There’d been more typical fare — inspirational speakers and networking opportunities. But poker lessons focusing on risk-taking?

“We played poker because we want to teach women how to be assertive, strategic and to build their confidence when they’re sitting around that table… that board table,” Meany explains.

The exercise was vintage Meany, an innovative trainer, performance consultant, and coach. After an international career with corporate, government, and nonprofit clients, Meany is now focused on helping professional women in Westchester develop leadership skills through workshops, networking events, webinars, and the annual summit.

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Despite having the knowledge and skillsets to lead, Meany says, women often lack the confidence, financial acumen, and negotiation skills to rise to the next level. To provide that training, she and Dr. Anthony Davidson, former dean of the Manhattanville College School of Business, developed the leadership institute.

Launched in 2015, the WLI offers a women’s-leadership certificate program, the only one like it in the Metro area. “I’m so passionate about what we’re doing, and there’s so much we want to accomplish,” says Meany.