Many are hailing 2020 as the Year of the Woman: It’s the century anniversary of the woman’s right to vote and we may see a woman on the presidential ballot. Right here in New Rochelle, Iona College is celebrating 50 Years of Women with a series of spectacular events commemorating the addition of female students to its full-time student body.
United Hebrew president and CEO, Rita Mabli, is an Iona alumna and founding member of the college’s Women’s Advisory Council, which conceived of the year-long event. Mabli credits Iona with helping to instill in her the value of mentoring and service, which guides her in her work to this day.
“Everything I am today has everything to do with the education and opportunities I received at Iona College,” she explains.
Recognizing the importance of education and training opportunities toward the advancement of women led Mabli to her personal mission: to help “pay it forward” at every opportunity.
50 Years of Women kicked off with an opening reception last fall where alumnae met Iona’s new president, Seamus Carey, PhD, and heard from trailblazing women graduates and current female student leaders. Upcoming events include a salute to women’s athletics, a women’s leadership dinner, and lectures, exhibitions, and special events. See a full list of events here.
Leading with intention
Serving as an advocate for women comes naturally to Mabli, who says she stands on the shoulders of those who have supported her own development.
She often says, “most of the people who work in healthcare are women, but most healthcare leaders are men.” That is not the case at United Hebrew of New Rochelle, where Mabli was the first woman to break the glass ceiling and be hired into a leadership position there. Today, under her direction, all seven lines of business at United Hebrew are headed by women and women makeup 83 percent of the 800-person staff overall.
Mabli continues to set an example for others to follow. “I hope to see more women step up to serve as mentors, or to provide an internship, or help a young woman get her first job. All of these efforts will help us to build a powerful network of women working toward gender equality in the workplace and beyond.”