When Dana Ferber was growing up, society had defined ideas of careers for women – but her parents didn’t.
“My parents were very influential. They didn’t give me any limitations for what I wanted to do,” she says. “I think it’s such a great opportunity to work with young women and really encourage them and share the same message. It’s an open playing field. It’s what you make of it and what you want to do.”
Since 2011, Dana has served as PPL Electric Utilities’ regional operations director in Harrisburg and Lancaster, overseeing the company’s day-to-day work to provide reliable, safe, affordable service in those areas.
And when she’s not doing that, she volunteers to spread the message that the future of young women is limited only by their imaginations.
She’s recently applied to be a mentor for the STEM Sisters program run by the North Museum of Nature and Science in Lancaster. Through engaging programs and activities, the STEM Sisters program brings girls together with undergraduate and professional women in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields to discover potential careers.
For several years, she’s also participated in the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business mentoring program. The program brings professional women together on a one-on-one basis with female high school juniors from about a dozen high schools in the Lancaster area. Over the course of the school year, the students visit technical schools, take part in volunteering events, and do job-shadowing to help them decide whether their field of interest is the right fit for them.
“Mentoring is important to me. I didn’t have those same opportunities when I was their age,” Dana says. “I think it’s a great thing. The more exposed you are to mentoring and professional contacts, the more intelligent decisions you can make about your future.
“I felt like I’ve had an impact on these students. I’m still in touch with some of them.”
Also in her free time, Dana serves as the sergeant-at-arms for the Toastmasters Club in Ephrata – “I wanted to feel more at ease in public speaking. I’m having fun doing it” – and is involved with her church, St. James in Lititz.
But when she talks about giving back to the community, she always circles back to mentoring.
“I learn so much from just being involved with this. It brings me fresh new ideas,” she says. “There’s just as much learning on my part as there is for the mentee.”
Stay tuned to PPL Stories for more stories of PPL Electric Utilities employees’ service to their communities.