Women in leadership share stories of encouragement

LIMA — Women mentoring women is an important aspect of professional and personal development. Mentoring provides a way for experienced women to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences with other women. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Wake Rattle & Roll on Friday featured a panel of three successful women – Bev Beery of Beery Insurance, JaMesha Williamson of J. Williamson Law, LLC and Sharetta Smith, mayor of the city of Lima, who all shared their thoughts. The panel was moderated by Holly Geaman, who asked the panel “How has the role of women changed?”

Beery said, “So in the last 50 years I have seen (the role of women) change tremendously, and it makes me very proud.”

Williamson mentioned a colleague when she said, “He said his team is not complete unless it’s in a room full of women. He knows that women get things done and so he seeks for us to be on his team because he knows he can count on them, that they’re going to show up and they’re going to do everything they need to.”

She said that the colleague felt that women were not brought to the table. They had to fight to get there. Now they are wanted at the table.

Mayor Smith responded, “It’s important to look back to where we’ve been. Forbes Magazine published an article that said of the top Fortune 500 companies 10 % of them were run by women. We look at that and think, ‘Well 10% is not a whole lot.’ But if we look at how far women have come, particularly since 2000, and how much that percentage has increased.”

Next the panel was asked, “How can we empower (and) encourage other business women in our area?”

Mayor Smith said, “I think celebrating diversity, being intentional about including other women along your journey. I think it’s important that we look out to make sure we have that diversity of thought, that diversity of perspective.”

The final query was “What’s the best advice that you have been given?”

Bev Beery said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

Williamson said, “The best advice I was given was to embrace my fears. I was told that if it doesn’t scare you a little bit, it’s probably not as big as you think. And you need to think bigger. And when I took that advice, I found myself accomplishing things that I never though I would.”

Smith said her grandmother told her that “Coffee doesn’t boil but one time a day. For her, that meant jumping at opportunities. So do not let an opportunity pass you by.”

Reach Dean Brow at 567-242-0409

Dean Brown joined The Lima News in 2022 as a reporter. Prior to The Lima News, Brown was an English teacher in Allen County for 38 years, with stops at Perry, Shawnee, Spencerville and Heir Force Community School. So they figured he could throw a few sentences together about education and business in the area. An award-winning photographer, Brown likes watching old black and white movies, his dog, his wife and kids, and the four grandkids - not necessarily in that order. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0409.