The seeds of Jessica Aguirre and Bertha Jimenez’s RISE Products were planted when the duo met at a program through their graduate studies. Their interest in sustainability and their common background from Ecuador inevitably made them business partners and founders of RISE Products, producing flour from brewer’s spent grain. On this episode, Jessica and Bertha talk about how they started their company, industrial symbiosis and why it matters, as well as how to incorporate sustainable practices in businesses. The duo also touch on sexism in their industry and the obstacles they faced as immigrants in the United States.
Shirley Chen, the Founder & CEO of Narrativ, started her career journey when she scored her Vogue internship through waiting in line for a Broadway musical. Jumping from biology to fashion, and management consulting to online retail marketing, Shirley shares her career journey and how she founded her own company, Narrativ, fixing digital media with AI technologies. On this episode, she also talks about the benefits of networking, the science of online shopping, and the difficulties she faced starting her own business.
Getting her start in a male-dominated kitchen and bath industry, Suzie Williford, Executive Vice President of Industry Relations & Chief Strategy Officer of National Kitchen and Bath Association, soon realized how important it is to love the work she does. From answering phones to executive leadership, Suzie talks about the hardships she faced, the importance of mentorship, as well as the progress the kitchen and bath industry made in closing the gender gap. She also opens up about the feeling of inadequacy at work and how to find a career path you are truly passionate about.
When Sateria Venable, Founder of Fibroid Foundation, was diagnosed with a fibroid disease, she realized that a support system available to women scarce. Sateria went on to create the Fibroid Foundation to provide a global community with women with fibroids. On this episode, Sateria talks about her history with fibroids and how it helped her discover faith and courage in herself to found the Fibroid Foundation. Sateria also discusses people who have helped her along the way, how fibroids can be treated, and what everyone can do to become an advocate.
When Afua Osei, Co-founder of She Leads Africa, graduated from business school, she did not think she would end up in Lagos, Nigeria. After spending some time as a management consultant, Afua co-founded She Leads Africa, a community that helps young African women achieve their professional goals. On this episode, Afua talks about her career plan, how the “5 year plan” can sometimes stifle you, and importance of political action at an early age. She also shares her tips on using personal voice for change, creating a network in a new country, and finding the source of her own confidence.
When Nicola Nice, CEO, Pomp & Whimsy, noticed the lack of liquor brands targeted towards women, compared to men, she founded Pomp & Whimsy – bringing Victorian-era gin to the modern day with a touch of femininity. On this episode, Nicola talks about the history of gin, how she started her business, and how to create a distinct voice as a brand. Nicola also shares her career path that lead her from academia to spirits, and discusses the importance of following a passion.
After a start in the photography industry, Bethanie Baynes, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Google, realized she wanted to be in the fast-paced tech world, making her way to the executive level at Google. On this episode, she talks about ageism at work, the pressure of being an ideal mother, and how her experiences inspired her to use her platform to uplift other women. Bethanie also shares how masculinity and femininity are defined in a capitalist society, gender roles and dynamics within her own relationship, and the perils of “momsplaining.”
After going through a negative experience when buying her first house Realtor Tezeta “Tez” Roro decided to quit her job as a risk averse investor and pursue her next passion in real estate. On this episode, Tez talks about her early career paths, being an introvert at a social job, and the positive and the negative aspects of working for yourself. She also shares her experiences being an immigrant in the United States, interacting with different cultures, and the importance of living one’s values with every step of the way.
Attending an all-girls school, Whitney Bell, writer, activist, and event producer, did not realize the impact of patriarchy on everyday life until later. Using her privilege as a platform, she founded Stories of: Women to amplify the voices of women from diverse backgrounds. On this episode, Whitney talks about the impact of storytelling, the evolution of feminism, and how to unpack our privilege. She discusses how she came up with the idea for Stories of: Women and why it’s important to amplify all women’s voices. We also get some insight on her favorite story so far, and what she is working on next.
When Kirsten Turner, Senior Managing Director at RBC Wealth Management, had to pick between her family and career, she went ahead and picked both. Taking an unconventional path to wealth management, Kirsten joins us this week to talk about being a young single mother in the financial industry, the career moves she has made while having kids, and surviving the 2008 financial crisis on top of it all. On this episode, she shares the behind-the-scenes look into having “having it all,” the impact her parents had on her growing up, and creating an environment for inclusion within the workplace.
When Nataly Kogan realized that although she had the perfect job and family on paper, there was something missing from her life, she founded Happier - dedicated to helping individuals find more joy in everyday moments and get through difficult ones with compassion and resilience. Focusing on the science of happiness, Nataly talks about how she came up with the idea for her company, Happier, and why it’s important to practice gratitude and self compassion. On this episode, she focuses on the importance of creating kinder relationships with ourselves, being able to beat the feeling of not being enough, and the importance of companies focusing on the happiness and well-being of their employees for success.
When Marina Darlow, the CEO and Founder of Vision Framework, started working in a male-dominated tech engineering company as an immigrant in the United States, she saw that the office culture was nothing like she expected. So, she took her project management and operations skills into her own business and founded Vision Framework. On this episode, Marina talks about running an online business, how to trust someone when expanding a business, the transition from large companies to start-ups, as well as the emotional side of business. She also shares her tips on how to work remotely and best practices for starting a new business.
When Alex Waldman, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Universal Standard realized that plus-size fashion was not as accessible, she decided to change the “industry standard” of sizes and introduce accessible and inclusive fashion for all women. On this episode, Alex talks about how she got her start in the fashion industry, getting away from “the bully in your head”, and the importance of having courage to change the status quo. She also shares her tips on starting a business, as well as the power women can have to affect change in companies.
