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#WomenofFVI – Denyse Antunes

  • Your current role is FVI’s Executive Director. Is this the role that you expected to be in when you started in the workforce? How did it change?

I started my career in sales and marketing but was fortunate to have a female leader choose to mentor me which groomed me for an opportunity to lead a sales team. It was not until 10 years into my career that I learned about education as a professional path for me.  

  • Since you’ve worked in different positions throughout the years, do you remember any personal incident where you were made to feel inferior/superior solely for being a woman?

I always found myself in challenging situations where most people at the leadership table did not look like me. Most were always men and very few women. And most times I was one of few women if any and usually the only person of color. That made it more challenging to join in conversations around sports, golfing, and the humor that was not funny and at times uncomfortable.

  • Do you feel women’s contributions at FVI have played an integral part in our success?

Most of the faculty and leaders are female so we have made huge contributions to the success of our students and programs.

  • What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?

As a female, I have always felt my work needed to be excellent to stand out.  Set your own bar and then lead by example.

  • What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you in the higher education field?

Seek to listen and learn from others.

  • If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Find a mentor at the start of your career and establish and maintain your professional network.