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Greetings from Dean Maxfield – January 2022

Dear Friends,

President Sicard and the Four Female PC Deans

I could not stop smiling on the evening of Nov. 30, when the School of Business hosted a panel of five successful women alumni* who shared their experiences and insights with an overflow crowd of students, faculty members, and others – almost all of them women.

The enthusiasm was palpable. For someone like me, who has seen first-hand the growth in opportunities for women over many years, the entire evening was invigorating.

The take-away message was clear: Providence College women are thriving in business careers and those who have come before are passionate about helping our current students follow in their footsteps.

Of course, we still have a long way to go, and the panelists were entirely candid about the challenges that women still face. Sexism, manifested in many ways (some of them exacerbated by covid), remains an issue in the workplace and the alumni presenters addressed it head-on, offering real strategies and straightforward advice. As someone who has navigated these challenges in the worlds of finance and higher education, I am keenly aware of my responsibility to help other women develop the skills and perspectives that will help them reach their goals, and I am surrounded by faculty, staff, and alumni associates who share in that commitment.

That is one of the reasons that I hope that the women students in attendance left that event night more prepared and more optimistic, because they will soon begin careers in which they can expect to thrive, in large part because Providence College is invested in their success and because we are providing them with the education and associated experiences that will prepare them to do well. We want to see them build upon the foundation created by those five panelists and so many other Friar women who have preceded them, and I know that their collective future is bright.

This is a proud legacy, which we are celebrating in style during this academic year. This semester marks the 50th anniversary of the enrollment of the Class of 1971, PC’s first to include women. As we celebrate this milestone, we are an institution where all four of us deans are women (pictured above), and other key women leaders include the College’s executive vice president (Ann Manchester Molak ’75) and board of trustees vice chair (Susan Esper ’91). Wonderful as that is, it is my hope that we are moving quickly toward the day when true equality will mean that people do not notice such things anymore. That would be the best possible tribute to those women who inspire us all by the success they have achieved.

Best wishes to you and yours for a Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous 2022.


Sylvia Maxfield signature.

Sylvia Maxfield, Ph.D.


* Alumni Panelists:

  • Marithza Cadet ’14, ’15G Senior Financial Analyst at Medtronic
  • Maggie Cadigan ’11, Managing Director at The Many
  • Justine Harrington ’12, Founder and CEO of Solas Digital Consulting
  • Keesha Ingram ’19G, Category Designer at CVS Corporation
  • Shannon O’Brien ’92, Vice President – Claims at Amica Mutual Insurance Company