Women Accelerators receive Women Working Wonders Fund Grant

Women Working Wonders Fund

Lowell, MA – The Women Accelerators was awarded the Women Working Wonders Fund Grant in August 2020 to support their Accelerating Women Leadership Program. The objective of the Women Working Wonders Fund is to support organizations and activities that contribute to leadership development in girls and women. This grant fulfills Women Accelerators’ mission of giving women the tools they need to succeed professionally and to effect meaningful change leading to closing the gender gap.

The Accelerating Women Leadership Program is a comprehensive 6-month boot camp designed to empower women to develop the strategic mindset, leadership skills, and powerful network they need to achieve their personalized leadership goals. The program is built upon eight pillars of leadership: Communication, Strategic Relationships, Visibility, Influence, Strategic Mindset, TimeManagement, Career Goals, and Confidence. These pillars represent fundamental leadership capabilities and address the unique challenges that women face in the workplace. We will also invite diverse female speakers to discuss the topics of diversity in the workplace and salary negotiation as part of the program.

The program was conceived by Kim Meninger, who is a certified Executive and Leadership Coach and the President of the Lowell Chapter of Women Accelerators.  “Previous program participants have reported finding new jobs, earning promotions, speaking up more confidently, and assuming more strategic responsibilities as a result of their engagement in this program,” said Kim Meninger, President of the Lowell Chapter of Women Accelerators. “We could not be more excited to bring the program to Women Accelerators and early-career women in the Merrimack Valley more broadly and we are grateful for the support from the Women Working Wonders Fund.”

The Accelerating Women Leadership Program will be starting in January 2021. It will be free and prioritized to early-stage women in the following geographic areas: Ashby, Ayer, Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Lowell, Pepperell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford, Wilmington.

We are grateful to the Women Working Wonders Fund and excited to offer this pilot program in 2021. Registration will begin in October 2020. Sign up here for our program.

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Register for “Own Your Own Football: Conflict Communication and Resolution Strategies”

Join us for de la Femme’s kickoff event on September 28. The topic will be on Conflict Communication and Resolution Strategies for successful professional management.

What you say and do matters for the outcome you want in any given situation.  Whether at the workplace or in our personal lives, we have all been through scenarios where communication barriers result in negative and costly outcomes.  There is always a time, when you need to listen and a time to speak up for yourself.  Ever wonder when is the time to speak and when to listen?  Oliver Wendell Homes Sr. once said, “It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”  Join us with Michele Whitham to learn the insights/skills of successful professional self-management and hone in some practical workplace conflict resolution strategies.


Date/Time: Wednesday, September 28, 2016, at 6 PM.

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

Dinner and drinks will be provided.  Registration is required, sign-in upon arrival.

Register at dlf-conflict-communication.eventbrite.com (Early registration by 9/21 for $10! Register Now)

Visit our website!  

Read a story about conflict communication by one of our members: https://womenaccelerators.org/2016/09/seeing-the-silver-lining-in-a-conflict/


Michele Whitham

Michele Whitham is an established employment and privacy lawyer, community leader and owner of Whitham Law LLC, serving clients in Massachusetts, the United States and worldwide. She is a former Co-Managing Partner of Foley Hoag LLP, where she practiced for twenty-five years, and is a well-known lawyer who has been recognized nationally for her accomplishments.

Her many accolades include recently being listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law – Management, co-leading the launch of the inaugural Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts’ Women’s Leadership Initiative, and being named one of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Top Women in the Law. Michele is a 2015-2016 Inductee into the National Association of Professional Women and the Association’s VIP Woman of the Year Circle; a director of the Partnership Inc. (promoting diversity in management ranks).


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Register for “Breaking the Glass Ceiling in STEM Disciplines” Event on Nov 9

Register at: http://delafemme-stem.eventbrite.com

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Breaking the Glass Ceiling in STEM Disciplines

Why are there still so few women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields? Why do high school girls shy away from pursuing STEM majors? Research has shown clear evidence of bias against women in STEM, and the stereotype of being labeled as nerdy or unattractive persists.

