Home   »   Events   »   Past SSP Events

Professional Development Spotlight | Building Empathy and Emotional Intelligence Into the Workplace

Hosted by the SSP Raleigh-Durham Regional Committee

Thursday, April 29, 2021
11 am–12 pm ET

Building Empathy and Emotional Intelligence into the Workplace

As we pass the one-year mark of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, the Raleigh-Durham Regional Committee has been reflecting on what we’ve learned and what we’ve had to do to adapt. We see the present moment as an opportunity to continue to push for more equitable and inclusive workplaces where all employees are fully supported and given a chance to thrive. We’ve identified competency around empathy and emotional intelligence as needed now more than ever, especially among leadership and management, to ensure that opportunity is not lost.
Key questions include:

  • What can employees do to foster an environment of empathy in their organizations?
  • How can leadership leverage emotional intelligence to better engage hybrid remote and in-person teams?
  • On an organizational level, how can empathy and principles of emotional intelligence be “baked” into policies and structures? And what can organizations do to ensure that policy changes actually translate to a shift in cultural norms and expectations?
  • How do equity and inclusion inform any conversation around empathy and emotional intelligence in the workplace?

Each panelist will present their own perspective, and then we’ll open the floor for Q&A. Join us on April 29 to share your experiences and thoughts about building empathy and emotional intelligence into the workplace.


Megan McCartyMegan McCarty, Editorial Client Manager, Systems Support Expert, J & J Editorial

Megan McCarty holds a BM in Music Literature from Southwestern University, an MA in Musicology from Boston University, and was a DAAD scholarship recipient in Germany from 2012-2013. She joined J&J Editorial in 2015, where she has gained experience managing submission-to-print journal workflows as well as proficiency in Editorial Manager, eJournalPress, ScholarOne, and BenchPress. She leads a team of over 30 people working on journal titles across several clients including Oxford University Press, the Genetics Society of America, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and provides Editorial Manager Support for Wiley. She is an SSP Early Career Fellow (2018-2019) and currently serves as a member of the SSP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and as the Co-chair of the SSP Community Engagement Committee and the Raleigh-Durham Regional Committee.


Heather LeeHeather Lee, Co-Founder and Partner with Developmental Associates
Heather earned master’s and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She has been a Senior Partner with Durham-based Developmental Associates since 2004. A Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), she is an organizational consultant specializing in the government, nonprofit, and educational sectors.  As a passionate advocate for assessing and developing emotional intelligence in the workplace, Heather blends academic training and evidence-based solutions with a practitioner approach to leadership development. Her coaching practice helps clients, using a variety of assessments, to identify their strengths and opportunities for development in a supportive but engaged and candid fashion. Past work experience includes being a longtime faculty member with the State of NC, Certified Public Manager Program, a founding faculty member of the NC Center for Women in Public Service, an Associate Professor of Human Resources and Psychology at William Peace University, and Vice President of Human Resources for Easter Seals of North Carolina. She was a founding board member for the Chordoma Foundation, a rare cancer research nonprofit in 2007 and remains engaged in the ongoing effort to find an effective treatment for this rare disease.  

Orshi KocsisOrshi Kocsis, Vice President Human Resources at Research Square
Orshi Kocsis is a certified HR professional with PHR and SHRM-CP certifications. Orshi has over 16 years of HR experience partnering with leaders on all facets of human resources, including recruitment, onboarding, benefits, compensation, training, coaching, performance management, and leadership development. She has worked with organizations across the globe from Australia to Japan and the US. Orshi believes that an organization’s greatest asset is its people. She loves everything about HR, and her motto is “Happy employees ensure happy customers, and happy customers ensure happy shareholders!” Orshi earned an MBA in Human Resources from the University of Technology in Sydney. In her free time, she loves spending time with her families and reading books.

Laura PetersonLaura Peterson, Vice President of Global Talent and Organization Development at RTI International
Laura Peterson, Senior Director of Global Talent and Organization Development at RTI International, is dedicated to expanding the capacity and effectiveness of people to accomplish the Institute’s mission to Improve the Human Condition. Recognizing that people are most effective when they are valued and empowered through their leadership, Laura and her team of consultants focus significant time on leading successful organization change efforts at multiple levels of the organization while also providing strategic vision and management of several institute-wide initiatives. Over her two-decade career, Laura has served in several management roles. In 2006, she shifted from operations to organization development management consultant. In 2015, she was the Director of Organization Development at a Washington DC based organization development consulting firm that served health care, legal, judicial, defense, and finance sectors in both federal government and private organizations. She directed change projects that incorporated leadership development, performance management, staff communication skill building, and new values adoption within several mid to large organizations, including the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, US Treasury, the District of Columbia Superior Court, and the White House. 

Watch OnDemand