International Women’s day is March 8th, 2021, on this day we remember what our ancestors and women that have come before us have done for us; to be who we are today. This year we have decided to choose to challenge, not just individuals’ political views, or our stance on health care or equal pay but ourselves.

 “A challenged word is an alert word. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.” 

So with this in mind, I challenge you to take the pledge to choose to challenge something, anything. 

Today I choose to challenge gender bias in the fitness industry, in health care. Women can be just as strong, just as powerful, and just as hardworking as their counterparts. 

But how does one do this? Take a stand in what you believe in, follow individuals that have the same ideas and beliefs as you do. Sign petitions, stand up in public meetings, and make your voice heard. Because if you don’t stand up then who will. 

If you’re still not sure where to start, use the link and educate yourself. Knowledge is power, and that is how things change. 

Resources on how to get started 

Happy International Women’s Day, now go change the world! 


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Fall Recipes

Women Accelerators is giving thanks and celebrating in different ways this year. Our extended family may not all be under one roof for the holidays, but we can still cook together and break bread virtually.

Click here to see some of our favorite fall recipes and share them with your loved ones! Remember: although we’re distant, technology allows us to reach out and fill our homes with the laughter of friends and family from afar.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Download Fall Recipes

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Race Around Us – Stop Ignoring It

I grew up white and privileged without realizing it until June 2020. I lived in a small town and went to a big high school. I went to football games and played sports. If you could look up a typical middle-class white female family of four, mine would probably pop up.

I had two black individuals in my school. Just two, in a sea of 400 students per grade you could see how I grew up thinking that race and color didn’t matter in my eyes, everyone was equal.

I went to a public college in Rhode Island. I had a small awakening to the amount of race and colors I saw. Again, it didn’t bother me if you were Black, White, Hispanic, Latino, etc. As long as you were kind, I had no problem with you.

The first sign of racism I ever saw was when I was with one of my housemates. A black female, we went shopping and were being followed in the store. I couldn’t figure out why, so I asked the sales rep. I told her we didn’t need any help and she just gave this look. Like I was lying to her or something; so we left the store. Again, it had never occurred to me that this was an individual being racist against my best friend and me.

Of course, there have been incidents in the world since that but it never got my attention, I never took the time to learn until George Floyd. If you missed it, or were under a rock somewhere hiding out from being exposed to COVID. Then here’s a brief overview of what happened.

George Floyd a man who was killed by a police officer for no reason. He was strangled by the officer’s knee until he physically could not breathe anymore. This ignited a tumulus movement, Black Lives Matter that spread across the country. A civil rights movement that has been needed for quite some time. It brought out all the wrong full deaths that have occurred to black individuals for generations. The worst of it that no one was paying attention to these deaths until George Floyd went viral.

Since then everyone, well everyone should be taking the time to learn and educate themselves about black history, race and how people of color have been treated. I want to say that we haven’t been aware but the awakening of it all is that we have been sitting by and watching everything happen. When a black man is atomically assumed that he will rob or fight you. When a position is passed on from a black to a white individual is it because they are more qualified or is it because of the color of their skin? Do you automatically think basketball player when you see a black man? You think angry b***h when you see a black female complaining? This my friend is bias and racist.

I have read five books since June especially teaching me about black culture and history and what the heck it was like growing up as a black individual (listed below). Here is what I have learned.

  • If you see a black individual on the streets greet them like any other human being.
  • If a black female was passed up for a position in your workplace and a white female or male got it, bring it to HR’s attention and ask why this happened.
  • Stop thinking just because someone in the news is black means they deserved what happened to them.
  • Stop and remember what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for instead of using the holiday as a day off of work.
  • Sign petitions, donate to Mutual Aid Funds
  • Buy from Black-Owned Business, look up black-owned stores.
  • Stop thinking color doesn’t exist.
  • Go vote

Now, I know this isn’t everything I learned but if you want to learn more then pick up a book, listen to a podcast. This isn’t going to go away, it’s time to start the change today and we need to do this together.


  • So you want to talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
  • Me and white supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  • Eloquent Rage by Brittany Cooper
  • Stamped from the Beginning  by Ibram X. Kendi

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The thing that major milestones have taught us

Life is not something we could be taught about. We can be warned, lectured and told about the experiences of our elders that have already gone through. With every day that passes and every new milestone I hit. I find that I carry those lessons and experiences with me to the next big opportunity that presents itself in my life. These are the lessons that change us, lessons that shape us. Lessons that we learn by actually being engaged and living. These are the things that cause us to change, not the people we surround ourselves with.

  1.   Life presents itself as it should, Not according to my schedule 

Wishing for things would happen the way you want typically doesn’t go the way it is planned. No one expected there to be travel bans and businesses to be shut down, but it happened. All those plans that were put into place months ago have now been postponed or canceled. It can be upsetting and frustrating in that moment but think about in the long run. This one moment may be super frustrating right then and there but think about how this can help you adapt to other situations that don’t go your way. 

  1.   Less is More

I don’t know about you but when I see something, I usually go full force and invest all my time into it. By doing this something those other things that are in my life get the short string. I point out that balancing those priorities should be at the top of your list whenever you pick up a new interest. 

  1.   People deserve a second chance

That moment you forgive somebody, chances are that you will also give them a second chance, that chance to be close to you, without trying to remind them of what they did. By doing this you are allowing them to grow and become better and better every day.

  1.   The world won’t change if you don’t change 

You hear people all the time complaining about how crazy the world is now and how they want it to change, but if you tell them to make the first step. They will back away and make excuses on why they can’t. If we want the world to change, we have to start with ourselves. 

  1.   Your education is never complete 

Determine to live fully and continually learn. Prepare for what life has to teach by being open to the lesson in everything you do and experience 

  1.   Never settle for average

Whether you are applying for a new job, a significant other, working on yourself. Never just settle for the easy way out; you will never find your everyday joy if you just go through the motions everyday. So if you’re sitting in an interview and they say they will hire you for ‘X’ amount but you know you are worth ‘Y’ amount then why not ask and show initiative and prove that you are worth that experience and degree you have worked so hard for. 

Think about it now. What challenges or achievements have you brought along with you to your next milestone? What have you learned, make a list of the things you want to change next time and what you want to keep. I guarantee you that it will make a difference in the next time reach that milestone.

