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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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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Own Your Own Football: Conflict Communication

Figure out what drives your heart, then own it. And by God, they will let you play.conflict

In the evening of Tuesday, September 27th in Cambridge, a group of about thirty women engaged in industry, academia, law, entrepreneurship, and more, gathered around a conference room table. They were there not just to hear Michele Whitham speak about how she came to “own her own football”, but to connect and share ideas about handling conflict in the workplace.

Michele Whitham is a powerhouse of a woman with a list of accolades and accomplishments that easily make her one of the most admirable women I have ever met: she is a lawyer that is heavily involved in social justice, activism, and community engagement, is a 2015-2016 Inductee into the National Association of Professional Women and the Association’s VIP Woman of the Year, was a co-leader to launch the inaugural Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts’ Women’s Leadership Initiative, and so much more. Even more impressive is that behind her stunning achievements, she is a kind, empathetic, insightful, and strong-willed woman with a story that so many of us can relate to.

Miriam Margala & Michele WhitmanLeaning into the table and talking to us like old friends do, Michele described how she discovered a love for football at five years old. She set her sights on becoming a football player, and would practice throwing the ball around with her father and her neighbor, Al Cowen, a well-known footballer in Texas. She started going to pickup football games, but time and time again she was the only girl, and she would never get picked to play. Undeterred, she continued to return to these games until a few years later, her father came home and surprised her with a gift: an official NFL football, signed by the one and only Cowen. The very next pickup game she went to, she proudly brought her own football, and not only did she get to play, but she got to be the captain.

The message of her childhood story was simple: listen to your heart and what drives you, be Michele Whithamconfident in it, bring it to the table, and the people sitting across from you will let you play because you are owning the part of yourself that put you there. That is the first lesson in conflict communication: practice the art of self-empowerment and cultivate your professional presence. Consider what you are aiming to achieve, and decide how you are going to approach a situation. Have confidence in your abilities to do all that you can do, and be committed to listening and learning as much as you can about the motivations and values of other people in the room.

There were six other points highlighted throughout the evening that sum up the most important nuggets of wisdom that Michele presented as the keys to her continued success in dealing with conflict:

  1. Everyone deals with conflict differently; appreciate those differences.
  2. Don’t take conflict personally; someone else’s reaction is not a reflection on ourselves.
  3. Be willing to listen to what the other person is saying, and if needed, express that you need to step away to process.
  4. Make an effort to maintain your credibility, to be mature, and to not let your emotions get the best of you. (Step away if emotions are running too high!)
  5. Become proactive institutional anthropologists: observe and learn the motivations/desires of your colleagues even before conflict arises.
  6. Cultivate a circle of key informants, or people that you trust to lend insights into how someone else may be conceptualizing the conflict.

de la femme membersBy the end of the evening, more than half of us in the room had joined in with Michele’s pointers to ask questions, provide thoughtful insight, and share our own positive or negative experiences. Conflict is something that we all have to deal with, and none of us are in this alone. Approaching a conflict with maturity, a willingness to listen to others and a sense of your own self-are three important pieces to successful resolutions. And we must not forget to lean on each other for help when we need to see more sides to the story.

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What does confidence mean to you?

Written By Kate Hardy.

That was the question asked to a room filled with one hundred women and a few men on Wednesday evening at de la Femme. Deb Elbaum, MD, CPCC, APCC, a career and life coach, author, and speaker, was hosted by de la Femme for a workshop at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA. The topic of the night was, DSC01125“Boost Your Professional Presence: The Art of Being Confident.”

Deb’s workshop is interactive, and her goal is to help women learn to believe in themselves and present their ideas with confidence both professionally and personally as they work towards their own successes. Everyone in attendance left with a new sense of empowerment and concrete ways to practice confidence on their own.

To many, confidence must sometimes seem like a difficult and challenging feeling to achieve. What makes one person feel completely at ease and confident may make another feel unsure and indecisive. But on this night, Deb made it seem so much simpler, with her thoughtful exercises and her tangible, actionable steps.

The central message of the night was simple and direct: A + B = C. Attitude + Body = Confidence.

Upon arrival, all of us were given a worksheet of thoughtful questions that we would soon be guided through answering. These questions were formulated to help us discover insights about ouconfidence poserselves. One of the first pairs of questions we answered were: what people, places, things, or events cause us to feel like our confidence is being sucked away, and which situations cause us to feel we are completely confident? And then, an extra challenge: Tell the person sitting next to you.

The thing is, as scary as it can be to tell a complete stranger these personal insights, the valuable lesson is that we’re all in the same boat. We all have things that make us feel confident, and we all have things that make us feel totally un-confident. Not to mention, what makes me feel completely paralyzed with self-doubt may have very well made my neighbor feel energized and on top of the world. “Wow,” I found myself thinking. “If she can have the attitude to feel confident about giving a presentation to 500 people, then maybe I can be that way, too!”

A bit further on in the evening, as we completed the other parts of our worksheets, we were instructed to finish statements like, “At home, I am really good at…” After this thought exercise, we created a personal purpose statement. This was a combination of words or themes that we felt captured us best from the statements we had just completed. Mine? I found that I was a motivated, goal-oriented communicator.

