Westmoreland Children’s Center
5148 Massachusetts Ave.
What is the biggest challenge facing women in your business and how do you overcome it?
Attracting men into the female-dominated childcare industry—women comprise 95 percent of those working in the field—can be a challenge. But we have seen, firsthand, the positive effect male teachers have in our classrooms and, particularly, how well boys connect with them. With today’s modern family, some children may not have male figures in their lives. These early years represent a unique opportunity to influence children toward success and happiness in school, and men can, and should, play a vital role in that. We are encouraging and accepting that this is a great career path for men, too.
What is a common misconception about women in business and how do you battle such stereotypes?
That leadership styles are gender-specific. Some perceive women as less assertive and more emotional. People have different approaches but we do not believe they are gender-specific. Our style is more inclusive—encouraging, collaborative and supportive. We prefer to talk through problems and resolve issues through communication. Our method to problem solving builds teamwork among employees.
What is unique in your business?
We do not work directly in the class rooms, therefore we are able to connect with our families and their children in a special way. Our goal is to provide the best preschool experience—we listen to our families’ wants and needs—and are proud of our excellent reputation. When you’re part of the WCC community, you’re working with the whole team—us, site directors, teachers and staff. We develop long-term relationships; we are honored that parents who were once Libby’s students now bring their kids to us. That says a great deal about our school.
A parent, educator and experienced community leader: Karla Silvestre for Board of Education, At-Large