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Using Quarantine to Your Advantage

When I was told that I had to come home for quarantine I was thrilled. I was going to use it to my advantage to broaden my horizons and learn new things I’ve been putting off. I wanted to add to my business by learning how to code and increase my skills for school, I wanted to read books that have been sitting on my shelf for months.  

If you’re in the same boat and want to take advantage of this time of being home here’s your kick in the butt to keep motivated and maybe even make a positive mark on a negative situation. 

So why not increase your appeal to a potential job: Get a new certification in your field. A lot of certification can be gained online quickly and can be inexpensive as well. Use this time to become familiar with the companies that your interested in; social media presence. If they don’t have one learn about graphic design apps that are user friendly so you can help build their presence. You can use this opportunity to completely redo your resume. Make it bold and stand out, the top 1/3 of the documents should grab your attention. Use key words that have been used in the job description you are applying for.  If you don’t feel comfortable working on it on your own you can hire someone to look over your resume for you. You can use zoom or team meeting for a face to face meeting. 


Take on a new language: Since most of us are connected to your phones just about 24/7 what better way to use them, than by downloading an app to teach you something new. Such as Babbel or Duolingo, both apps are user friendly and slowly introduce you to learning a new language. 


Get creative: Have you also enjoyed art and graphic design but never had time to really learn the ins and outs of it? There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube for free that can teach you how to use Photoshop and lightroom and edit your designs, even just take a free art class.  If you have a camera, take the time and go outside. Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day.  Were you a painter at one point in your life and put it away because life got a little crazy? Well now is the perfect time to idle those hands again. 


Take control of your health: Have you been struggling to stay on track with your goals, do you want to avoid losing all your progress you’ve made in your health in the past few months? Join an online fitness community following a live workout that personal trainers and gyms are hosting on social media. Test out new recipes with items just in your home, replace out habits with new ones. Start by drinking more water each day, small changes like this can make a big difference down the road. 


           So now that I’ve shown you the limitless opportunities you have why not take advantage of them. Start showing up for yourself and prove that quarantine isn’t just a period of isolation. 



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Greater Lowell Community Foundation Announces Fiscal Sponsorship of Women Accelerators

Lowell, MA – The Greater Lowell Community Foundation announces the recent fiscal sponsorship of Women Accelerators, an organization passionate about promoting the advancement of women and bridging the gender gap. Women Accelerators is based in Massachusetts with chapters in Lowell and Cambridge.

The mission of Women Accelerators is to provide a centralized network where career-focused women can access resources tailored to their career goals. By offering educational programs, networking and mentoring, they help women navigate opportunities that nurture female leaders efficiently. Their vision is to generate a community of like-minded, high-achieving women, who help each other succeed in the workplace.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Greater Lowell Community Foundation as the fiscal sponsor for Women Accelerators. The GLCF has a wealth of experience and the necessary resources to assist us in our mission of helping women with their career advancement. By pairing with GLCF, we gain valuable insights into fundraising and learn the tools for being more efficient in managing a nonprofit. Teaming with GLCF will help us to build a stronger community,” said Susu Wong, co-founder of Women Accelerators.

“We see the foundation’s support of Women Accelerators as an important opportunity to optimize the excellence of this organization that serves women in all stages of their careers,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF President and CEO. “We are proud to partner on their vision of equity in the workplace.”

For more information and a full event listing, visit: womenaccelerators.org.

Donations to any fund at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, including the Women Accelerators, can be made online at www.glcfoundation.org/donate or by mail to the Women Accelerators c/o GLCF, 100 Merrimack Street, Suite 202, Lowell, MA 01852.

For more information on the Greater Lowell Community Foundation please visit www.glcfoundation.org.


About Greater Lowell Community Foundation

The Greater Lowell Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization comprised of over 350 funds, currently totaling over $39MM, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life in

20 neighboring cities and towns. The Community Foundation annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. It is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from its staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the Community Foundation to award more than $15 million to the Greater Lowell Community since 1999.

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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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5 Simple Self Care Tips for Fall

With a summer that surely expired quicker than we all would like, it’s almost time for the weather to change again. Fall in Boston has so many redeeming qualities: colorful leaves, cozy sweaters, apple picking (see: apple donuts) and your favorite warm drink.

Unfortunately, this time of year can also bring extra anxiety and sometimes an overwhelming increase in items on the ‘to-do’ list. As we plan for the upcoming start of classes, new jobs, and whatever else may be on the horizon, it is important to remember that it’s not all about the hustle. Slowing down and taking time for YOU is vital for well-being and long-term productivity.

When you are happy and managing stress, you are performing better overall – so, to help our followers stay at the top of their game we compiled these 5 tips for self care. 

  1. Take time for soul-searching before taking action

Something often overlooked in self care is the importance of individual consideration. No number of spa days will cure the overwhelming stress of working in a role that is a major mismatch; or, working within culture that mismatches with your own personal beliefs. 

Taking some time to clear your head, identify a root cause or a personal need can be the best gift to yourself. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work or in personal matters and aren’t able to quash the stress or anxiety, take time to soul search. If there is something or someone in your life causing you pain, and you are able to distance yourself, then that may be the best self care possible. Similarly, if you used to love to paint (or name a hobby) but haven’t had time for it lately, maybe it’s time to pick up that brush and see if it is the escape you needed.

Our leadership team is composed of a diverse group of women and we all have different self-care rituals. You must find what works for you. 

Have trouble slowing your mind down long enough to think? Sometimes the best way to think is to pause long enough to catch your breath & be present – Try one of these guided meditation apps to find your zen:



Insight Timer


& for the skeptic who is not sure that they want to meditation, read this


  1. Hit the weights

Getting into an exercise routine can be the hardest part with a busy schedule but blocking time on your calendar and following through is worth it! There is no prescribed time for the positive results of exercise so just get your blood pumping even if that means taking 10-15 minutes each morning to do push ups and sit ups before your morning routine. 

Research shows that exercise can relieve stress, reduce depression and improve cognitive function. But don’t just take our word for it:

Harvard Health on exercising to relax.

American Psychological Association on the stress and exercise link.

American Heart Association on working out to relieve stress.


  1. Indulge in a spa day

A spa day doesn’t mean you need to take an entire day off (unless you can – then treat yourself). Instead, choose a service that makes you happy and relax. Taking an hour to get your nails done or get a massage could be “your” meditation.  Changing up your hair or nails can be a boost of confidence. A spa day isn’t going to fully change your self perception BUT it gives you a chance to step back and refresh your look (& hopefully outlook on life).

