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The Women Accelerators 2019 Mentoring Program Wrap-up

Written by Huan Rui, Ph.D., a computational chemist at Amgen. Huan is currently the president at Women Accelerators. She served as the program chair during the 2019 mentoring program. 

No one can deny the benefits of having mentors who lift us up and help us in our careers. There can be times when it feels uncertain who could guide us through difficult situations.

But remember, mentorship does not have to be formal and you can have more than one mentor. One of the informal mentorship models I like is peer mentoring. It happens more often than you think. Think of a time you asked a friend or a coworker about something that you did not know well but they did. Usually, you get the answer you need. You come to them because you think that they are the experts in the topic and this is often well perceived and appreciated. Another way to get mentoring opportunities is to talk to your manager or advisor directly and express to them your needs. Many companies and academic institutes already have a mentoring program in place, but in case yours do not, it is absolutely OK you ask. 

If you are too shy to ask for help from people you know, there are also many mentoring opportunities online or in-person offered by different organizations that can fit your needs. At Women Accelerators, we have been running a mentoring program for seven years. We have an extensive network of mentors and our graduates are in a variety of fields like academia, biotech, law, and management. The program starts in January and ends in June of each year, but the applications start in October the year before. (That is if you want to be part of the 2020 program, the application is coming up.) As a mentee of the program, during each month you meet with your mentor for an hour to discuss the issues you need help with. Some popular topics include effective job search, salary negotiation, self-branding, and so on. Many of our previous year participants have expressed their appreciation of the program:

“My mentoring experience has been great so far! I feel so lucky for being matched with my mentor. She has introduced countless helpful resources in career building and was so supportive when I told her (halfway through the program) that I have decided to make a career change. I think we have made a relationship that will continue on far after the mentoring program has ended.”  – Candace Anderson, 2019 program mentee

A lot of efforts have been put in by our passionate volunteers to improve the program each year. For example, in the past year, we implemented a matching algorithm based on the common interests of the mentors and mentees. It follows the work done by the 2012 Nobel Laureates in Economics, Dr. Alvin Roth on market design and game theory (Roth and Peranson, 1999). It works by matching the parties by their preferential rankings of each other, therefore maximizing the overall commonality between the mentors and mentees. We have also started a Slack channel for the mentees to communicate with each other and share what they have learned. We will keep on testing new ideas and make the mentoring program experience better. 

Roth, Alvin, E., and Elliott Peranson. 1999. “The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design.” American Economic Review, 89 (4): 748-780

Check out a Mentee’s Perspective of the 2018 Mentoring Wrap up

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My personal journey of mentoring

Written by Huan Rui, Ph.D., a computational chemist at Amgen. Huan is currently the president at Women Accelerators. She served as the program chair during the 2019 mentoring program.

After more than twenty years in school, I finally landed a job that I like and pays well. I moved to Boston with loads of ambition and an open mind. When Susu Wong, the cofounder of Women Accelerators approached me at a networking event and told me about her non-profit that helps women succeed in their careers, I instantly took a liking of her and her organization. I decided to volunteer. Once I found out that Women Accelerators has an annual mentoring program, with my academic background and my enthusiasm in helping others, I became the program chair for 2019. 

Coming from an engineering background, I understand how hard it is to not have a mentor to guide you through difficult times. I studied bioinformatics in college. It is one of those majors that have a severe skewed male to female ratio. On top of that, the school I went to was an engineering school and that did not help restore the ratio balance. Almost all my teachers and peers were men. It was very difficult to relate to them. But still, I finished my degree with a reasonably good GPA and moved to the US in pursuit of a Ph.D. in computational biology. Again, I had the same problem finding a role model. This is also the time I realized that I am not only woman, I am a queer woman. At the time, marriage equality was only in a few states and many members of the LGBTQ community in academia were not publicly. I could not find a single faculty member in my department or any related departments that is both woman and gay. I was lucky that I found a community of folks who support LGBTQ rights in the small college town. We became friends; we supported each other. We organized “Food Not Bomb” events feeding the homeless and the poor. We went to underground art shows and concerts. We participated in marches demanding women’s rights. It was through these events that I learned how to organize and lead. These people are my friends and also my mentors. We helped each other grow.

Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels

Often times we may find ourselves in situations where we are the only ones and there is no place we can turn for answers. When this happens, do not be afraid. Instead, we should give ourselves a pat on the back, because this means that we are on a road that no one else has traveled before and we are truly the pioneers. There is a Chinese saying, “to be the first one eating the crabs”. Imagine if you have not seen a crab before, would you be willing to eat it? Only after you taste it that you discover its deliciousness. The moral of the story is that being brave and having an open mind can lead to pleasant discoveries. Be brave when you are on your own. 

Continue to read Huan’s next blog on Women Accelerator’s Mentoring Program. 

 

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Essential Management Skills for New Managers

Written by Susu Wong based on Etta Jacob’s How to Improve Your Management Skills Webinar.

Etta Jacobs, Founder of Hermes Path and an Executive and Career Transition Coach has a  passion for helping people reach their highest potential.  We were honored to have Etta as a speaker for two webinars in January where she shared  “How to Improve Your Management Skills.”

The webinars were highly interactive and the attendees were encouraged to chat about their challenges and experiences as managers. Many attendees said that one of the hardest adjustments was delegation because they were used to being individual contributors. Why do new managers have a hard time delegating? An underlying reason is managers think they can do it faster and better than their team members. Training people takes time and can take as much as eight months but the time is worth the reward.

 

Why Delegate?

New managers are no longer being judged on their own merit, but rather by the performance of their entire team. They also have other responsibilities and assignments from their supervisors creating a wedge in the ranking file. When a new strategy rolls out, such as a new product, programs, or service offering from their supervisors, the middle managers have to make sure it gets implemented on time, on budget, and on top of everything else on their plate. Delegating tasks and setting expectations for their team will make it easier for managers to get their jobs done because they can no longer do everything.  Let your team figure things out on their own and guide them along the way. Be clear about communicating your expectations and the outcomes you are looking for— this will help them know if they are heading in the right direction.

One of the observations Etta made was that no matter how you think of yourself, your title will precede you into the room. Your team is constantly watching everything you do and sizing you up. You should assume competence, and fake it until you make it!

 

Can friends be your employees?

This is especially challenging if you become your friend’s boss after a period of acting as peers. Your new status can make it difficult for you to remain friends so you have to consider your day to day roles and may have to change your behavior and interaction. Set boundaries between you and your friends to help avoid conflict of interest issues and even perceptions of favoritism. Needless to say, you don’t want to give your friends—who are now your employees—the impression of any special treatment.  While at work, always keep it professional.

 

Team dynamics

Here are some tips from Etta:

  1. Do not reprimand your team in front of your boss, it will make them look bad and lose the respect of your authority.
  2. Watch your body language. Don’t make eye rolls when you’re unhappy with someone!
  3. What if I make mistakes as this is common for new managers? The important part is what can I learn from this? Don’t bury your mistakes and don’t blame someone else for your mistakes. You need to own it and come up with a plan to improve the situation.
  4. Encouraging questions will help you to understand what the underlying issues are so you can come up with a solution or work-around.
  5. It is important to set aside time to manage your budget and hiring. Sometimes it is tempting to hire someone quickly when you are short on staff and your team is working extra hours.
  6. Remember to hire the right people that compliment your strengths and weaknesses.  Making thoughtful decisions in terms of hiring talent will go a long way.
  7. Stress, what stress? Etta said that a lot of stress is self-induced and it is helpful to shift your mindset. Your Inner Critic is really watching out for your best interest not trying to undermine you. Learn how to interpret the signals from your Inner Critic.
  8. Say to yourself, I got this and quiet the noise. Visualize positive outcomes, and ask yourself – what is stressing me the most? Please stop trying to be perfect!
  9. You can’t fix your boss but you can change some of your approaches to him/her and take a different view.  Try to think of the boss as a teacher or a mentor. Keep listening and be open-minded to suggestions.
  10. Your boss hates surprises and hates being blindsided.

Here are some strategies to de-stress:

  1. Find what works for you such as a to-do list, exercise to de-stress, etc.
  2. Ask for help –  self-care is the “secret sauce” to be very effective at work.
  3. Find a safe space – a circle of peers who you feel comfortable talking to.
  4. Embrace risk and try something new.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up over trying to be perfect.
  6. Learn to see your mistakes as opportunities to be better.

 

Etta recommends reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck to get more in tune with your mind.

For more middle manager tips from Etta, visit her website at: https://www.powerinthemiddle.com/

Check out our blogs and visit our website for upcoming events and webinars.

