(From left) KESQ-TV anchor Angela Chen is joined by the Women Who Lead honorees, Shay Moraga, Laurie Moulton, and Dr. Shubha Kerkar.

It’s one thing to be perceived as a leader. It’s another to instill those qualities into the people around you.

The three Women Who Lead honorees — Laurie Moulton, Shay Moraga, and Dr. Shubha Kerkar — shared what their experiences have taught them in their role as leaders in different arenas during a video chat with KESQ anchor Angela Chen, who moderated the discussion with the trio at the Raymond Kappe House at Desert Palisades in Palm Springs.

To view the Women Who Lead video, click below.


Moulton, who worked in corporate America for more than 20 years before starting her own businesses, says it’s important to remove the built-in competition a workplace can create and instead ask female employees, “How can we help each other?”

“In everything that we do, we really are encouraging the women on our teams,” says Mooulton, who oversees House of Lolo, Lux Box Agency, and Lolo Interiors. “In my corporate career, I really tried to mentor as many people as possible. I think it’s really all about teaching, exactly as you said, how to inspire, how to encourage, how not to be jealous and compare, but actually lift each other up. That’s how we help those women become successful. That’s how we help them with their confidence, and that’s how we allow them to take risks.”

Dr. Shubha Kerkar, a physician and infectious disease consultant, adds the people who inspire us come from all walks of life and not just from the office. “The people that inspired me weren’t even in medicine or anything,” says Dr. Kerkar, who has worked at Desert Regional Medical Center and DAP Health (formerly Desert AIDS Project) since the 1990s. “But it was their courage and the way they handled their crises helped me with mine. I think that’s what we want to learn and teach others who are inspiring to be in the position of leadership because everyone is a leader.”

And one way for leaders to communicate and motivate others to take on leadership roles is to show vulnerability, says Shay Moraga, who started the nonprofit Shay’s Warriors to provide a support system for cancer survivors. By opening up to others, you can show strength in your own resolve and connect to coworkers on a humanistic level.

“I’m going to tell you my story, or I’m going to share with you what’s going on because I’m not always the strong one,” Moraga says. “That might be what is perceived in social media, or in the public eye or whatnot. But we all have stuff going on. So if I can share that publicly, that vulnerability, that story, it inspires other women, men, children, to share their stories, and be vulnerable. Then it’s almost like a ripple effect that just keeps going on and on. When we’re able to share our stories, we’re able to allow ourselves to start to heal.”

The wide-ranging interview not only introduces you to each of the three women and their stories, but delves into what has them excited in a post-pandemic world.