Having a positive self image can impact your daily life and part of that is how you feel in your skin. Think through these positive thinking strategies as you pick out your new fall nail color (helpful for perfectionists like me!). 

  1. Take a walk

If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed out and aren’t able to take time off (yet) –  sometimes the best thing to do is take a walk. Even taking a walk around the office or around the building outside can do wonders for clearing your head or helping you cool down from a tense situation in the classroom or boardroom. Walking removes you from the stressors and the stressful environment and can give you much needed fresh perspective. 

For even more value on your walk – take a friend. Use the walk to vent or get feedback on an issue you are facing. Or use the time to connect with someone you may not normally talk to and make a new friend in the process. 


  1. READ

If time off of work for travel & relaxation is out of the question, take your mind on vacation. One of the easiest ways to escape is to dive into a good book and feel immersed in its pages.

If you have a long commute (shout out to the MBTA), you can take 10-15 minutes to step away from your stressors and imagine a different world or learn something new. Once you reach your destination, you will at least have a fresh perspective on your environment and maybe even a few ideas to tackle the day’s challenges!

 Check out these 24 reads under 200 pages (both fiction and non-fiction).


“Self-care is how you take your power back.”

– Lalah Delia


Finally, remember that we are in this together. Empower, Engage and Elevate!

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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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How to Make the Most out of your Mentorship: PART 2, Mentoring Resources

Last month we shared some tips to make the most out of your mentorship. If you missed it, read it here. This month, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help with the journey- whether you’ve joined our Women Accelerator’s mentoring group OR just want to strengthen a mentoring relationship you already have in place, these links will help!

In many cases, a mentor’s advice and the mentor/mentee relationship has an impact that lasts long after the official mentorship ends. To preface the resources, we asked the Women Accelerators leadership team to share some of the best advice they’ve ever received.

“I try not to sweat over little things that are not that important. The other thing is I stop myself when I start becoming a perfectionist because no one is.”

“If you aren’t LOVING your current role, look around for the resources available to you within the organization – ask the question if you aren’t sure you can take courses. Take as many classes or accept as many opportunities as you can. Learn as much as you possibly can. Continue to work hard in your current role but exploring resources and learning may make you more qualified for your next role or ignite an old passion for your current position. ”

“Sometimes you will just not be a fit – for an organization’s culture or a specific role. That is OK. If you don’t get the job, walk away from a job or lose a job, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. Keep your head up and remember some of the best things in life are found after someone failed. Press on and find a spot that clicks – you’ll be much happier.”

“You’re mad because you suck and you don’t want to suck. You’re used to being the best. But you need to understand you’re going to suck for awhile and that’s OK. [in context of starting a new role and the learning curve that comes with it].”

“I used to get burned out very often. One of the best advice I have gotten is to “not lose sight in the current and always remind yourself of what you want” because work requests can be endless and some of them don’t necessarily lead to anywhere career wise. It is important to remember what excites you the most and follow that.”

Can you think back to advice you’ve received from a mentor that still impacts your life today?

Mentoring can be an incredible opportunity with SO much gained but it can also be SO much work especially if you don’t know where to start or what to ask. Check out the resources below to help guide you as you navigate through a mentorship as a mentor or mentee:


  1. Demystifying Mentoring
  2. 40 Questions to Ask a Mentor
  3. 12 Powerful Questions to Ask a Mentor about Career Path
  4. What mentors with their Mentees knew
  5. Tips for Mentees
  6. TED: The Career Advice you probably didn’t get
  7. TED: Why we have too few women leaders


  1. Top 10 tips for mentors
  2. What the best mentors do 
  3. How to mentor someone who doesn’t know what their goals should be 
  4. A quick exercise to explore different life paths
  5. Good Mentors help you work through strong emotions
  6. Demystifying Mentoring

Want to learn more about our annual mentoring program? Find out more here.


Finally, remember that we are in this together. Empower, Engage and Elevate!

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Do you self-promote enough?

Remember we recently had a webinar with Melody Wilding on imposter-syndrome (See our blog post Tackle self-doubt: How to overcome imposter syndrome for more)? In the webinar, we learned that feeling like you’re not good enough or you don’t have anything important to say is a common psychological pattern amongst women.

But let’s be reminded: no one should feel that way.

And so our message continues. On Thursday, we had the pleasure to welcome Kim Meninger (pronounced Me-nin-jer!) to speak on Using Self-Promotion Strategies to Raise Your Visibility, Increase Your Influence and Advance Your Career. This interactive workshop encouraged fellow career-driven women to share their stories with each other and to take a step forward using self-promotion techniques and strategies.

Kim is a certified executive and leadership development coach empowering individuals and organizations to reach their full leadership potential (bio here). There is something about her that instantly invites you to open up. Perhaps it’s the business casual (vs the full-on corporate) attire styled-up with her warm smile. Welcome to the no-judgment zone. So tell me, she begins, “how many of you self-promote at work?” Still only 5 minutes into the workshop, the audience is shy and reserved. One hand goes up, and another slowly. Kim chuckles and nods: “Well, everyone at your office should know who you are and what you do. So promote yourself!”

Kim then asked the audience to turn to their fellow attendees (everyone is sitting at round tables) and ask each other, in what ways are you/am I self-promoting at work already? One person said “I sit in the front at meetings and try to ask questions”, another said, “I usually try to reach out to people from other departments to seek collaborations”. Few minutes into the group discussion, the room became gradually vibrant with audiences lending their ears and opening up to each other. “Let me ask again”, Kim said, “how many people are self-promoting at work?” This time, majority of the attendees raised their hands. Turns out, once the audience verbalized their experiences, they were able to recognize that they do self-promote. What does this tell us? Do we, women, need affirmation in order to feel comfortable or safe to self-promote?

Kim doesn’t miss a beat and poses to the group: Why is self-promotion difficult for women? One audience said she’s tired of the bad reaction she receives from male colleagues, another added, “you fear of negative labels by men so you’d rather not talk”. It’s as if self-promotion feels insincere to us and so you fear to act on it. Unfortunately, this tends to be the mindset that is taught to us women at a young age.

So let’s change that mindset!

Kim says “promoting yourself is actually a service to others because you’re letting them know what skills you have and how they can utilize you”. If you don’t feel comfortable self-promoting, remember to focus on your strengths, not the other way around which apparently we all tend to do.

