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Women's History Month

Profiles in Leadership

Wiener, Raj

Raj M Wiener

Trustee, SVSU Board of Control


1. What is your name and profession?

Raj M Wiener
I am a retired attorney, former business owner and sports team majority owner, former state public health director for state of Michigan, graduate of SVSU.

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

It is important to remember and highlight women in history who have shown courage and persistence in pushing for equal treatment of women. But one month is not enough consideration for women who represent 50% of the population.

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

Not everything is a struggle. It takes hard work to be your best, consistent, or persistent. But it was a struggle to be heard and listened to; to be given credit for ideas and work done, and not be shut out of decision making. These are issues that society must work on every day.

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

Follow them! Life is a journey of learning. Learn from failures, but never let them define you. Be honestly focused and comfortable with your true self in that dream and keep your life in balance. Not all dreams are in the form of a career.  Of course, if the dream can put food on the table it helps, but if not, make plans for a longer journey, there may be detours along the way. And if there are stops, just bloom where you are planted until you can resume the journey.

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

I have mentored, promoted and encouraged as many women as I could. I have included them in decision making and problem solving, and recognition. I have let them take risks.

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

Amongst women bosses, I learned more of what I did not want to be, but I also recognized they had paved the way for me and fought to get where they were, and I appreciated them. On a personal level my mother, a single mom, was determined to be the best, smartest, hardest working individual at everything she did. She spoke her mind, not by gender, but rather just the contender that no one could, or would want to, challenge.

7. If you could have dinner with any woman figure dead or alive who would you choose and why?  

Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Not only could she take an individual woman’s situation, trace and unravel all the policies and laws that led to the predicament, but she could also propose solutions in the law to fix those problems.

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

Please do not take things for granted. There is hard work ahead, at home and globally, to right the ship of decision-making that has caused neglect, suffering, and struggle for women and others. Look around and realize that the doors open for you today have not always been open. Take care of each other and all persons, regardless of race or gender, who are held back from reaching their full potential and pursuing their dreams to be contributors in an inclusive society.