Last week was Closing the Gaps, the Foundation’s lunch event in Hartford, CT that brought leaders in technology and AI industries to speak about empowering women in tech.
A Note from Foundation CEO Deb Hallberg:
“It was a successful event in Hartford, CT and we could not have been more thrilled with the caliber of speakers and those present in the room while we celebrated women in STEM, specifically Cybersecurity. Through a collaborative grant from Strada Education Network in partnership with Bay Path University, the Foundation has successfully recruited over one-hundred new mentors to provide their knowledge and expertise to inspire our female college students and developing professionals. The positive energy at our Hartford event was contagious and those who were present received doses of inspiration, education and connections. Read more key highlights from the event below!”
Keynote Speaker Audrey Mydosh
One of the two keynote speakers for the afternoon was Audrey Mydosh, the Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management at Nassau Re. Audrey told the story of her non-traditional journey to working and STEM, and provided some guiding principles she has learned throughout her career:
- Build and maintain a network of positive, kind people.
- Sometimes you have to go sideways to get ahead.
- Skills can be more important than knowledge.
- Be ready: don’t miss out on an opportunity just because it doesn’t look like you expected it to look.
- There is no work life balance– there is just life, and figuring out how to balance it.
- Above all else, be kind!
Samantha Burke, VP of Programming and Development, moderated the Student Spotlight Panel, highlighting the perspectives of Gretchen Heaton (Director of Career and Leadership Development Academic Director, Leadership & Organizational Studies and WELL Programs with The American Women’s College at Bay Path University) and Danielle Goodwin (Student at The American Women’s College and current Project Grow student). Their perspectives on the impact and importance of mentoring for students were mirrored with the need for more women in STEM to be given support from organizations, institutions and companies while they navigate leadership and success.
The Foundation was pleased to honor Maura Devlin, Deputy Chief Learning Officer at Bay Path University, with a Torchbearer Award for her dedication to supporting female students. Upon accepting her award, Maura spoke about the partnership between The Foundation and Bay Path University and how rewarding it is to engage with female students through professional development. As Dr. Carol Leary, president of Bay Path University has said, “When you educate a woman you educate her entire family.”
The afternoon’s Executive Panel included panelists Elsa Ferreira, Managing Director and CISO at Evercore, and Danielle Goulet, CISO at Hanover Insurance Inc. Both panelists shared their advice about taking risks in the workplace, gaining skills to help candidates stand out when seeking new opportunities, and dealing with mistakes. “You have to be willing to take the risk, you have to be willing to learn from your mistakes,” Danielle said, stressing that mistakes bring significant growth in the end.
Both panelists also spoke about the importance of putting in the time to grow and cultivate professional relationships and networks. If done well, you can capitalize off of these relationships later in your career.
Mary Lou Heastings – Make the Ask
Mary Lou Heastings, CEO of Executive Alliance Inc, closed the afternoon with another keynote presentation. She encouraged attendees to “Make the Ask.” In order to make a connection that will impact your career, the first step is asking. It never hurts to ask. She also spoke about the importance of having a solid support system throughout your career– with people in your network who are your cheerleaders, experts, confidants, voices of reason, and explorers.
Your New Years Resolution
It is about to be a new year and to top that – a new decade! If you are looking for a new years resolution that can not only push you forward but also allow you to leave a legacy and impact for others, please consider mentoring with the Foundation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the one-hour per month commitment to change someone’s life…. And your own!