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Women's History Month

Profiles in Leadership


Mary Kowaleski

Executive Assistant to the President/Secretary to the Board of Control



1. What is your name and profession?

Mary Kowaleski
Executive Assistant to the President/Secretary to the Board of Control

2. What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Women have made significant contributions throughout the years, often in the face of hardship and during very difficult times. Women's History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate these extraordinary women who have shaped and improved our communities and our nation in so many ways. It allows us to take the time to examine our past and to think about our path forward for the next generation of young women.

3. As a woman, in what ways have you struggled to get to where you are today and how did you overcome those struggles?

This may seem crazy, but I am grateful for my struggles…they have helped me find my strength. Having a clear idea of what you want and where you want to be helps to push through adversity. Don't let the challenges you encounter along the way keep you down.

4. What advice do you have for young women who are aspiring to follow their dreams?

Aim high, work hard, be kind and don't burn bridges. Don't compare yourself with others…your journey is yours alone. Surround yourself with individuals who encourage and support you. If you stumble along the way, make it part of the dance and never give up!

5. As a woman in your position, how have you fought for equity in the workplace and for other women?

I think it is important to recognize female successes and achievements and what they bring to the workplace. Often times, women can be modest about talking about their own achievements. It is important to listen, encourage and support one another. The recent pandemic has made it especially hard on many working mothers who are juggling work and added family responsibilities.

6. Who was your role model and how did they change your life?

As a young child, it was my grandmother. She taught me that women ARE leaders and the importance of leadership. She taught me that women are not only homemakers, but they are trailblazers and they are the very foundation of our families and our communities. She taught me about hard work, strength and persistence which has served me well throughout the years.

7. What is your hope for the next generation of women and girls?

My hope is that the next generation of women and girls will educate themselves and take the time to learn about the contributions of women throughout history. By learning more about women's history, it will open new doors for future generations. I hope the next generation will take the time to be pro-active in their personal lives and in their communities. I hope they encourage and support one another so that ALL women can strive to reach their true potential.