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Women Helping Women Lead, Grow, and Succeed: We need your help

Female business leaders of today are helping the female leaders of tomorrow.  Research from Catalyst, McKinsey, Gallup, and Credit Suisse demonstrates gender equity isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the profitable thing to do. Simply put, companies embracing gender equity outperform the competition. For seven years, the leaders of Women Accelerators have promoted and helped increased gender equity in the workplace. Now, with the business community at large coming to understand the importance of gender equity it’s time to expand.

And to expand we need your help.

Women Accelerators, a 501(c)(6) organization, promotes the advancement of career women. Years ago, we recognized glaring gender biases such as wage gender disparity, representation inequity, and under-representation of senior-level women in the boardroom.  We set out to build a platform capable of reaching and shattering the glass ceiling holding us back.

Women Accelerators provides an active network and community where women can access resources tailored to their career goals. Through our educational programs, networking events, and mentoring efforts, we help women navigate work opportunities and nurture female leadership.  Together, we’re building a community of goal-driven, high-achieving women who help each other thrive and succeed in the workplace.

We’re active.

Every two months, we offer educational and career-oriented events featuring discussions and Q&A sessions from nationally-recognized women leaders. Our mentoring program offers a five-month experience matching selected mentees to experienced mentors volunteering their time to help tomorrow’s women leaders. Mentees receive career guidance, salary negotiation suggestions, tips regarding communications with peers and supervisors, and advice on how to balance their work and personal lives.

With the amazing support of ambitious women in our community, as attendees, speakers or volunteers, we have been fortunate to have gained great momentum over the years.  Currently, Women Accelerators receives revenue through small fees charged for each event registration and for the annual mentoring program.  We believe that we can make an even bigger impact moving forward if we offer our community with more career programming that will help women better navigate their career paths and enhance their careers overall.

Our financial goal is to reach $5,000 by the end of 2018, so we can offer the following in 2019:

  1. Six free educational/career programs in addition to our current programs
  2. Quarterly networking events
  3. A Job bank on our website that will list open jobs from corporate partners
  4. Additional events and meet-ups for women to network with companies and hiring managers
Your generous donation will help our mission to Engage, Empower and Elevate the remarkable and talented women in our community by donating to our cause!

Bridge to Elevate Gender Equity Sponsor: $1000

Your sponsorship will provide two career workshops.

  •       Free workshop participation for 10 attendees
  •       Full page ad in the event handout
  •       Rotating digital screen ad of your organization at the event
  •       Permanent Logo placement and link on Women Accelerators website
  •       Logo placement on the event page and on signage at venue
  •       Introduce your company at the beginning of the event
  •       Email campaign with logo and brief description and links to job postings for your company
  •       Facebook shout-outs including a hyperlink to your business
  •       Recognition in social media

Bridge to Empower Gender Equity Sponsor: $750

Your sponsorship will provide one career workshop

  •      Free workshop participation for 5 attendees
  •       Logo placement and link on Women Accelerators website for three months
  •       Email campaign with logo and a brief overview of your company
  •       Facebook shout-outs including a hyperlink to your business
  •       Recognition in social media

Bridge to Engage Gender Equity Sponsor: $500

Your sponsorship will provide a networking event

  •       Free entry for 2 attendees
  •       Email campaign with the logo of your company
  •       Logo placement and link on Women Accelerators website for two months
  •       Listing on our website
  •       Recognition in social media

Be our supporter and Contact us/ today or send us an email at [email protected] Thank you!

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“Checking” In on the Strong Female Life-Sciences Leadership in Massachusetts

travissiteGreat blog of Life Sciences Discourse, by Travis McCready, CEO of Massachusetts Life Sciences.  Travis wrote about the lack of women in STEM and the sector’s gender imbalance.  Travis mentioned Susu Wong and the Women Accelerators:

https://lifesciencesdiscourses.com/2017/01/25/checking-in-on-the-strong-female-life-sciences-leadership-in-massachusetts/

 

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Join Jimmy Tingle’s Humor for Humanity for Women Accelerators and other nonprofits

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JimmyTingle

From The Tonight Show and 60 Minutes II comedian and commentator Jimmy Tingle is using his one-man show Jimmy Tingle: Humor for Humanity on February 4th, 2017 at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre to help raise spirits, funds, and awareness for Women Accelerators.

