Empowering lives for 90 years!

Berkeley College Advances Women through Dialogue and Networking during Women Entrepreneurship Week

Berkeley College Logo
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2019
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, Ext. 1-5122
IGL@BerkeleyCollege.edu
 

 

BERKELEY COLLEGE ADVANCES WOMEN THROUGH DIALOGUE AND NETWORKING DURING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer Inspires as Keynote Speaker

https://service.ringcentral.com/login/error.html?errorCode=26

Photo Caption: More than 100 attendees at “Women in Leadership: Unleashing Your Superpowers,” held at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan in recognition of Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019, heard from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and other successful women during two panel discussions and a workshop held for student-veterans on October 16, 2019. Others watched the livestream from one of six campuses or online. To view the recorded event, check back soon to the Berkeley College News Room for the link to the recording, here.

@BerkeleyCollege  #WEW2019


Women in industry, government and media who are elevating the voices of women on key issues, participated in the excitement and buzz at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan on October 16, 2019, as they gathered to learn and to network during Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019 at the event Women in Leadership: Unleashing Your Superpowers. The discussion focused on pay equity, fixing broken career-ladder rungs, and how to convert pivotal moments into successful opportunities. This is the fifth consecutive year that Berkeley has sponsored the program free of charge. A second event will take place at its Woodland Park, NJ, campus on October 24, 2019.

Among the speakers who delivered opening remarks was Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who set the tone by describing what it takes to lead in one of the world’s biggest cities. She noted that there is a common characteristic between entrepreneurship and politics. They both require patience.

“Women are breaking down barriers and it’s gratifying to see,” Ms. Brewer said, “But we have a long way to go. This day is so exciting and important to support, but we can’t forget those who are struggling the most.”  She urged the attendees to get involved, especially at the community level, and to consider joining a community board. “This is not a sprint. It is a relay,” she said. “I hope you grab the baton and see who you can pass it to next.”

Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College, noted that next year the country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote, and that 50 years ago, milestones included Madison Avenue creating a cigarette brand just for women, and the acceptance of women wearing pantsuits. “Things are greatly accelerated now,” President Smith noted. “The timing in our expectations has changed significantly and we can no longer wait that long … Our students are changing too.  Many do not want to work for someone else anymore. Today, through your dialogue, sharing, relationship-building and your networking, you will be influencing the next generation and our future.”  He also acknowledged that the organizations predicted to succeed in the future will understand women.

In her opening remarks, Angela Harrington, Vice President, Berkeley College Communications and External Relations, and Mistress of Ceremonies, told the audience that the lack of parity in providing opportunities early in their careers for women in the management pipeline is holding women back. “The rungs in the ladder are broken and we must set them right,” Ms. Harrington said.  “Today you will hear from women who will share their stories of how they have turned injustice and inequity into opportunities, how they have fixed the broken rungs or risen up a different ladder to success.”

 Photosd ofPanel 1 and student speaker at WEW-NY

Photo Caption: Above left: Moderator Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (at podium), directs the first group of panelists at Berkeley College during the Women in Leadership: Unleashing Your Superpowers event in honor of Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019.  Seated, left to right are: Damaris Bergas, Director, Women’s Business Center, Bronx and Upper Manhattan Business Outreach Center Network, U.S. Small Business Administration; Jodie Grenier, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Women Warriors; Michelle Madhok, Founder and CEO, SHEfinds Media, Inc.; Roxanne Neilson, Managing Director, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce; Karmisha Superville, Founder EBK Events; and Elana Zolfo, EdD, Dean, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®. Above right: Berkeley College Marketing Communications student, and President and Founder, Women’s Empowerment Club, Roshauna Bostwick of Arverne, Queens, NY, presents opening remarks.  She tells the audience, “Women have multiple roles at any time. We can be mothers, leaders, students, voters, and so much more. The ability to be educated, to have a voice and influence, to enjoy opportunities and choices, are critical to the attainment of our goals. As women we are advocates of limitless possibilities.”

Each panelist introduce herself and informed the audience about the work they do, advice that could help, and available resources. Here are a few of the lessons they shared, including responses to a question from a member of the audience about what to do when you feel like giving up.

Berkeley College Marketing Communications student, and President and Founder, Women’s Empowerment Club, Roshauna Bostwick of Arverne, Queens, NY, told the audience, “Women have multiple roles at any time. We can be mothers, leaders, students, voters, and so much more. The ability to be educated, to have a voice and influence, to enjoy opportunities and choices, are critical to the attainment of our goals. As women we are advocates of limitless possibilities.”

“Your network is your net worth,” said Damaris Bergas, Director, Women’s Business Center, Bronx and Upper Manhattan Business Outreach Center Network, U.S. Small Business Administration. “When things are looking down I recall that line from the animated movie Finding Nemo.  ‘Just keep swimming’ I tell myself. ‘Just keep swimming.’”

Jodie Grenier, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Women Warriors, and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, suggested, “When people offer you help, take it.”  Ms. Grenier mentioned that she has people on speed dial whom she can turn to right away to lift her up when she feels down. At a special workshop for student-veterans held after the panel discussions, she described resources available to female veterans. “We find that when women come in, they have the idea. They need to get to the strategy and execution, so we create that programming for workshops.” 