With that in mind, Kim shared below key to success and strategies for self-promotion.

Keys to success:

  • Self-awareness – What is your strength?
  • Confidence – You must believe in yourself!
  • Courage – Be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone
  • Authenticity – Be you!
  • Consistency – This isn’t an annual practice, do it consistently throughout the year!

Key Strategies:

  1. Get a weekly facetime with your boss. If not, proactively send her/him weekly updates, highlighting your accomplishments of the week.
  2. Identify and own your expertise.
  3. Speak up at meetings.
  4. Offer to help/teach others.
  5. Build strategic relationships.
  6. Volunteer for cross-functional projects.
  7. Take advantage of casual opportunities.

At the end of the workshop, Kim asked the audience to turn to their tables one last time and share what the takeaway from the workshop was. Many said, “I feel more confident”, one said, “you might think you’re under the radar but you never really are, you just think that”.

A common theme in this workshop seemed like the majority of the audience felt hesitant to self-promote in fear of negative perception in the workplace. But after the 2-hour workshop of verbalizing one’s strength and sharing stories, the audience appeared ever so vibrant and confident.

So perhaps it’s not that we don’t know how to self-promote but simply need to remind ourselves why we should.

After all, we’re all rockstars and must never shy away from that spotlight because we deserve it.

Do you want more? Here are some resources and follow-up notes from the event!

Using Self-Promotion to Advance Your Career Slides 
Using Self-Promotion to Advance Your Career Post- Event Worksheet

Our next event is on March 7th, Thursday with Elaine Blais on 3 Secrets to a Kickass Life. We look forward to seeing you there!

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How to make the most out of your Mentorship

First things first, what is a mentor and what does mentorship mean?

You’ve probably heard the word mentor AT LEAST 25 times in your professional life – if not more, but it’s possible the reference could have been made in a variety of contexts. For all intents and purposes, how I will refer to it in this blog is as “an experienced and trusted advisor” – straight from Merriam-Webster.

It is important to understand that a mentor is someone that provides professional guidance and advise to help a mentee evaluate their professional landscape and grow in that realm –  even if they are a professional within a certain field, a mentor is not providing a mentee services to that end (ie. lawyer, doctor etc..). The mentorship is the period of time the mentor provides the mentee career and professional advice. The time period can vary from a very short period (a day to a few weeks or months) to years, depending on the relationship formed. The connection could be made through an informal or work connection or a more formal program, like our annual mentoring program (learn more here: https://womenaccelerators.org/mentoring-program/).

A mentorship can have a huge impact on your professional life IF you take advantage of what it can provide. In nearly all cases, a mentor is senior to a mentee and has a wealth of knowledge AND consequently, a strong network in a certain industry or realm. Most importantly, a mentorship is a relationship based on trust and respect. A mentor is someone, with experience, that you can discuss insights and issues. A space to discuss, without judgment, can help you sort through issues with a new perspective which can help you overcome those issues – reaching career heights you may not have thought possible before.

So you have a mentor, now what?

Take time for introspection

Take time to think about your ‘WHY’. The better you know yourself and your goals, the better you can navigate through the benefits of mentorship.

Think of this as a journey, if you don’t know the destination – how can you make it there?

To start, consider the following questions:

  1. Can you summarize your current professional experience? Make a list of highlights.
  2. What are your short and long term professional goals?
    1. If you don’t know – check out this HBR article for extra considerations: https://hbr.org/2018/07/how-to-mentor-someone-who-doesnt-know-what-their-career-goals-should-be
    2. Still struggling? Look at the career histories of people you admire or want to emulate, see if you can find anything that aligns with your passions and goals to use as a taking off point.
  3. Is there an aspect of business/professional life that particularly intrigues you or you want assistance navigating?
  4. Can you make a list of what you hope to achieve from a mentorship? (ie. are you looking for ideas to obtain skills, reach a new level, learn leadership tactics, increase your network etc…).
  5. Consider what your personality type is, are you an extrovert, introvert or analytical in nature?  And what kind of work environment or management style meshes best with your personality?
  6. Try taking personality tests such as Myers Briggs, Insights Discovery,or a DiSC personality assessment tool, etc. for additional insight.
  7. Think of anything else you may want to learn or know – professionally and personally.

Make a plan

As the mentee, unless your program dictates otherwise, you are responsible for driving the program.

  • Think of a few major topics you want to focus on throughout the mentorship and touch on them your first meeting.
  • Plan to bring your mentor up to speed as much as possible about your personality type and communications preferences.
  • Keep a list of things you are interested in discussion for quick reference.
  • Consider the timeline of the program and how many interactions or touchpoints are specified. If there is not a concrete schedule, draft one and have a discussion with your mentor to see if it works for them.
  • Pre-plan meetings! Have questions and topics ready before you meet with your mentor. Send them a note or email in advance with those topics to help facilitate conversation.
  • Write a summary of your discussions or key points, and plan for action items for the next meeting.

Take Action

Mentorships are WORK.

They take coordination and investment of both time and emotional capital from both parties. As the mentee, it is important to set the schedule in advance. Plan the meetings, follow up and facilitate the discussion. No one understands what you are seeking out of the mentorship better than you. Use the time wisely and act on the above guidance to make the most out of your mentorship!

We’re excited to see you grow and reach new heights – Be sure to stay tuned for more mentoring resources coming soon!

Finally, remember that we are in this together. Empower, Engage and Elevate!

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3 ways to spot a glass ceiling BEFORE you take the job

According to a recent joint study from McKinsey and Lean In, progress towards gender equality in the workplace has not just slowed down but stalled completely. “Only about 1 in 5 C-suite leaders is a woman, and only 1 in 25 is a woman of color.” Contradictory to the typical arguments, women are earning comparable education and experience, asking for promotions and also staying in the workforce at similar rates to men.

So why is there still such a large disparity?

According to the study, the management of talent pipelines might be to blame. From day one in an organization, cultural aspects will impact how minorities and women are seen. But also how they are interacted with (potential discrimination), grow (access to senior leaders and/or mentorship/sponsorship), and feel included (are you the “only” woman in the room?). Many companies talk the talk but do not walk the walk. In other words, we need leaders to show and consistently act on promises to create a more diverse workforce. Check out the article and link to the complete study here: https://mck.co/2ORF0Ob

For women and minorities seeking career growth, lets even say – at the speed of their peers, it is important to be cognizant of the organization’s culture and how it impacts our personal experiences and opportunities. While some organizations do not have a culture conducive to growing and nourishing female leadership and inclusion, there is a lot that DO. The trick is deciphering between the two. To do so, you need to pay close attention to the culture and the pipeline that shapes employee growth.