When a ticket buyer uses the code: WA $10 will be donated by Tingle Productions to Women Accelerators. BE SURE TO USE THE WA CODE WHEN BUYING THE TICKET SO THE $10 DONATION CAN BE MADE. IF WA CODE IS NOT USED AT POINT OF PURCHASE A DONATION CANNOT BE MADE. JIMMY TINGLE: HUMOR FOR HUMANITY

February 4, 2017 | Sanders Theatre at 8:00pm 45 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138 **FREE PARKING!**

Tickets and parking info at Harvard Box Office for $25, $30 and $35 (Be sure to put WA as a promotion code)

ORDER ONLINE, BY PHONE 617-496-2222 OR IN PERSON AT BOX OFFICE Farkas Hall, 10 Holyoke St, Harvard Square

*NO SERVICE FEES WHEN BUYING TICKETS IN PERSON

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Our mission is to help raise spirits, funds and awareness for nonprofits, charities and social causes through media and live events. Our Mission is their Mission.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HUMOR FOR HUMANITY AND JIMMY TINGLE VISIT: www.jimmytingle.com

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Nov 1: de la Femme’s “A Guide to Financial Planning”

money tree and financial planningJoin us for de la Femme’s event on November 1st. The topic will be Financial Planning.

Many people spend more time preparing for their dream vacations rather than their dream retirement.  We all talk about what we want to do when we retire, whether it be pursuing a hobby, volunteering for a worthy cause, moving to a beachfront property, or the bucket list of vacations that we’ve been dreaming of. But, do you have what you need to retire comfortably and pursue these dreams?

Sometimes life and work get in the way of your financial planning, but remember time is your friend — the sooner you save, the more you will have saved up. Don’t delay!

Our event in November will be a guide toward educating yourself on financial planning. Scot and Briana will be on deck to answer some of the following basic financial questions:

  • What to prioritize first savings vs. investments?
  • What are 401K, IRA, Roth IRA?
  • What is a financial portfolio?
  • How can you diversify your investments?
  • How much should you set aside each month for saving?
  • What are a couple of approaches you can do daily to save more? Does it mean you need to cut down on your early morning coffee run?
  • What does it mean to invest in a tax efficient way?  How can you approach it?
  • What are some available options for paying off your loans (student, car payment, etc.)?

These and many other topics which include ways to save up for rainy days will be covered at the event. This will be an interactive discussion about your questions on saving and achieving your financial goals without overstretching your budget. With our guest speakers Scot Reynolds and Briana Willander combined experiences in the financial planning field, they will cover ways to plan for your retirement in a way that not only fits your budgets but also gives you the knowledge you can take away to start your financial planning.

 *****

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 1st at 6:00 PM.

Location: The Broad Institute, Kendall Sq, Cambridge, MA.

Appetizers and wine will be provided.  Registration is required, sign-in upon arrival.

Registration: https://dlf-guide-to-financial-planning.eventbrite.com

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Scot Reynolds, CLTC Vice President assists families, businesses, and individuals in Scot Reynoldsdeveloping and achieving their unique financial goals. Since 2007, his mission has been to help his clients accumulate, enjoy, protect and distribute wealth in the most tax-advantaged way possible.

Scot has received many awards for his accomplishments in the financial services industry. Most recently, Scot was recognized by Boston Magazine as a Five Star Wealth Manager in 2015, recognizing the top financial advisors in Massachusetts. From 2012-2015 he qualified for four consecutive “Achieving Client Excellence” (ACE) Awards, for his achievements in Sales Management, including twice in the top 5 in the country. The ACE award is one of the highest honors that Signator Investors bestows on financial professionals within the national network.

Along with these prestigious accomplishments, Scot is a perennial Qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). MDRT is considered the premier and most exclusive association for financial professionals. It is an international network of leading financial advisors who serve their clients with a high level of performance and the highest standards of ethics, knowledge, service and productivity.

Scot is also an active member of the industry and community. He is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), a two-time past president of his BNI group the Middlesex Money Makers, and an active member of the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce. Scot graduated from the University of Maine with BS in Business Administration.

Scot is originally from Falmouth, Maine and currently resides in Charlestown, Massachusetts. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, snowboarding and attending Boston sports events.

Briana Willander, Associate, began her career with Boston Partners Financial Group in 2015. Since then she has been assisting families, individuals, and small businesses achieve their unique financial goals.

Briana holds her Series 6 and 63 Securities Licenses as well as her Life, Accident, and Health Insurance Licenses. She graduated cum laude from Plymouth State University with a major in finance and minor in economics.

