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September 09, 2011


Women’s Equality Day: Businesswoman presents success strategies at McCoy

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Women bring many talents to the workplace, such as inspiring teamwork, to make the organizations they work for successful, said Gloria Dippen.

Dippen, the chief operations officer for Dippen Companies in Tomah for 23 local companies, was the guest speaker at Fort McCoy’s Women’s Equality Day luncheon Aug. 25.
PHOTO: Gloria Dippen speaks to a Fort McCoy audience during the installation’s observance of Women’s Equality Day.  Photo by Allan Harding
Gloria Dippen speaks to a Fort McCoy audience during the installation’s observance of Women’s Equality Day. (Photo by Allan Harding)

The observance, which was sponsored by the Army Reserve Equal Opportunity office at Fort McCoy, celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

Dippen couples business theory with her experience as a Psychology instructor at Viterbo University to explain how to achieve success in the business world.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us as women to celebrate and to appreciate a very long road that has challenges in it but also has offered a lot of opportunities,” she said. “We have a long way to go, but I think, overall, everyone here would agree that the opportunity for women throughout the decades has risen immensely. We now are in positions in the corporate world and in the community that are really recognized.”

The bonding with people/customers Fort McCoy’s Excellence Through Diversity recipient Linda Higbee demonstrated is one of the values being recognized in women that give them an opening into professional careers that previously may not have been open to women, Dippen said.

Dippen talked about personal and career challenge, assessment, focus and planning for business and professional women in the 21st century. One of the more important things for women is to reflect upon where they came from — the experiences that shaped their lives, including their geographical locations, economic status, social and cultural issues of the time, etc., she said.

Everyone needs to do a personal assessment when they are focusing on where they want to be in the business environment.
A quality women display that enables them to move up in the corporate world is their ability to manage teams, she said. One of the reasons is they tend to look at workers as humans.

“Women have a stronger tendency in the workplace to look at people as individuals, take time to listen to them and to create a more homelike environment,” Dippen said.

“Because women provide care to their Families, customer service is one area where women can shine,” Dippen said. “Military life is one of negotiations. You meet your customer needs and they will come around to your way of thinking.”

Women have to look at their entire life and figure out their career specialties and what they want to create or if there is a social cause, for example, they are very passionate about, she said. While they can come up with excuses not to do things, it is never too late to follow their dreams.

Dippen recounted how one of her career decisions came at age 47 when she decided to go back to college. She is a life-long learner and her philosophy includes the pursuit of continual personal growth.

The decision to attend college came at an opportune time as Dippen’s children also were going to college at the same time, so sitting down and talking it through with them strengthened the Family bond between them.

“Give yourself credit for what you can do,” Dippen said. “When you sit down and talk to your Family about what you want to do you often will find them very supportive.”

“While women tend to take care of everyone else first, it’s OK to think about your own talents and how they can help you,” she said. “Don’t be guilt ridden. Communicate to your Family, your employers, etc., what you want to accomplish. Sometimes obstacles are just in your mind and you have to move beyond that.”

Dippen defined seven key characteristics for successful businesswomen:
• Sell the vision
• Reinvent the rules
• Achieve with a laser focus
• Use high-touch in a high-tech area
• Look at events as a challenge and an opportunity
• Develop a customer-preference obsession
• Display courage under fire.

“There are many more opportunities for women than there were in the past,” she said. “Go where others fear to tread.”

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