It is important to remember that a job interview is more than just an evaluation of your skills and credentials, it is a chance for YOU to interview the company.



Here are 3 tips to spot a glass ceiling before signing the offer letter to join ranks within an organization:

1. Take time for introspection

Clearly define your expectations and needs within an organization.

What is most important to you in order to thrive? Opportunity, networking potential, and sponsorship/mentorship are common needs for anyone in an organization but what does that look like for an inclusive workplace? Some organizations are lacking resources for minority and female employees so it is important to decide what you desire and need. Do you want pre-existing organizations set up or is it enough to have diverse backgrounds in the organization? Some may argue lean in circles are important for female inclusion. Is work flexibility important? Many organizations create more flexible work environments to help increase the retention of female high performers but that might not be a breaking point in your job search. How does the organization recognize and give feedback to their employees? For some, and in larger organizations, if feedback or ratings are not explicit, the role and progression can be difficult to navigate or question.

The bottom line to remember is that all women have different “ideal” work environments. Understanding what an ideal environment looks like to you will help you start the search, figure out what questions to ask and refine what companies to apply to.

2. Do your homework

    1. Dig deep into the organization’s public website. What information is available on the culture, mission, and vision? How large is the organization? Is anything listed about diversity and inclusion? If so, what does it tell you about the organization (statistics, business plan, action plan etc..)? Many organizations also have leadership profiles listed on their website, what does that tell you about the organization? If they do not have any diversity on the leadership team, that might be a red flag.
    2. Look at job review sites. Like any mass anonymous review site (see yelp), it’s important to take these with a grain of salt. However, reading multiple reviews may at least help you develop a list of potential topics to probe. An issue mentioned across multiple reviews may be indicative of a cultural trend within a company, especially if respondents are from multiple departments or locations. Some good large scale review sites to check out are: indeed, glassdoor, career bliss. Another site for women by women: fairygodboss.
    3. Reach out. This takes time. LinkedIn is a wonderful tool to find jobs and also to make connections. Before you even apply to a role, spend time finding a few current employees on LinkedIn. Reach out with a message and ask if they have a few minutes to speak to you about their job or organization- also known as an informational interview. While most people want to help, you likely won’t get a response to every message you send. Don’t get discouraged! If you aren’t getting any responses, adjust the message. It helps to be specific in your inquiry. Ask for what you want to learn about up front to shape the conversation but always remember this person may be a future co-worker. Tip: Find someone you have something in common with and you may get a better response rate. If you are able to speak with someone, ask them about their personal experiences. This genuine human connection will most likely provide more detailed insight than you can find online from any public site or anonymous review.

3. Ask the hard questions

*Certainly focus initially on questions about the role but don’t forget the important cultural and environmental questions! The formal interview is an opportunity for you to interview the employer too. Take note of how you are treated, how the office environment is set up, how employees interact and the body language between people.

  1. What is the culture like here?
  2. How is feedback provided or how is success rated?
  3. What are the daily expectations for a time in and out of office? Any flexibility of schedule? (be careful of when and who you ask this question but do include if important to you)
  4. Consider the environment of the office & ask to take a tour – are you comfortable with the surroundings/interactions?
  5. What is the leadership team like?
  6. How is inclusion encouraged within this organization?
  7. Do you have any mentorship programs? Or networking groups?
  8. Why is this position open?
  9. What makes you stay at this organization

Although most modern day companies speak to the value they put on diversity and inclusion, it isn’t always as transparent as we might hope. Learning to listen carefully and being brave enough to ask the tough questions can help female candidates identify gender inclusive employers.

Finally, remember that we are in this together. Empower, Engage and Elevate!

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Tackle self-doubt: How to overcome imposter syndrome

On October 24th, Women Accelerators was thrilled to welcome Melody Wilding for a webcast on “Imposter Syndrome.”

Melody Wilding is a performance coach and licensed social worker. She helps high-achievers master the mental and emotional aspects of striving for a successful career and a balanced life. Her clients are managers and leaders at places like Google, Facebook, and HP. She helps them gain more confidence, assertiveness, and influence. That allows them to reach goals like being promoted twice in one year and doubling their salary. Melody also teaches Human Behavior at Hunter College in NYC.

She helped us learn more about imposter syndrome, something we’ve all heard about and most have experienced, if not, on a daily basis. More importantly, Melody taught us a few ways to combat imposter syndrome and thrive!

So what is imposter syndrome?!

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? That you are not good enough or smart enough to be filling a role you hold? Imposter syndrome can also be thought of as imposter phenomenon. The feeling that you are a fraud and that you do not deserve whatever accomplishment, experience, role etc… is what imposter phenomenon refers to – and it IS real!


Imposter syndrome was first identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes. They were doing research and noticed a pattern in successful women which they termed “intellectual phoniness.”  They coined the term “imposter syndrome” which described the feelings they observed presenting most commonly in high achieving women. Further defined as, the crippling feeling that you do not feel you are worthy of the success you get. The phenomenon is marked by the inability to internalize your achievements although there is a lot of evidence to the contrary. Since the initial study, though still most prevalent in high achieving women, research has shown that everyone can experience the phenomenon.

While it was discovered by a pair of psychologists, imposter syndrome is not a clinical disorder. It does not appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM) but can be a contributing factor leading to anxiety and depression. Fundamentally imposter syndrome represents an “inaccurate self assessment.”  This may sound harmless but imposter syndrome can have detrimental effects on your daily life so it should not be ignored.

What does it look like in life?

Imposter syndrome can manifest itself in what may feel like anxiety or depression, which it is certainly related to, but in itself, imposter syndrome is more of a phenomenon or experience. It can be tied to a fairly predictable cycle (see image below).

Generally the feeling starts with a triggering event, this event could be a project or challenge generally related to work.  That then sets off a chain reaction of habitual thoughts and feelings.These thoughts and emotions influence behavior. The reaction usually falls within two camps: over preparation & procrastination – generally individuals fall into one category but could be a combination of both. Then at some point we experience something good, a “success” and get a feeling of relief. Along with the relief, we get positive feedback but we usually ignore or push back this feedback, contributing it to effort and discredit it or say it was luck — then the cycle goes around again. How do we stop it?

