On Sept. 12, Auburn Hills councilwoman Anne Doyle visited Meadow Brook Hall and Gardens as guest speaker for the Hennessey Capital-sponsored Women’s Leadership Luncheon. The afternoon included networking and a light lunch provided by Meadow Brook. Doyle spoke and answered questions about the future of women’s leadership, citing her book, “Powering Up!”
The event began with Auburn Hills Chamber Executive Director Denise Asker introducing Doyle and other speakers. Gently used women’s business apparel was collected at registration for the Rochester Area Neighborhood Clothes Closet.
According to Asker, this was the first Chamber-hosted luncheon to have more than 200 people in attendance. Joe Romeo of Embassy Capital, the event sponsor, gave a short speech at the event’s commencement.
Doyle started off discussing the “Call to Lead,” relaying the significance of the luncheon being held in the home of Matilda Dodge, one of the first female Oakland pioneers.
“If you have ever heard the call to leadership, even if it’s a tiny whisper right now, I hope you will listen,” Doyle said. “Because no one is going to invite you, or me, to the leadership dance. We have to invite ourselves and we have to start inviting other women.”
She also said U.S. women won 62 percent of the gold medals in the Olympics, and she discussed the first woman being admitted to Augusta National Golf Club as examples of women’s progress.
Doyle focused on how far women have come as a generation, but also stressed they still need to move up as leaders.
“Here in the United States, where there’s this perception that women are already leading, and talking about women’s progress is really old news, the evidence is absolutely overwhelming that we have been stalled for well over a decade,” Doyle said.
According to Doyle, women need to support one another, rather than compete, to help one another continue to be successful as leaders.
OU alum Betsy Critchfield of Hay There, a social media consultant and management services company for small businesses, attended the luncheon with company creator Emily Hay. Hay There works with many companies including Gardner White and an Ann Arbor-based farm stand charity group and also helped Anne in the promotion of her book.
“I like the generational differences in ‘Powering Up,’” Critchfield said. “They were very true and accurate.”
Doyle discussed her classification of women, which was broken into three groups by generation: “The Pioneering Interlopers,” “The Influential Insiders” and “The I’ll-Do-It-My-Way-Innovators.” She said these women can learn from one another to learn and grow as leaders, though it is up to women to step up and make things happen.
“Change may be inevitable but I know positive social change does not just happen,” Doyle said. “It requires leaders to make it happen- people who have vision to imagine how things can be better, people encouraged to challenge and change the status quo, people with tenacity, who hang in there and persevere when things get tough, because they always do.”