On September 27, I had the extreme pleasure of participating on a leadership panel discussion regarding emerging issues for women at the University of Hawai’i President’s Commission on the Status of Women Conference on Healthy Living – Mind, Body, Career.

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With me on the panel were Honolulu Community College alumna Danene Manuheali’i Lunn, Owner of Manuhealii Inc.; Dr. Virginia Pressler, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer for Hawai’i Pacific Heath; and Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, Assistant Professor with the UH Manoa College of Education.

Organizations are looking for quality leaders.  Whether they are male or female, leaders are in high demand.  Good leaders inspire people, create an environment for growth, and strive for continuous improvement.  Emotional intelligence is a fundamental part of great leadership.  Daniel Goleman defines emotional intelligence through the combination of five important components:  self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.   Through hands on application of these skills and refinement, leaders are able to achieve great things.


Formed in 1972 at the UH Manoa campus, the commission expanded to include system-wide representation in 1986. An early statement of its general objective expressed the intention of “raising the consciousness of the campus community regarding the status of women” within the university system.

As part of its reorganization in 1986, the commission developed a more comprehensive mission statement, which continues to guide its work. Over the years, the University of Hawai‘i Commission on the Status of Women has addressed a wide variety of issues of relevance to the personal and professional well being of women students, staff and faculty—working in and for Hawai‘i’s state system of higher education.

Childcare, students on welfare gender equity in athletics, campus safety and security, equitable practices in hiring, pay, promotion and tenure, access to resources, women’s presence in higher administration, recourse for sexual harassment, development of curriculum in women’s studies, compliance to the mandates of affirmative action and equal opportunity—these issues and more are part of the commission’s history as well as its ongoing agenda for action.

Watch a video clip of the conference.