What are the effects of imposter syndrome?

Of course, this constant cycle leads to a lot of self doubt.

But it can lead to a lot of other detrimental effects too. Things to watch out for:

– Reluctance to ask for help at work

– Turning down/avoiding the search for new opportunities (because fear of failing)

– Perfectionism and procrastination tendencies/distractions

– Negative self talk

– Triggering anxiety and depression especially if there is a predisposition to the conditions

How do you manage imposter syndrome?

Up to 70% of people will experience imposter syndrome at some point in their career. We tend to glorify success and feel the doubt or feeling with go away the more successful or higher you become within an organization but it is actually the opposite. For a variety of reasons, women are much more vulnerable – 2/3 of women experience imposter syndrome!

With the realization that you are not alone, learning tools to manage imposter syndrome can help limit its effects on your life. We do not want those feelings to go away but we want to manage them so we can go forward. Address the thoughts when they first pop up in the cycle!


Negative self talk is a hallmark of imposter syndrome. Up to 85 percent of the thoughts we have every day are the same, this applies especially to the negative thoughts. Which means that the negative thoughts become automatic when faced with a stressful event – called cognitive distortions (unhelpful thinking patterns). Types of cognitive distortions are listed in the table below:

Catastrophisizing You expect disaster What if I end up broke and in the street
All of nothing thinking Things are black and white, good or bad. I have to be perfect or I’m a failure
Overgeneralization If something bad happens once then you expect it to always happen I’m always screwing up
Mental Filter You dwell on a  single negative detail You obsess over the one “meets expectations” on your performance review.
Emotional Reasoning You believe what you feel must automatically be true. I feel stupid, therefore I am.
Mind Reading Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and thinking She didn’t respond to my email so I know she hates me.
Personalization You hold yourself accountable for things that are beyond your control The project failed. I didn’t spend enough time on it.

How do you fight cognitive distortions?

For the long term, work to change thought patterns.

  1. Record your thoughts! What is your inner dialogue saying to you? What are your greatest hits?
  2. Name the pattern (ie. mind reading) – psychology shows that once we label something – it actually helps us create emotional distance and lower the power the thought has over us.
  3. Generate 1-3 facts to dispute the thought.

*Mood kit is a phone application that can help you do this real time!

For the short term,

  1. Accept don’t deflect – be cognizant of the phrases that you may be using “it was nothing” “I just threw this together” start practicing welcoming in praise and not pushing it away- when you get a compliment, keep it at a tweet length response OR even better – just say “thanks.”
  2. Create a brag file! It is a natural way to start to eliminate the bias we feel against ourselves. This provides a visible solution to start to have pride in your own accomplishments. Take stock in each day of what went well and what you’re proud of– make note of any outcomes/successes.
    *Bonus: A brag file is good to have when you are prepping for an interview or updating your resume.
  3. Go on the offense. It is helpful to practice more/exposure technique. Ie. if you are afraid of getting feedback asking for it more will actually help you build the tolerance to it more. When we proactively solicit feedback we find it more helpful. Confidence is a skill and like anything else it takes practice and failures will occur.
  4. Seek a mentor or sponsor. Imposter syndrome thrives in a setting where we are lacking role models- seeking mentorship and sponsorship in your workplace or joining events & groups can help tremendously.  Join Melody at melodywilding.com/community for a pre-established growing community for accountability, inspiration and a place to find advice as you grow in your career.

Want to learn more about Melody or sign up to work with her? Check out her site here: https://melodywilding.com/

Finally, remember that we are in this together. Empower, Engage and Elevate!

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Happier At Work! How The Science Of Happiness Boosts Productivity And Joy

When was the last time you looked back on your day and jotted down the good things that happened to you?
Are you paying attention to

Last week, we welcomed Pam Garramone for our very first fall event to speak on Positive Psychology – how to be happier at work. Pam is a Positive Psychology coach, speaker, and workshop leader largely with clients in academia. She studied Positive Psychology under Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar who taught two of the largest classes in Harvard University’s history, Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership.  Pam says Positive Psychology is simply rewiring your brain to go positive. Here are some fantastic tips we learned!

You define your own happiness.

Studies show that 50% of one’s happiness level is genetic (whoa!); 10% is affected by uncontrollable external circumstances; and 40% is affected by one’s thoughts and actions. So how do you maximize the 40% happiness dose with your thoughts and actions? Pam says, “how you look at life influences what happens around you” and that “happiness is an inside job that no one else can do it for you”.

Appreciate the good.

It’s no secret that a few years ago Pam found herself at a crossroads. Crossroads of whether she wanted to live her life filled with happiness or with emptiness. Despite all the good she had in her life at the time, she wasn’t happy!  Pam recalled, “I thought, what is wrong with me? I have everything I could ask for”. That is when Pam decided to start a journal to write down 3 good things that happened to her in the last 24 hours.

“When we appreciate the good, the good appreciates.”
Pam’s longtime mentor, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar said.

So pick up a pen and take a moment to jot down 3 good things that happened to you in the last 24 hours.
Write down the WWWs –
What Went Well?

Love yourself a little more.

Halfway through the workshop, Pam had the audience pair up and give each other compliments. First, your partner will give you compliments. In return, you say “thank you”. Next, you give yourself compliments. In return, your partner says “Yes, you are!”. Pam then asked how we all felt. One participant said, “it felt more uncomfortable to give myself a compliment than to someone else”. Many other participants nodded and agreed. Pam says, “people are starving to be noticed, to be seen, to feel valued” that’s why giving a compliment feels good to the giver and the receiver. Yet, we need to own our strengths and notice the good in ourselves, too.

How can we accept and appreciate who we are?

This is when Pam asked us all to stand up and take a “power pose”. Research by Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, showed that doing a power pose for two minutes reignites your confidence. For example, if you are giving a talk and are nervous, practice the Supergirl post will help you to gain confidence and gather positive energies!


Yep, there it is.

At the beginning of the event, the attendees appeared to be quiet and subdued and we noticed the vibes transformed to happiness and full on positive energies after Pam’s presentation. Here are a few comments from the attendees when we asked them what they got out of Pam’s event:

“Pam was Dynamic!”

“Practical and Concrete Actions I can take!”

