Pasquerella speaks in Belgium on leadership.

By Julia Ferrante

Mount Holyoke College President Lynn Pasquerella discussed the challenges in advancing women's leadership during a panel discussion at the residence of the US ambassador to Belgium in Brussels, October 1.

Pasquerella, who is attending the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College’s European Alumnae Symposium October 2–4, participated in a panel discussion titled, “The Glass Ceiling: Women in US Society.” The event was organized by the US embassy and the Fulbright Commission and drew 135 guests.

"It was such a privilege to engage with these incredibly dynamic leaders and the exceptional audience of Mount Holyoke and Fulbright alumni, young Belgian leaders, and civil society leaders in addressing issues of gender equity and women's leadership," said Pasquerella. She discussed hidden biases, stereotype threats, and structural challenges that serve as obstacles for women who aspire to leadership.

Denise Campbell Bauer, who became the US ambassador to Belgium in 2013, introduced Pasquerella and her fellow panelists.

Bauer has had a lifelong commitment to public service and civic engagement, and has been active in political and community activities for more than two decades. From 2008 to 2012, she served on the Democratic National Committee, chairing the Women’s Leadership Forum and cochairing the National Issues Conference. She began her career in television news and public affairs in Los Angeles.

The other panelists were:

  • Major Betsy Hove, a US Army paratrooper assigned to the Defense Attache Office, who spoke about her educational path and the expected implications of the recent graduation of two women from Army Ranger school. Hove was the second female in the Army to graduate from the Sapper Leader Course, a combat engineering school that focuses on advanced demolition and combat patrolling techniques.

  • Anne De Paepe, who was elected as the first woman rector at Ghent University since 2013, and is a physician, medical ethicist, and philosopher. She previously served as director of the university’s Center for Medical Genetics for more than 22 years.