At first, that seemed kind of odd. “Am I really that way?” I asked myself. Sometimes I feel like my communication skills are lacking. I don’t always ask for what I need from other people to be successful, to feel nurtured, or to clarify a situation because I don’t feel confident enough to do so. But, lo and behold, I found that just moments before I had finished the statement, “At work, I am really good at,” with, “teaching and communicating.”de la femme audience

Deb explained how large an impact our own self-beliefs, our attitude, has on our overall confidence. We have this well of confidence within us, just waiting to be drawn from. If we learn to identify and question our negative self-beliefs, we will most likely find at least one confidence drainer. Once these are uncovered, we can work to correct them and replace them with positive self-beliefs. We are in control of our confidence by shaping our attitudes.

The second letter in our alphabet equation was B for body.

As it turns out, Deb taught us Amy Cuddy’s power pose, which was based on the coaching of Amy’s TED talk and work. Your body language not only translates to others, but it also translates to your own emotional state. When you position your body in a way of strength and freedom, your mind listens.

DSC01150Next, we all stood up and learned how to power pose.  We learned how to plant our legs firmly on the ground a little bit apart. Body straight. Head up. Eyes forward. Arms flung up in the air or Superwoman-style on our hips. And that is how we stayed for a full minute.

Right before these power poses, Deb had asked us to stand hunched, arms crossed, bodies curled into ourselves, eyes down. She asked us to describe how we felt: “Small.” “Nervous.” “Unsure.”

But when we struck those power poses, our reactions were completely different: “Powerful.” “Energized.” “Confident.”

Attitude + Body = Confidence.

Yes. How simple, and yet, how hard at times! Deb explained that confidence is a practice. It is a habit. She encouraged us to practice power posing every day. And to not stop questioning the attitudes that make us feel we are not confident. Because we are. All of us in that room had a well of confidence from which we could draw endless amounts of our own personal support.

Walking home from the workshop, my friend and I talked about how we had both learned insights about ourselves. She told me that sometimes she doesn’t speak up to her boss because she doesn’t want to step on toes. I considered this for a minute, and then pointed out that often times a group or organization is stronger for opposing beliefs. And that maybe her newer and less experienced views on her job may actually be innovative. Thanks to this workshop, she was learning to identify her negative self-beliefs and had tools to practice positive self-beliefs instead.Susu & Robin

I’m sure I speak for almost all of the attendees that night when I say that Deb guided us to some valuable personal insights and gave us powerful tools to help practice and nurture those wells of confidence we hold within. We learned how to identify and question our negative self-beliefs, how to create positive self-beliefs in return, and how to channel positive energy with our physical bodies to channel pure confidence.

And as for my neighbor? I got a text message from her the very next morning that read, “My boss called me last night. I used my new confidence!”

Written By Kate Hardy.

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Register for “Boost Your Professional Presence: The Art of Being Confident”

Register at www.dlf-confident.eventbrite.com

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“Boost Your Professional Presence: The Art of Being Confident”

Successful women recognize their strengths and communicate with confidence. Believing in yourself, and knowing how to present yourself and your ideas confidently is key to feeling empowered in your professional and personal life. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to boost your professional presence and confidence for networking, interviewing, and presenting your ideas. You will get a clearer picture of your values and strengths, and learn how to tap into your presence and confidence using both your thoughts and body. By the end of the evening, you will not only feel more empowered, but also have concrete tools to use in everyday life.

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Deb Elbaum, MD, CPCC, ACC, is a certified career and life coach, author, and speaker. She works with professionals in career transition to help them get clear about their choices, build their confidence, trust their decisions, and create intentional change. She is the author of “Making Moments Count,” a chapter in the recently publishedCoaching for Powerful Change by Diane Hayden. Deb speaks to organizations in the greater Boston area, and is a  workshop facilitator for the Institute for Career Transitions at MIT. She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and her MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her coaching certifications are from the Coaches Training Institute and the International Coach Federation.

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Date/Time:   Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at 6 PM.

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

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

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Register at www.dlf-confident.eventbrite.com

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Register for “RUN and win: Marian Walsh talks about leadership” event

Register at: www.dlf-leadership.eventbrite.com

RUN and win: Marian Walsh talks about leadership


Marian Walsh, the recipient of several book awards and author of RUN: Your Personal Guide to Winning Public Office, will discuss how your leadership skills dramatically impact your career and life, no matter what path you pursue.

Based on her extensive experience, and her unlikely, but highly successful candidacies, Marian Walsh will change the way you think about politics and public leadership, and most importantly, how to strengthen your own leadership.

You will be captivated by Walsh’s nonpartisan campaign primer that was seasoned with her long shot Massachusetts campaign victories and political successes — including public debates on the death penalty, gay marriage, and the clergy sexual abuse of children.

Marian Walsh defies traditional politics, with accomplishment and joy, and she invites more citizens to do the same.  She is the recipient of many public leadership awards, including being nominated for the “John F. Kennedy, Profile in Courage Award,” and has held ranking leadership positions in the Massachusetts Senate.  Before election into these leadership roles, Marian Walsh served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, MA — spearheading many reforms and new programs for the protection of victims, and for more efficient law enforcement.  She is the Founder of the American Campaign School and Leadership Camp in Boston, MA.

