Executives from Cardinal Health discuss company’s women’s network

During the Women Leaders in Operational Excellence Forum, Cara Forester recalled a job interview where she was asked what her plans were after she began having children.

“I was completely turned off and walked away from that job opportunity,” said Forester, now director of Global Communication Healthcare Supply Chain Services for Cardinal Health. Encounters with hiring managers similar to what Forester experienced early in her career still exist today and demonstrate the need for women’s initiative network in the workplace, according to the panelists gathered on Friday, Oct. 17 at Gerlach Hall.

“There are issues very unique to women in corporate America and we need to continue to bring those issues to light,” said Stephanie Revish, a Fisher alumnus who received her bachelor’s and master's degrees in accounting at the college. The five panelists from Cardinal Health, which also included Jill Feldon LaNouette, vice president of global communications, Cassi Baker, vice president of state government relations and Deborah Dunipace, senior diversity and inclusion consultant, discussed the process for creating a women’s initiative network (WIN) at the company.

The network at Cardinal is a formal employee resource group with a mission to provide support and advocacy for career development, work-life effectiveness and mentoring and networking. Cardinal Health’s Columbus WIN chapter has a steering and programming committee that develop the group’s guidelines and policies and organize activities.

At Cardinal, the effort to create the network came from top leadership. LaNouette said that she had been in numerous business meetings where she was the only woman in a senior role. She said the network helps to “support strong, capable women who can leverage each other’s strengths and get more women around that table."