Business Women Awards shines light on unrecognized achievers

When PBN started the Business Women Awards program in 2008, we knew that it was overdue. For too long, high-achieving women in business were not receiving the recognition they deserved.

Some of it was just the continuing challenge of women being promoted to leadership roles across corporate America. But to a certain degree the fact was that many of them were not serving in highly visible positions for companies large and small.

What the Business Women program did was bring to the fore women who were performing excellent work in difficult positions that were unknown to many outside their professional circles. Women such as this year’s Career Achiever winner, Molly Donohue Magee, the founder of the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance.

Ms. Magee founded the group in 2013 as an all-volunteer advocacy organization for the region’s defense and defense-related enterprises. Today’s five-employee, $1 million nonprofit is a testament to her success at making it happen.

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But before that, she spent nearly two decades as the first chief financial officer of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport managing a $1 billion budget.

Without the Business Women program, the region would have known her for her work with SENEDIA, but precious few would have understood the key role she played for the U.S. Navy in the region. And that is at the heart of the value of Business Women.

PBN will continue the program as long as we can spread the word about women not sufficiently recognized for their professional excellence in the broader community.