The truth is women are missing out on promising, fulfilling and lucrative careers that men have enjoyed for decades.

If you are currently working in STEM related fields or are considering this as a career, join us for an interactive panel on Monday, November 9, 2015, 6 pm, at the Broad Institute.  Our keynote speaker, Dr. Karen Panetta, Associate Dean for Graduate Education at Tufts University, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering will moderate a rock star panel of talented young women engineers in a range of disciplines including electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineering, computer science, and biology at UMass Lowell.

Panelists include Rajia Abdelaziz, Brittany Decker, Marcelle Durrenberger, Anne Faber, Erin Graceffa, Cassie Hailson, and Amy Tibbetts.

The panel also features Lauren Celano, an accomplished entrepreneur and CEO/Founder of Propel Careers, a Boston-based life science search and career development firm.

The panel will discuss the opportunities in STEM fields, and different strategies on how to overcome gender bias and stereotypes.  In addition, the event is a great networking opportunity.

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Dr. Karen Panetta is Associate Dean for Graduate Education at Tufts University, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Director of the Simulation Research Laboratory.  She has received several awards for outstanding teaching and mentoring as well as for creative curriculum development and outreach activities. In 2011, President Obama awarded her the nation’s highest award for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education and Mentoring. Her numerous awards include, but are not limited to, the 2010 Norm Augustine Award from the National Academies of Engineering and Science, American Association of Engineering Societies, the 2011 Women of Vision Award from the Anita Borg Institute, the 2013 IEEE Ethical Practices Award, the 2013 New England Engineers Week Leadership Award, and the 2011 Harriet B. Rigas Award for outstanding female Educator.

As the founder of the International Nerd Girls Program, Dr. Karen Panetta has conducted engineering outreach activities to over 85,000 children, parents, and educators. She co-founded the first Tufts University School of Engineering start-up company, BA Logix, Inc. based on her own intellectual property. Dr. Panetta designed the App-E-Feat humanitarian challenge for engineers for the Clinton Global Initiative and hosted the web show, “Ask Dr. Karen”, which answers questions from students, parents, and educators from around the world about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Because of her intellectual prowess, Dr. Karen Panetta was the first woman engineer granted tenure in the Tufts University School of Engineering.

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Lauren Celano is the co-founder and CEO of Propel Career, a life science search and career development firm focused on connecting talented individuals with entrepreneurial life sciences companies. Propel works with current leaders and actively cultivates future leaders through full time placement, internships, mentoring, career coaching, and networking. Prior to Propel Careers, Lauren was a senior account manager for SNBL USA where she worked with emerging biotech companies in Europe, Asia, and the US to help characterize and advance their drug molecules. Prior to SNBL USA, she held business development positions with Aptuit and Quintiles, where she focused on IND enabling studies to advance therapeutics from discovery into the clinic.  She has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College and an MBA with a focus in the health sector and entrepreneurship from Boston University.

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The panel is co-sponsored by the Francis College of Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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Register at: http://delafemme-stem.eventbrite.com

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S[o]WOT next?

S[o]WOT next?

Outstanding Mentor? Check! SMART goals? Check! Now what? Now that you have defined your end goal and both measurable and attainable benchmarks to achieve, you should recognize the talents and skills you possess that will enable you to reach your goal.  Whether you’re an academic post-doc looking to transition to industry, seeking a promotion within your company, or embarking on your first entrepreneurial venture, acknowledging your talents and skills, and the opportunities for professional and personal growth and development will be critical for your success.

How do you obtain this knowledge and initiate this self-analysis? Self-examination and self-awareness are considerable feats, so one tool that de la Femme Mentor Robin Hamilton, founder and principal of Boston Business Operations Group, presented is the SWOT Analysis.


SWOT Analysis

The SWOT Analysis is a tool that businesses use to create strategy, but it can also be used to as a personal tool to help you recognize personal and professional strengths, as well as opportunities for growth and development.  Personal SWOT analysis involves identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  Mind Tools provides a useful worksheet and examples of questions you can ask yourself to help you get started.  Since this is a personal analysis, try to complete this independently first then seek outside perspectives from your mentor or other members of your community, such as fellow mentees in your mentoring circle.