Through Briana’s affiliation with Boston Partners Financial Group Briana has access to John Hancock products as well as a variety of financial products and services from many other carriers. These services include Retirement Planning, Life Insurance, Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Insurance, and Disability Income Insurance.

Briana grew up in the small town of New Boston, NH and currently resides in Shrewsbury, MA. In her local community, she is an active member of Shrewsbury’s BNI Elite Referral Group. In her free time, she enjoys staying active, running, snowboarding, golfing, and spending time with family and friends.

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de la Femme (DLF) is a Massachusetts organization passionate about promoting the advancement of women and bridging the gender gap. This can be seen in the wage gap and under-representation of women in senior-level positions and the boardroom, from Corporate 100 to startups. Our mission is to provide a centralized network and community where career-focused women can access resources tailored toward their career goals. We provide resources and information to help women efficiently navigate work opportunities and to provide a supportive environment that will nurture female leaders. Our vision is to generate a community of like-minded, high-achieving women, who help each other to succeed in the workplace.

*****

*No refunds issued once registered.

**de la Femme is a volunteer-based organization striving to provide resources for women to achieve their career potential.  Donations are instrumental in sustaining our mission, and any amount is greatly appreciated.

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Pictures from Breaking the Glass Ceilings in STEM

What a wonderful event on Breaking the Glass Ceilings in STEM at the Broad Institute on Monday.  We’ve got great insights from all the panelists and keynote speaker Karen Panetta.  Special thanks to Joe Hartman, Dean of Engineering at UMass Lowell for generously sponsoring the event. A BIG THANKS to Miriam Margala for her help in organizing this event.

See some of the pictures from the event on our Facebook page.

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Gender gap persists among young biomedical researchers

Here’s an article from the Boston Globe describing a stark gender gap that persists at boston’s big biomedical research institutions.

credit: science.utah.edu

credit: science.utah.edu

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/09/15/study-finds-gender-gap-research-funding/UlmGLyrxJLVvZDQo0jRYXK/story.html

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Register for the Salary Negotiation Workshop

ATTENTION WOMEN: Did you know that over a woman’s working life, she could earn a million dollars less than a man?

Facts:

  • In 2013, among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid 78 percent of what men were paid.
  • Women face a pay gap in nearly every occupation.
  • Worse of all, the pay gap grows with age.

Whether you’re conducting a job search, just entering the workforce or have been working for years, this Salary Negotiation Workshop is for you!  Diane Pacuk and Megan Cooney will lead a 3-hour workshop with interactive presentation and role-play.

The workshop will help you:

  • Learn the art of salary and benefits negotiations.
  • Acquire the tools, strategies, and confidence to ensure you’re compensated fairly.

ATTENDANCE IS LIMITED given the intimate nature of the workshop.

Date/Time:   Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 5:30 PM (since this is a 3 hour workshop, we will start immediately)

Location:  The Broad Institute

Dinner and drinks will be provided.

Register at Eventbrite

Registration is required, sign-in upon arrival.

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Diane croppedDiane Pacuk is a Senior Vice President and Assistant Complex Manager at Morgan Stanley.  In that role she is responsible for developing business as well as managing risk within the complex.  Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Diane spent 24 years at Merrill Lynch in a succession of roles within the firm.  Diane holds the Series 3,7,8,24,63,65 securities licenses and has a BS in Business Management from Lesley University. She is on the corporate advisory board of the Boston Chapter of the National Black MBA Association.  She chairs the Complex Diversity Council and is a member of the regional council.

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Megan Cooney Photo copyMegan Cooney, a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, works closely with successful individuals and their families to provide thoughtful investment solutions designed to protect and preserve their wealth. In particular, Megan focuses her practice on female executives and women in transition, utilizing a consultative wealth management process tailored to bestow each client with a lasting foundation for financial security and personal success.  Megan is involved with The Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit women’s organization with a distinct mission to help women CEOs, entrepreneurs and senior corporate executives grow their businesses and careers. Megan is also a member of the Morgan Stanley Women’s Financial Advisor Forum and holds the Series 7, 66, 31, and Massachusetts Insurance licenses.

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Workshop is sponsored by the Center of Work & Women at UMass Lowell.CWW_logo+UMASS copy

 

 

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*No refunds issued once registered.

**de la Femme is a volunteer-based organization striving to provide resources for women to achieve their career potential.  Donations are instrumental in sustaining our mission, any amount is greatly appreciated.

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