“Something New and More Human ;)”

“It was wonderful, Thank you, Pam!“


Now if you are ready to reevaluate yourself and be happier, try out a personality test at http://www.letitripple.org/education-search/personality-test-personality-assessment-via-survey/. Discover yourself from another perspective and learn to love yourself more.  

Visit Pam Garramone’s website for more Happiness!

Be kind to one another and enjoy the beautiful fall!

Women Accelerators

*Don’t miss out on our next event – our very first webinar – on imposter syndrome with Melody Wilding. Details can be found at https://womenaccelerators.org/event/impostor-syndrome/.

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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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Mentor Journal Entry 1: A Mentee’s Perspective

Writen By Jan Heng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
Jan participated in our 2018 Mentoring Program as a mentee to Regina Au.

I was delighted to receive a circulated email in December 2017 via my Broad Institute account about the mentoring program offered by Women Accelerators. I was very impressed by the list of female mentors for 2018 with various leadership backgrounds in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and retail industries; team management; and academia. Due to the nature of my research, I wanted to meet a more formal mentor who could give me insights into entrepreneurship and the US biotechnology industry. I was matched with Ms. Regina Au, Principal, New Product Planning/Strategic Commercial Consultant at BioMarketing Insight.   

Three mentees, including myself, had monthly meet-ups with Regina. There were a total of six meetings, and each mentee was given two sessions to discuss specific topics pertaining to their careers. At my first session, I wanted to seek feedback on the commercial utility of one of my research projects. Were there guidelines for me to critically assess my product and refine my ideas for the product (i.e., increase applicability of my product)? How can I learn about marketing my product? I also wanted to understand the requirements to start a biotechnology company, the recipes for success, and common pitfalls of young entrepreneurs.  

Regina gave me a broad overview to critically evaluate my current research (and potential product) from an industry point of view. Specifically, I was given five pointers to ponder:

1) What is the current unmet medical need I am trying to provide a solution for;
2) How critical is this unmet need;
3) How is my product going to solve the problem better than current technologies;
4) What are my plans to penetrate the market;
5) What are my milestones and timelines to bring this product to market

To obtain an unbiased point of view, my assigned goal was to speak to at least five pathologists (i.e., potential customers) using open-ended questions to assess how critical the medical problem is, and whether my product addresses it.  

We also discussed how important it is to gain work experience in various departments (e.g., research and development, manufacturing, business development, sales, marketing, and human resources) within well-established biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies. Having knowledge of the various departments will provide valuable skills to plan, set-up, and manage a start-up that is more likely to be successful. The most important component of creating a start-up is taking the time to critically plan the company structure, product, milestones, and timelines.   

For my second session, I wanted to learn about staff management and roles in industry that I would be suitable for should I decide to transition from academia to industry. I also asked Regina to share her career experiences from being an employee to establishing her own consulting firm. Regina very kindly provided some staff management advice, especially the importance of setting boundaries. Surprisingly, she also gave tips on how to manage my team while on maternity leave. As this was my first pregnancy, it did not even cross my mind to have a plan while on maternity leave! This was extremely helpful a few months later when my research administration team inquired about how I was going to manage my staff while on maternity leave.   

I gained valuable insights about working life in the US biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. My two other fellow mentees are also industry scientists. Together with Regina, they shared their love for their jobs and suggested the types of jobs that I might be suitable for. I was very thankful to Regina for sharing her career history on how she made her decision to start her own consulting firm, and find personal strength to continue her consulting business. She stressed the importance of a supportive network of family and friends.  

Our mentoring program ended after six months. I attended the wrap-up meeting where I chatted with one of the co-founders of Women Accelerators, Ms. Susu Wong and other mentors. I was humbled and felt enormous gratitude to this team of women who selflessly give back to the community and enthusiastically support young women with their careers. Mentoring is a time-consuming and thankless job. I once asked Regina why she is so passionate about mentoring women. She told me that women are still underrepresented in a lot of leadership positions, especially minority women, and she wished she had a mentor when she was starting her career.   

A mentor–mentee relationship is a two-way street. A mentee must decide what he/she would like to achieve during each session to enable the mentor to provide targeted advice and make the session efficient and successful. I had two goals when I joined Women Accelerators mentoring program and I achieved them with Regina. All in all, this program was exactly what I needed at a particular point of my career. I am thankful to Women Accelerators’ volunteers for organizing this amazing program to connect professional women from various industries. These female leaders have inspired me to help other women accelerate their careers. I enjoyed contributing to our mentoring sessions so much that I realized I might be ready to be a mentor. I was considering participating as a mentor next year when Regina gently reminded me, “Jan, you are having a baby.” 

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TedX Talk: The Risk You Must Take by Dr. Kristen Lee

Dr. Kristen Lee studies human resilience—our ability to endure, heal, and grow.

In a visceral, relatable talk, she shares deep insights from her teaching and research—ones that helped her redefine authenticity, and encourage us all to do the same.

This TedX Talk shares the story of what fueled her writing process for her new book, Mentalligence: A New Psychology of Thinking: Learn What it Takes to Be More Agile, Mindful and Connected in Today’s World. To get more details on the book, visit  What We’re Reading!


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Navigating Equity and Inclusion in a New World of the Same Ol’ Boys Club

Please join us for this evening of provocative dialogue led by inclusion and diversity expert practitioners Su Joun of Diversity@Workplace and Sean Driscoll of BBsquared, as they’ll pose and discuss the landscape of gender diversity in relation to inclusion, access, challenges and opportunities across our workplaces of today.

As we all experience and reflect upon the current coincidental realities of #MeToo, #PayEquity vs. #EqualPay, and #Inclusion vs. #Diversity – Su and Sean will push the dialogue envelope into deeper dives while offering complementary cross perspectives.  Su and Sean who often professionally partner together, will speak from their own diverse journeys and viewpoints, but more so as thought leaders who aren’t afraid to turn the dial to diversity channels you might not have watched or listened to before… So we invite you to come and join in the dialogue, for an evening that will empower you with newly realized takeaways on how to better succeed, in creative confidence, as you travel your own unique career pathways!