Elana Zolfo, EdD, Dean, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, warned, “Don’t ever burn bridges.  Maintain your relationships, and not just on social media.”

WEW-NY-Panel2.jpg

Photo Caption: Following the dialogue and discussion presented by the second group of panelists, the women join Berkeley College leaders, in celebration of Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019.  Berkeley College hosted this special event, Women in Leadership: Unleashing your Superpower, with prominent women leaders in New York who are elevating the voices of women on key issues.  The event took place at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan on October 16, 2019.  Standing, left to right are: Elinor Tatum, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, New York Amsterdam News; Veronica Dagher, Co-Creator, Host and Co-Producer, “Secrets of Wealthy Women” Podcast, The Wall Street Journal; Alex Tabar, Founder and CEO, Yucalab Digital Media and Latinas in Media; Angie Tang; Impact Investing Advisor and Moderator; Angela Harrington, Berkeley College Vice President, Communications and External Relations, and Mistress of Ceremonies; Adel Wilson, Founder and CEO, Celebrity Media Group; Kelly Depsee, Director, Berkeley College Communications and External Relations; and Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College.

Moderator Angie Tang, Impact Investing Advisor, introduced the second panel members by first noting the number of female superheroes now emerging, including a series premiere of "Batwoman," in which the protagonist has to journey to find her purpose. “These women have found that,” Ms. Tang said.

Jamie Zelermyer, Board President, New York Women in Film & Television, talked about her nontraditional career path that allows her to walk her children to school, serve on a board, and create and produce content in the entertainment industry. “I understand my priorities,” Ms. Zelermyer said. “I am able to compartmentalize and keep everything in a straight line for myself.” On the topic of resiliency, she also noted that self-perception has an impact. “How you see me is not how I see myself.” 

Ms. Zelermyer described issues surrounding pay equity, sexual harassment and diversity, and inclusion addressed at a summit for the entertainment industry supported by the Ford Foundation. She does feels the needle is moving. “The dam has broken,” she said. The summit included topics such as sexual harassment training at the managerial level, actresses asking for equal pay, increasing the percentage of female directors, and help with pro bono legal and counseling services. There is more sensitivity as studios are hiring professionals to work with actors on how intimate scenes are filmed to make actresses feel more comfortable on the set.

Elinor Tatum, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, New York Amsterdam News, also addressed the work-life balance equation. “As a mother of a 9-year old. I am not sure which is more challenging – that or the work experience, especially as a single mom and entrepreneur. Figuring out how to make a dollar in a dying industry and how to reinvent yourself is very challenging,” she said. “You’ve got to find the people who believe in you. Find people who have your back and ignore the naysayers.”

Growing up, Ms. Tatum worked hard to overcome her dyslexia as well as the perception of her by others, including teachers. “It taught me to find other people who believed in me,” Ms. Tatum said.  “You can change people’s minds sometimes by just showing them what you can do.”

Alex Tabar, Founder and CEO, Yucalab Digital Media and Latinas in Media, came from the Domincan Republic to Miami, FL, in search of an opportunity she had sought, which she thought finally had arrived, only to find that both offers were no longer on the table because of layoffs that took place in 2008. “I visited my cousin in New York City, slept on the couch and volunteered for a company that needed my skills for two years. That is when I received the job opportunity, where I stayed for seven years, before starting out on my own,” Ms. Tabar said.

Veronica Dagher, Co-Creator, Host and Co-Producer, “Secrets of Wealthy Women” Podcast, The Wall Street Journal, wrote the book “Resilience,” about overcoming and coming back from obstacles. “Growing up I saw how my mom suddenly became a single parent, making order out of chaos, raising two kids.  I remember my aunt sitting at the table, teaching her finance, and I said to myself, ‘Not me.’ I wanted to take control.  It made me committed to other women.” Nowadays, even though she works somewhat independently, she stays in contact with higher-ups in her organization throughout the year and keeps track of her “wins” on a spreadsheet. “It makes you feel more confident,” she said.

Adel Wilson, Founder and CEO, Celebrity Media Group, spoke about the ability to connect as her superpower. “I became a corporate trainer … it takes the ability to teach … you have to take the information, synthesize it, and present it in a way that’s simple and easy to understand.” Ms. Wilson suggested women write their goals and keep them front and center, perhaps create a vision board about where they want to go. “Create and build relationships. Be a mentor and allow yourself to be mentored,” she advised.

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, as well as in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 5,500 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for six consecutive years. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers. 

-End-

To view the above photos as high-resolution images, go to:

Top: https://berkeleycollege.edu/newsroom/images/WEW-NY-LargeGroup2cr.jpg
Middle, left: https://berkeleycollege.edu/newsroom/images/WEW-NY-Panel1-seated.jpg
Middle, right: https://berkeleycollege.edu/newsroom/images/WEW-NY-StudentRoshaunaCR.jpg
Bottom: https://berkeleycollege.edu/newsroom/images/WEW-NY-Panel2.jpg

 

Empowering lives for 90 years!