KARI KIRKPATRICK

TOGETHER Leading: Becoming a leader

After a promotion, Kari Kirkpatrick felt ready to take on a leadership role at Duquesne Light Company and encourage other female engineers to become passionate about inclusion and equality in the workplace.

Kari supports United Way through Duquesne Light Company’s annual workplace campaign and enjoys rallying co-workers to get involved and support United Way and its Women’s Leadership Council’s (WLC) work in the community. Although she was not ready to step into a leadership giving level with the WLC, she was looking for a way to be more actively involved.

After being moved by Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Talk “Why we have too few women leaders”, Kari shared the video with her co-workers. Coincidentally, just ten minutes later, she received a call from Krysia Kubiak, Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) member and director of legal services at Duquesne Light Company, who offered to sponsor Kari to join WLC’s new TOGETHER Leading program.

“Throughout my career and life I have been supported by great women mentors, and I wanted to pay it forward. TOGETHER Leading is a great way to reach out to young women leaders in our company and encourage their development,” Krysia said.

The first WLC event Kari attended was an Executive Spotlight Breakfast featuring Candi Castleberry Singleton. During this event Candi discussed her philosophy on our individual responsibility to establish an inclusive culture for every employee. Kari, alongside others in her field, sees a lack of diversity in engineering and is passionate about learning what she can do to encourage workplace inclusion.

Kari looks forward to using her time in the TOGETHER Leading program to meet and network with women to brainstorm and bring solutions to the table.

“I’m excited to meet others who want to make a difference, find out what role I can play, and see how much we can accomplish together,” Kari said.

To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash in Allegheny County, at lynne.popash@unitedwayswpa.org, or Alyssa Cholodofsky in Westmoreland County, at alyssa.cholodofsky@unitedwayswpa.org.

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