Identifying your Strengths

Be honest and don’t let your modesty inhibit you.  Celebrate all you’ve achieved, recognize your unique contributions, and find out what differentiates you from your peers.  Look to the community that supports you for further objective perspectives.

Eliminating the negative effect of weaknesses on your work and development

Again, be honest and think of areas for improvement.  What improvements can be made to build confidence? What negative habits can you eliminate to improve your work situation? Again, look to the community that supports you because they could provide incisive insights into potential weaknesses that can be addressed and eliminated.

Opportunities for growth, learning, or advancement

Look within your current company or at your target industry for opportunities.  What new skills or knowledge can you acquire to help you advance? Are there opportunities for you to fill gaps or provide solutions to current needs in your company or target industry? How can you tailor and use your strengths and skills to create opportunities? What kinds of opportunities will become available when you eliminate one of your weaknesses? Perhaps your current network can provide critical resources to aid your development or advancement towards your goal.

Threats as obstacles to overcome

What stands between you and your goal? Do you have competition for a promotion or position at work? Are your weaknesses posing a threat to your growth or advancement? Is your knowledge base becoming outdated? Thinking creatively and perhaps collaboratively can help you find solutions that propel you up and over these obstacles.


Discuss your SWOT Analysis with your Mentor

Again, your mentor has the “relevance” and “gap” to help you succeed (see first blog post) and thrive, so have the candid discussion about the results of your SWOT analysis as a way to optimize your strategies for achieving your SMART goals.  He or she will undoubtedly proffer invaluable insights, such as strengths, traits, or unique aptitudes you didn’t know you possessed that are desirable and necessary for the goal you are trying to achieve.  Be honest throughout this process; all information, even weaknesses and threats, gathered from this analysis will help you realize your potential, areas for growth and learning, and desirable opportunities that can be seized!


Meet our Entrepreneurial Mentors this Thursday!


Come join de la Femme at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) this Thursday, February 26. Manijeh Goldberg, one of our mentors, will be presenting at the Founding a Startup as a Woman: Overcoming Challenges Panel discussion.  Here’s the link for more information:


We will also have a Resource Table staffed by our Executive Team member Susu Wong and Mentor Robin Hamilton. We hope that you can join us!



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“Mentors and Sponsors: Opening the Door to Success” Event

Mentors can help you gain the skills and confidence to advance your career, while sponsors actively champion your career advancement both within and outside of your work environment.  Join us to learn how both tools are important for career development.  We will have a distinguished panel of speakers to share their insights and perspectives on this topic.

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Regina Au is a Strategic Marketing Consultant and Principal at BioMarketing Insights with over 20 years experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic industries. She helps companies evaluate their technology upfront by conducting an in-depth business due diligence to de-risk the product development process. Ms. Au also serves as an advisor for the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center Platform Meetings with entrepreneurs.

Prior to BioMarketing Insight she worked for companies such as Merck & Co., Genzyme Corp., NMT Medical, and Radi Medical Systems (now St. Jude Medical) in various positions of increasing responsibility in marketing and sales. Her background includes an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut, a Microbiology degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

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Pradeep Aradhya is founder and CEO of NLMobile. He brings a unique perspective on the use of cutting edge technologies in marketing – particularly with mobile. Previously, as Vice President of Technology at Digitas LLC he successfully led multi million dollar initiatives at Fortune 500 companies to create technology platforms for marketing. His role was to advocate the best and newest developments on various technology areas to provide brands with competitive advantages in establishing lasting relationships with customers.

Pradeep advises multiple start-ups in technology and other spaces on build/buy/partner strategies both in Boston and at the Merrimack Valley Sandbox. Pradeep also sits on the board at the Science Club For Girls which provide free STEM education to underserved girls in the Boston area.

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Tina Stiles is currently the Associate Director of Corporate QA Training at Takeda Pharmaceuticals (formerly Millennium) in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she oversees the Enterprise Learning Management System and GXP training program. She has been employed in this field for over 20 years with companies such as Boston Scientific, Goodrich Aerospace and Wyeth (now Pfizer).

