Women leaders common in the Grand Valley Making great strides in the 21st century

As women head into the second decade of the 21st century in the Grand Valley, they can celebrate the strides women have made in realizing the opportunities once considered the domain of the “good old boy network.”  As they survey the local business and management landscape, women can be found at all levels of management—from bank president to grocery store chief to the top spots in city and county government. Many also own and manage their own businesses in a region of the country famous for its entrepreneurial spirit.

“I think Grand Junction is fairly progressive,” said Carol Skubic, market president for Vectra Bank in Grand Junction. “I found Grand Junction to be very accepting when I moved here.”

Skubic recalls the days when it was uncommon to find a women in commercial banking, when she would be greeted by raised eyebrows in a business dominated by men.

“I never took questioning of my gender personally,” she said. “I was just personally committed to doing a good job.”

Skubic is a leader in many ways that reach beyond the workplace. She’s a member of the board of directors for the Grand Junction Economic Partnership. She’s an incoming board member for the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. She also belongs to the Grand Junction Downtown Rotary Club.

Georgann Jouflas, a business professor at Mesa State College, said today’s women students are beneficiaries of the inroads women have made in the business world.

She recalls the days when her supervisors would call her “dear” and indirectly treat her differently than they would a man.

“Everything we worked for they’ve got,” she said, adding “the kids don’t realize” what challenges women used to face in the workplace.

Young women also see themselves as equals in the workplace, and don’t worry about the so-called glass ceiling—an invisible obstacle to career advancement– that their predecessors used to address.

“I don’t think the younger students see it as an issue,” said Jouflas.