Marian Walsh is a graduate of Newton College of the Sacred Heart (BA), Harvard Divinity School (M.T.S.), and earned her Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School.

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Date/Time:   Thursday, March 31, 2016, at 6 PM.

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

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

Register at: www.dlf-leadership.eventbrite.com

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Sign-up for DLF’s Mentoring Program

To be considered for the 2016 Mentoring Program, please register as well as fill out an application:

Register at https://dlf-2016-mentor.eventbrite.com

Fill out an application at http://goo.gl/forms/4dGk97hq54

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2016 Mentoring Program

Mentors are important sources of information and guidance for your career advancement.  We have gathered an outstanding group of seasoned mentors who are excited to help you.

If you want to participate in the 2016 Mentoring Program, please register for the program here and then fill out an online application athttp://goo.gl/forms/4dGk97hq54.

We will match you to a mentor based on your application, and the first kickoff meeting will be held on January 27, 2016 where you will meet with your mentor.

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Laura Appleton is a senior consultant at IPR.  Her expertise includes primary/secondary market research and quantitative analysis.  She has held senior marketing and research positions at Digital Equipment Corporation, Data General, SUN Microsystems and Qwest Communications. In the area of storage and software, she is an alumna of Storage Technologies and McDATA.  Laura was also a research director for Centennial Ventures – focused on telecommunications.  Prior to work at IPR she consulted for the technology research firm IDC.

Laura graduated from Boston College with a BA in Economics, Boston University with an MBA and the University of Denver with a master’s in Telecommunications. She also completed biology/chemistry coursework in preparation for her PharmD program at the University Colorado Health Sciences Center. Her outside interests include on-going animal rescue efforts, downhill skiing/racing and learning Italian.

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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 (now Entreprenuers for All). 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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Nathalie Goletiani is a physician scientist currently serving as a clinical neuroscientist at McLean Hospital and a faculty at Harvard Medical School. Nathalie’s interests are related to brain and brain-related disorders, i.e. in Neurology and Psychiatry. In this regard, she completed basic and clinical fellowships at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. She is an author of peer-reviewed publications and a recipient of numerous national and international awards.

In her last fellowship, Nathalie was charged with rebuilding and running the Clinical Research Program at McLean Hospital, which taught her all aspects of management related to simultaneous running of multiple clinical trials. This experience in addition to her training culminated in generation of her own concepts and mechanisms related to womens’ disorders, a severely understudied area. She was awarded the Zinberg Fellowship and Livingston Award to specifically address womens’ issues and the complex underlying mechanisms in neurobiology of women.

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RH5 small

Robin Hamilton is Founder and Principal Consultant at Boston Business Operations, With over 15 years of experience and a Master’s degree in Project Management, she brings her expertise in strategy planning, preparation and execution to clients. She works with entrepreneurs and business owners  to develop scalable business operations which support the maintenance and growth of their businesses while preserving capital investment.

Robin Hamilton earned her Master of Science in Project Management and a Bachelor of Science in Leadership from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

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Melissa Hunter-Ensor is a partner in the Life Sciences Practice of  Saul Ewing, LLP, Boston.  Drawing on a strong scientific background that includes a post-doctoral fellowship with a Nobel laureate, Melissa is a patent attorney who designs and manages IP portfolios to complement the business objectives of her clients.

Melissa’s education includes a B.A. in chemistry at Smith College, as well as a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania.  During her post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology laboratory of Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz, she was awarded a Jane Coffin Child fellowship.

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David Proia is the Director of Cancer Biology and In Vivo Pharmacology at Synta Pharmaceuticals.  In this role, he leads preclinical biological and pharmacological research for several small molecule anticancer agents.  Prior to Synta, he was a Scientist at BostonBiochem and then AstraZeneca after a postdoc at Tufts where David worked on humanized tumor models.

David has a PhD in cell biology from Baylor College of Medicine and a B.S. in Biochemistry from WPI.  He is married (to a scientist!) and they have 2 young daughters.  David can provide advice on finding opportunities, right people to connect with to ensure you have the right package to get yourself into an interview, and what to do when you get into industry – what to expect, how to excel, and what a manager might want to see out of an employee.

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check back for additional mentors


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The Mentor Program will run from January to June of 2016.  The kickoff and wrap-up meetings with be held with the entire group, but meetings and/or correspondence in-between will be determined by yourself and your mentor.

Kickoff Meeting Date/Time:   Wednesday, January 27, 2015 at 6 PM.

Wrap-up Meeting Date/Time:  To be determined.

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

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

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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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Register for the Salary Negotiation Workshop

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


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

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

The workshop will help you:

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

ATTENDANCE IS LIMITED given the intimate nature of the workshop.

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

Location:  The Broad Institute

Dinner and drinks will be provided.

Register at Eventbrite

Registration is required, sign-in upon arrival.

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

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

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




*No refunds issued once registered.

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

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