She received her MBA from Bryant University and her BA from Wheaton College.   Tina’s professional associations include memberships in: the Health Care Business Woman’s Association (HBA), GMP Training and Education Association (GMP TEA), The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), and The BioPharmaceutical Training and Education Association (BETA), (having served on the boards of both local chapters).

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Date:   Thursday, June 12, 2013 at 6 PM

Location:  The Broad Institute (Board Room), Kendall Sq, Cambridge, MA

Dinner and drinks will be provided.  Registration is required, sign-in upon arrival.

Register at https://dlf-mentorship.eventbrite.com

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Salary Negotiation Panel event on Feb 5th

Please join de la Femme for our next event  on Feb 5th: “How to negotiate your salary and get what you want”

Now that you’ve got a job offer, how do you negotiate to get the salary that you deserve?  Then, in the future, how do you negotiate for a promotion?  The fact is that women today are making roughly 20% less on every dollar a man earns doing the exact same job. Although there are many contributing factors, one of them is the ability to negotiate a fair salary.  Come and learn from a panel of powerhouse speakers on how to determine a fair salary range, approach a salary negotiation, and get what you want!

Cost:   $15 for registration and dinner

Date:   Wednesday February 5, 2014 at 6 PM

Location: The Broad Institute (Olympus Room), Kendall Sq, Cambridge, MA

Dinner and drinks will be provided.  Registration at EventBrite is required, check-in at front desk.

Julie Chen, PhD

Dr. Julie Chen is currently the Vice Provost for Research and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML). As the Chief Research Officer, Dr. Chen oversees a $60M+ research and commercialization enterprise, which includes the research administration, institutional compliance, technology transfer and innovation, industry partnerships, and core research facilities programs. In addition to having responsibility for staff in these areas, Dr. Chen also works with the Provost and Deans on startup packages for new faculty hires. Dr. Chen received her PhD, MS, and BS from MIT in Mechanical Engineering.

 Sally Jablon, MBA           

Sally Jablon is the Founder and CEO of Sally Silver Companies and UUNow, which provides job search management and career coaching for new college graduates. For 35 years, Sally enjoyed the reputation for integrity coupled with a unique knowledge of career issues, industry trends and technical concepts. She has supported the growth of both large and small companies by searching for and placing the professionals that drive and grow her client companies. Since 2010, Sally has provided job search management coaching to individuals, based on her successful track record in these activities through Sally Silver Companies. 

Catherine Kuo, PhD


Dr. Catherine Kuo is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University. She received her BSE and PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior to pursuing an academic career, Dr. Kuo worked in the automotive and sports industries. At Tufts, she directs the Developmental and Regenerative Engineering Laboratory, specializing in musculoskeletal developmental biology, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In addition, she teaches and mentors students, reviews grant proposals for government agencies and private foundations and manuscripts for scientific journals.  She also chairs programs and sessions for national and international conferences.

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Volunteer or Contribute to DLF

If you would like to support our organization, please volunteer or contribute to our cause.

Donations are instrumental in sustaining our mission, any amount is greatly appreciated, whether it is $20 or $500.  Please contribute to DLF via the above donate button. Note that you may use a major Credit Card within PayPal, and a PayPal account is NOT necessary.

If you are interested in participating with the de la Femme team, please contact us at [email protected] We have the following volunteer openings:

• Program Coordinators: help organize our events and venues, speaker programs, sponsorship, and networking events
• Membership/Development Coordinators: help grow our membership base and fundraising programs
• Bloggers: writers for various topics pertinent to career focused women

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We are in the very early stages of building our startup.  Please email [email protected] if you are a web developer interested in helping to set-up our online networking platform or if you are interested to be a writer or blogger of an article pertinent to women.


About us:

de la Femme (DLF) is a Massachusetts organization passionate about bridging the gender gap.  This can be seen in the wage gap and under-representation of women in high power positions.  Our mission is to provide a centralized network and community where career-focused women can access resources tailored towards their career goals.  Our objectives are to 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, whom help each other to succeed in the workplace.

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