Interview with Catherine M. Roberts, MBA, President and CEO, Resource Council of WNY
What is your passion?
My passion is to use my God-given talents to inspire, improve and impact the lives of others through service. One of my greatest desires is to help break the cycle of poverty so that we can change the narrative for future generations.
Why is it important for young girls to develop leadership skills?
When girls begin to exercise the power of their voice, they feel seen, heard, and valued. If we can harness this “power” and teach young girls how to embrace their emotional intelligence and confidence, they have all the potential to grow as leaders in their respective careers and in their communities. In this post-pandemic era, we need more women in decision-making roles who can find value in diversity, inspire teams through empathetic leadership, and show up as brave, resilient problem solvers. This is how girls who develop leadership abilities early on can grow and ultimately leave an indelible mark on the world.
What 3 women do you admire most personally and professionally?
The 3 women that I admire both personally and professionally are:
- Oprah Winfrey
- Michelle Obama
- My mother, Margaret Roberts.
They have all set the bar high for living life to the fullest and, through their example, have encouraged me to boldly step out of my comfort zone always to aim high, and walk in my assignment, unapologetically. My mother has always encouraged me to stand firm in what I believe and to use my voice for the good of others. My admiration for her and all that she has poured into me has greatly shaped who I am today.
Why do you believe this year’s Women’s History Month theme: “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” is important?
If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it is that self-care is critically essential to our well-being, and as women, if we don’t take care of ourselves – by nourishing our mind, body, and spirit – we can’t take care of others. This pandemic has taken such a toll on our daily lives; it’s time for us to heal and renew. We owe ourselves a reset, so we can recharge and refocus our priorities on things that really matter, like family and friends, moving towards a more balanced lifestyle, and becoming our best selves. There is hope for our future, and I can only pray that it is filled with more kindness, acceptance, and grace after all we’ve endured together. This pandemic has shown us how genuinely vulnerable and fragile we are as human beings. In spite of it all, my hope is that we will continue to show gratitude for every day and each other.
Throughout March, GSWNY will be highlighting more local women making HERstory in the community. Celebrate Women’s History Month with us by sharing the stories of these incredible women who help make the world a better place!