Janet Walkow’s Passion is for Advancing Women’s Leadership

Janet Walkow’s strong interest in women’s leadership is based on her experiences as a woman in the sciences and as a female executive. Her emphasis is on helping women develop their own authentic leadership style.

“One thing I have observed working with women leaders is that they often attempt to emulate the leadership style of men, instead of being comfortable with their unique, authentic style,” said Janet, a new WDN member who splits her time between Wayne, Pennsylvania and Austin, Texas.

Janet’s work with women focuses on reaching tries to reach out earlier in their careers, so they are better supported.  “Women themselves should not be doing all the heavy lifting in changing the practices of employers.  We need to impact business infrastructures and empower women at a young age,” said Janet.

Janet’s progressive orientation and her interest in philanthropy comes from both her parents and her Jewish heritage.  Her parents taught that while writing a check is a nice thing to do, it’s better to be involved.  As a high school student, Janet was a literacy volunteer in some of Houston’s poorer neighborhoods.  She has remained  involved in social action and women-focused efforts throughout her career.

“I was raised with the idea of tikkun olam,”  said Janet, “the responsibility to help others in large and small ways.”

Janet and her husband started their giving with the New Israel Fund (NIF), and are still supporters today.  NIF works to promote democracy and equality for all Israelis and advocates for women’s rights.  Janet has been involved with numerous women-focused efforts, including Career Wardrobe in Philadelphia, an organization that provides clothing, career skills and confidence to women transitioning into the workforce.  She got her family involved as well.

“I only invest in an organization that compels me  to want to be personally involved”  said Janet. “Consider it ‘compounded interest.’”

Today, Janet is a co-founder of the Leading Women Project, designed to help women of all ages and professions learn to lead themsleves and others, and has developed numerous Women in Science programs.  As a Same Sky Ambassador, Janet works to educate people about the efforts to empower African women through Same Sky’s work programs. She mentors women around the world for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and serves on the Vital Voices Artisan/Enterprise Advisory Committee.

She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Health Promotion Council of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board.

For fun, Janet enjoys being an amateur photographer and travel enthusiast; she and WDN member Chris Jacobs recently went to Antarctica.  Running gives her energy and she relishes finding time to really think.  She a fan of movies and her three extraordinary daughters.

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