Recap: Boston Kick Off Town Hall
On the evening of March 28th, 2017 it was pouring rain and unseasonably cold, but that didn’t stop 70+ women from attending our first town hall in Boston! One by one, ladies marched into the beautiful Steelcase storeroom in the PwC building, poured themselves a glass of wine, and settled in for an evening of honest and raw conversation about money and their careers.
Six panelists, with experience ranging from public policy, recruiting, design, the arts, and fitness, sat down in tight circle and connected with each woman in the room. They shared lessons they learned through their careers, obstacles they’ve faced, and “ah-ha" moments.
The common thread was that you are in charge of your story. We all have to feel empowered to hop in the driver's seat of our lives and our careers. Each panelist talked about the importance of being educated and knowing the appropriate salary you should be earning, and not being afraid to ask for what you deserve.
- Advocate for yourself - Elizabeth Schirick, manager of Organizational Learning & Development at Babson College, spoke about being your own best advocate. She spoke about how she took charge of her career and didn’t think twice about going back and asking for the position that she knew she deserved.
- Strive to be the best there is - Elise Caira, founder of SweatFixx, hammered home the idea that hard work, passion and grit will set you apart from the pack. She mentioned that since she was a kid, she didn’t just try to be the best “girl” athlete, but she wanted to be the best. Period. That drive helped her negotiate a high salary when she entered the accounting work force, and that drive continues to push her in her newest endeavor - fitness business owner.
- Be persistent and understand money, don't think of it as taboo - Belinda Rosenblum, Founder of Own Your Money, inspired the town hall to get more comfortable with money and learn more about how money can elevate you to hit higher goals. She talked about burnout, how to create a career that fits your lifestyle, pivoting your career to accommodate a family, traveling, and wanting to be your own boss.
- Be informed - As our resident women’s advancement advocate, policy influencer, and boss lady with the MA Commission on the Status of Women, Jill Ashton, reminded us that there is legislation in MA to protect working women. The energy was high as Jill shared a preview of exciting changes that will be in effect with the Pay Equity Bill. What is written on paper can be different than what we see in our workplaces, so always keep up to date with policy changes and the women’s advancement community in Boston.
- Know your worth - Caroline Keefe, graphic designer with the Rockport Company, spent years freelancing for big brands before she realized she was selling herself short. Check in with your industry network to make sure you have the correct data before you ask for what you deserve. While it can be terrifying, sometimes saying no leads you to the opportunity you were looking for.
- Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there - Catherine Capozzi, guitarist and producer of Bring Us Your Women, encouraged women to get outside of the comfort zone, even when that means just asking for help. As a self-motivated and independent woman, her success in reaching her Kickstarter goal for funding Bring Us Your Women taught her a lesson about the beauty of community support. When you believe in the importance of your project or work, you have to push beyond your usual strategies to make your creation come to fruition.
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