Kansas City Women Take Lead

This Letter to the Editor was written by Rania H. Anderson and published in the Kansas City Star on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

I appreciate Yael T. Abouhalkah shedding light on the reduction of the number of women in political roles in Kansas City. But I take issue with the headline on his Sept. 15 column, “Sadly, metro area is low on women in leadership.”

I cannot agree that there is a lack of women in other places of power in our city. Here are some notable recent ones:

  • Federal Reserve of Kansas City’s CEO, Esther George.
  • The Star’s new publisher, Mi-Ai Parrish.
  • St. Luke’s hospital’s new CEO, Melinda L. Estes.
  • Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ President and CEO, Jane Chu.
  • The Kansas City Art Institute’s new President, Jacqueline Chanda.
  • KU new Dean of Business School, Neeli Bendapudi, Chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little and Associate Vice Chancellor Julie Goonewardene.

Additionally, Kansas City has one of only eight women angel investor group in the U.S., the Women’s Capital Connection. Who could argue with the impact of iconic philanthropists like Julia Irene Kauffman, Shirley Helzberg or Adele Hall?

I could name other successful women entrepreneurs, CEOs and community leaders. We should have more women leaders, but let’s not overlook the substantive role women leaders already play.

Rania Anderson


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