Sean Driscoll: As the Principal and Founder of BBsquared (a/k/a Breaking Barriers X Building Bridges), a consulting platform empowering inclusion through creation collaboration www.BB2consulting.com, Sean Driscoll looks for chemistry matches to projects that share connectivity around Disability, LGBTQ, and/or Re-Entry (people with criminal background diversity) identities.  BBsquared cultivates the amazing cross-connectivity often discoverable across diverse communities, that when harnessed in the right fashion, can become exponentially empowering and impacting.  BBsquared is a LGBT Business Enterprise – certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).  Sean’s professional portfolio includes:  Customer Service, Customer & Community Relations, Marketing & Communications and Human Resources.  Sean is a member of the Northeast Human Resources Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council, the YW Boston’s Fund Development Committee, and Boston Spirit Council’s (Boston area Boy Scouts) Inclusion & Diversity Task Force.  Sean is a proud LeadBoston alum (’06) – an executive leadership program that evolves more socially responsible leaders.


Su Joun (she/her/hers) is the Principal of Diversity@Workplace Consulting Group LLC that specializes in innovative, implementation-focused, no-frills Diversity & Inclusion training and consultation. Su is also an adjunct professor at Suffolk University where she teaches Global Human Resources Management, Organizational Behavior and Career LAUNCH classes. She was the Vice President of Talent, Diversity and Inclusion at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) where she led the enterprise diversity and inclusion, talent acquisition, performance management and leadership development, and associate engagement teams. In addition to expertise in Diversity & Inclusion and talent management, she held leadership roles in IT & operations, marketing, sales and call centers at BCBSMA, Key Corp, and Virgin Money. Su also founded and operated a publishing company. This breadth of experiences enables her to fully understand and “speak the language” of the various business areas and leaders allowing for true partnership to champion Diversity & Inclusion goals and programs.Su received her MBA from Suffolk University and her MS in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. She currently serves as the Board Vice-Chair for the Center for Collaborative Leadership at UMASS.Her thought-leadership on Diversity & Inclusion and talent overall has been showcased in the Skillsoft video library, the Urban Update, in various articles in BBJ and Workable.com, and she has presented to various audiences such as the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, NAAAP, HubSpot, CFO Roundtable, and Commonwealth Compact.


Visit here to register for the event today!

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Engineering My Way Through a Career in Tech

Dressed in all black casual attire, Tamar Newberger portrays a sharp Silicon Valley figure at first sight. But the second you engage in a conversation with her, her rhythmic speech and laid-back vibe puts one at ease of her accomplishments and the high-profile figure that she is.

We had the privilege to welcome Tamar Newberger as a guest speaker this week and her no-sugar-coating success stories were nothing but inspirational. Tamar is a computer scientist who has held executive positions and leadership roles in companies such as AT&T, Novell, SCO, and Catbird, a Silicon-Valley start-up. Also a diplomatic spouse and activist, Tamar lived in Prague for the past three years where her husband served as the United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

“Do what you love and don’t be afraid to take a leap.”

From a young age, Tamar was fearless and curious. She remembers a time during primary school when she spotted three boys in her class hovering over computer parts. “I walked right into the room and asked them all these questions about it. I didn’t know anything about computers but I was very interested,” said Tamar. While her passion for technology hadn’t bloomed quite yet, she came to a crossroad during the last semester of her freshman year in college. Being one credit short to finish the year, she decided to take computer science 101. What was supposed to be a credit-filler turned into her passion, resulting in her majoring in computer science. “Experimenting is important to find out what you love,” said Tamar,looking back at her decision at the time.

After graduating from Columbia University, Tamar joined the AT&T Corporation. As she was quickly climbing up the corporate ladder she later transitioned to Novell Inc. to lead the Unix System Laboratories (“USL”) team. Once there, Tamar suddenly faced a career dilemma. Novell had announced their sale of the Unixware division — which Tamar’s team had developed — to Santa Cruz Operation Inc. (“SCO”). With Hewlett-Packard (“HP”) being the leading licensed seller of Unix software at the time, Tamar and her team were asked to make a decision, to move to SCO or HP. “It was a very tough decision,” Tamar recalls, “everyone I looked up to and respected told me to go to HP,” because they valued the stability of HP over SCO. Tamar said this was the pivotal time in her life. “What did I want? Responsibility at a large firm? Or am I willing to take the risk of not having the security of working for a large firm?”

After much thought, Tamar had decided to join HP just as everyone around her had suggested. The night she gave her decision to HP, she thought to herself, “Something is not right.” The next morning, she woke up and followed her heart to join SCO, where she held an executive position until she joined Catbird. The lessons she learned were to not be afraid to try new things, and be fearless.

In 2014, Tamar left Catbird to move to the Czech Republic, where her husband served as the US Ambassador. Despite the need to give up her career in Silicon Valley, Tamar was enthusiastic for the opportunity to promote female entrepreneurship and empowerment as the Ambassador’s spouse. However, when they arrived, the circumstances were not as inviting of her ideas as she had expected. In 2015, Tamar came across a documentary on the gender and minority hiring gap amongst software engineers titled, Code: Debugging the Gender Gap. She then decided to make it her mission to host a screening at the US Embassy. When her original proposal was shot down, she engineered her way through negotiation after negotiation. Later that year, the US Embassy of Prague hosted a screening of Code and the event was covered by multiple media outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Tamar looks back on this experience with an important lesson learned: “Don’t give up, be nice, and don’t take no for an answer.” As a woman, we are expected to be nice naturally.

Here are some of the other nuggets of her advice:

  • Women who are seeking a career – Do some research at the hiring company and see if they have a track record in diversity, whether they have women in senior management positions or at their board. These are telltale signs of companies that value diversity in the workplace. They will be more likely to be successful than an all-male management team.
  • There used to be a five-year career plan – With technology and products accelerating, we now ought to think shorter term, such as a two-year plan.
  • Pursue a career that you are passionate about – It shouldn’t be just a job.  We would be a lot more successful in our career if we do what we love doing.
  • When making a big decision – Ask for advice. Informational interview will help us to explore different fields and industries, and most people you ask love talking about what to do.
  • For working mothers – Tamar recommends the book “Healthy sleep habits, happy child”.


Tamar Newberger is no stranger to forging her own path. She is an innovator, engineer of female career development and a mother. She embodies every positive element we all aspire to have. Her message to all women navigating their way to success is simple: Do what you love and don’t be afraid to take a leap.

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Want to meet more inspiring female role models? Join us for our 2018 Mentoring Program. Applications will be open on 12/1. Check out https://womenaccelerators.org/mentoring-program/ for details.


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