Women’s Entrepreneurship Week Inspires at Berkeley College

“If you are passionate about what you do, others are going to want to come along with you.” 

This was just one of the many inspiring words spoken by a panelist on the second day of Women in Leadership: Breaking Barriers, an event that was hosted by Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan and Woodbridge, NJ, on October 17 and October 18, 2018, during Women’s Entrepreneurship Week.

It was an auspicious day as students, faculty and invited guests gathered to listen to panelists impart their knowledge and experiences about their differences and similarities of their journeys, as well as key advice on what is needed from women in order to break down barriers.

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Me with panelist Jessica Ballew, Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer at J.E.S.S.I.C.A. Cares

During the first panel, there was positive emphasis on being true to yourself, following your passion, and doing what you want to do, not what others want for you. The panelists spoke about how they got to where they are now, along with how they overcame challenges that were thrown their way. One thing that really resonated was the statement, “If you work with values that you truly believe in, the rest will follow.”

The focus of the second panel was the importance of showing up and being heard. Because there are fewer female leaders than male leaders, there are situations where men will overshadow women and assert their competence at a given opportunity. Zuleika Cuevas, the Manager of Training and Development at Berkeley College, told the women in the audience, “Like a lioness, have the agility to wait for the right opportunity.”


Me with panelist Zuleika Cuevas, Manager of Training and Development, Berkeley College

The panelists said that women need to let it be known that they are just as capable and willing to accept positions of power. They said women need to get up and knock on the door when an opportunity is presented. If someone doesn’t let it be known that they have what it takes, then no one will ever know. Speak up if you want something, and be deliberate.

After the event, attendees stayed behind to have one-on-one conversations with the panelists. There were messages of encouragement and support after such an exhilarating and empowering event. This event was captivating, and we were privileged to have these panelists share their words with us.