Having creative resources is one of key components for non-profits to reach large audiences. Unfortunately, many non-profits do not have access to these resources. That’s why Rachel Renock co-founded her start-up, Wethos, which connects non-profits with creative talent. The CEO discusses her story of Wethos reaching one million dollars in venture capital funds and why it is important to give women room to fail. She also shares her experiences with sexual harassment and discrimination when fundraising and approaching investors, her story around being a lesbian woman in the tech start-up industry, and how these efforts carried her to New York Times, Forbes, and to Washington, DC as an advocate.
When Alison Gutterman, CEO of Jelmar, was growing up, she had no idea that she would one day become the CEO of her family’s business. On this episode, Alison joins us to talk about her experience working for her parent, the generational differences at work, and the emotional story of how she become the CEO. She also shares the values that shaped her leadership, her experiences as an undercover researcher, and the top lessons she has learned as a leader.
When host of Real Talk Radio Nicole Antoinette quit drinking, she started running to “turn her life around”, as she puts it. Now, her excitement about the progress and physical challenge of running has translated into long distance hiking (she currently trains for the PCT trail). On this episode, Nicole talks about fear, stepping out of her comfort zone, as well as focusing on the journey and being present. As she is writing her first book, Nicole shares her tips on accountability learned through hiking, her podcast Real Talk Radio, and how she managed to close the gap between what she says and what she wants.
Since Sally Helgesen, Women’s Leadership Consultant and Author, wrote her first book about women’s leadership in 1990s, she has written numerous other books and articles, and gave workshops on the importance of characteristics of female leaders as well as the behaviors that help women get ahead. On this episode, Sally talks about the evolution of female leadership and how business and society came to embrace women leaders.She also shares her insights about characteristics of leadership, important factors that help women leaders get ahead, the behaviors that often hold woman back, as well as how to overcome them.
Miriam Grobman, Founder and CEO of Miriam Grobman Consulting, joins us for the second time on the Ellevate Podcast to talk about everything from changing careers and industries from mining, to finance and consulting. Miriam shares her tips on building and maintaining confidence, switching from an operational mindset to a strategic mindset, and what it means for women to own their influence. She shares insights to her famous courses on leadership education, strategic influence, and executive presence. Miriam also gives us some insight into what’s in store for her next and how she is working to get women ahead in business.
Nicole Spinelli and Lucila Williams of Lincoln Financial Group, one of our #MobilizeWomen Summit Sponsors, share their expertise in both the financial industry and the diversity and inclusion space as champions of women’s equality. With Nicole majoring in women’s studies and transitioning to a career in finance, and Lucila having a background in the United States Military, the dynamic duo share their stories about their transitions in the workplace. They discuss being women in the financial industry, mentors they have had along the way, as well as The WISE Group - the multidimensional women’s network within Lincoln Financial Group.
After losing her leg during the terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon, Adrianne Haslet decided to dedicate her life to being an advocate for amputee’s and amputee rights. On this week’s episode, Adrianne talks about some of the most challenging situations amputees have to go through, lack of insurance coverage, and why there is a need for change regarding prosthetic coverage. She also talks about steps anyone could take to support the amputee community, educate the ones around us, and to make workplaces more accessible. Tune in to hear the inside scoop on Adrianne’s journey from a ballroom dancer to a changemaker for the amputee community.
As we keep focusing on closing the gender achievement gap, Ericka Spradley, Career Coach/Chief PowHer Officer of Confidence Career Women joins us this week to share her insights about closing the confidence gap as well. Ericka talks about the importance positioning yourself well in job the application process, balancing multiple jobs and responsibilities, and the importance of prioritizing. From shaving her head unannounced to publishing three books, Ericka explains the impact of leaving your comfort zone and truly owning your career for continued success.
After trying out variety of different jobs and markets, Adda Birnir, CEO & Founder of Skillcrush, taught herself how to code and design and decided to get into the tech world. What started out as her side project to find a better way to teach women technological skills turned into Skillcrush, her rapidly-growing company. This week, we talked to Adda about how she got started, finding long term opportunities, job stability within the entrepreneurship world and corporate world, as well as the importance of staying customer-focused. Adda also talks about her inspirations and what helped her stay on her feet when starting out as an entrepreneur along with how she took being laid off as a massive opportunity.
A third generation girl scout, Meridith Maskara, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York is not just passionate about girl scouts, but about supporting the generation of young girls and women who will be the change agents of tomorrow. This week, we talked about inclusivity and diversity within Girl Scouts, their active involvement in legislative decisions, the new programs Girl Scouts is offering including fields of STEM, advocacy, and entrepreneurship and how Girl Scouts are adapting to the fast-paced technological world of today. Meridith also discusses the role Girl Scouts’ program Troop 6,000 plays on girls and women in shelter, how to include men in conversations around equality, as well as teaching girls confidence at a young age.
Growing up in a politically engaged household and having a passion for civic engagement from an early age, Maria Yuan, Founder of IssueVoter, defines herself as someone who is “interested in fixing really big problems”. This week, we sat down with her to talk about how she was able to balance her work life in Finance and Investment Banking setting up IssueVoter, coming up with great ideas and being able to grow them, as well as how her background and her experience in being a Campaign Manager helped her when founding IssueVoter. Maria talks about civic engagement and its importance, how everyone can be civically engaged in different ways, as well as how her rapidly growing non-profit, IssueVoter works.