Find out more information about  
Fill out this form and a representative will contact you.
Captcha Image
Contact Us
Women on the Frontlines

The firestorm ignited by Sheryl Sandberg's new book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, follows on the heels of the other heated career debate earlier this year when the U.S. military dropped the rule banning women from serving in ground combat. Both provoked impassioned responses from women and men, and the camps on both sides of both issues were split.

As dissimilar as they may seem, the two have something essential in common. They are both about the role of women on the front lines. I will leave the military policy question to others to figure out, while I weigh in on the business leadership issue.

Ms. Sandberg's ostensible message is that women who want to climb to the top of the corporate "jungle gym" need to assert themselves single-mindedly to successfully navigate the direct and indirect pathways that lead to the prize. As Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, a former vice president at Google and the mother of two young children, she writes from a position of credibility, even if her experience and advice are not necessarily universal. It depends who you ask.

What is universal is that women (and men) who want to get ahead in their careers need to put in time on the front lines of the business. Ask any of the women business leaders at Marcum.

My female partners are all in the trenches. They handle clients. They bill. They collect. They bring in new business. They hire and, when necessary, they fire. They are all responsible for their own bottom lines. And as a result, they have risen to leadership positions. We don't discriminate here. It doesn't matter if you are male, female or other. Those who produce are rewarded. Those who don't are invited to pursue their other life passions.

Several key practice areas in our Firm were actually started by the women who lead them: our Alternative Investments Group, by Beth Wiener; the Family Office Practice, by Rorrie Gregorio; the Technology Assurance Group, which advises our clients about data integrity, by Heather Bearfield; and the LGBT & Non-Traditional Family Group by Nanette Lee Miller (who also heads our California Assurance Division). In fact our LGBT group has won the Firm a lot of prominence this year (as well as new business), as Nanette and her team, including Janis McDonagh, have given numerous media interviews to explain the tax implications of the Defense of Marriage Act, on which the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this spring. It has been very exciting and rewarding to see this new group develop and begin to thrive.

Other more traditional practice groups also have women leaders, including Elizabeth Mullen in International Taxation; Carolyn Mazzenga in High Net Worth; and Cecelia Garber in Matrimonial and Divorce. In fact, Carolyn and Cecelia are also both Partners-in-Charge of Marcum offices, in Melville, Long Island, and our South Florida region, respectively. As PICs, both of these women also serve on the Firm Executive Committee, where they sit shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts and help make the hard decisions about how to keep Marcum profitable and growing.

No shrinking violets, these women. The sky's the limit, as far as they – and the rest of us – are concerned. Beyond the Firm walls, they are all routinely honored and feted by their professional and business communities, and are sought out as presenters for panels and conferences and as contributing authors for industry journals and business newspapers. Resting on their laurels is not in their operating manuals. And that's the point.

In the "do more with less" culture that has become the norm for most companies since the Great Recession of 2008, rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty on the forward-most front lines of the daily battle to succeed in business is what has enabled women leaders to emerge and to thrive at our Firm. In this I am sure we're not alone. It's the only formula for success – at Facebook, the U.S. military or at Marcum.

Carolyn Mazzenga contributed to this posting.

Go Back

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.

Meet Jeffrey M. Weiner
View Jeffrey Weiner's Profile View Profile
Download Jeffrey Weiner's Contact Card Download vCard
Connect with Jeffrey Weiner on LinkedIn Connect with Jeffrey Weiner
Follow Jeffrey Weiner on Twitter Follow Jeffrey Weiner
Subscription Preferences
Recent Posts
Change Is In the Air
Tradition of Service
Buckle Up
Because You Count
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013

New York
New Jersey
Rhode Island
Grand Cayman

Get in Touch

Get Connected
Privacy | Legal | Sitemap | Secure Mail