LAURA FORESE Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian. An orthopedic surgeon with Universities. Implemented groundbreaking employee programs like paid parental leave.

Downtown: Name three women that inspire you, and why.

Laura Forese: I am inspired by Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, the first woman doctor in the United States; by Eleanor Roosevelt who continued to make a difference across the globe well into her 70s; and my mother, Florine Forese, because of everything she taught me.

DT: What has been the secret of your success?

LF: Surrounding myself with supportive people, both personally and professionally.

DT: If you were going to pass on one piece of advice to a young woman looking for success, what would it be?

LF: Speak up. 

DT: In the fight for women’s equality, what area do you think needs the most attention?

LF: The importance of women seeing other women in leadership roles. 

DT: What are you most proud of in your career?

LF: Standing up for things I believe in. 

DT: Where do you get your confidence?

LF: From my belief that I can make things better if I try. 

DT: What makes a woman beautiful?

LF: Her sense of self. 

DT: What gives you joy?

LF: My family.