Working Wardrobes’ Smart Women Speaker Series with Financial Guru Laila Pence

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2018 Laila Headshot Working Wardrobes Smart Women Event

At the age of 12, Laila emigrated to the U.S. with her mother, arriving in New York.  Her father joined them a year later, and the rest of her family joined in the following years.

Her first job was selling hot dogs and knishes on the Staten Island Ferry, at the age of 14. She credits her mother, who always told her “there’s no limit to what you can do,” with giving her self-confidence. After her family moved to California, Laila attended UCLA and had a full-time job as a waitress while she attended school. She met a man who gave her a job selling tax shelter annuities to school teachers and she shadowed him and learned on the job. Her first paycheck was $4,600 for one month, which she immediately deposited in the bank.

At a conference shortly after, she met Karl Romero who became her mentor and offered her a job which doubled salary. He helped her get licensed as a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner®). By age 22, she was making $100,000 a year.

Today, Laila is co-founder of Pence Wealth Management which she formed with her husband, Dryden. An avid sports fan, Laila is a dedicated wife and mother and very proud to be able to provide great care for her original cheerleader – her mother!

At Pence Wealth Management, her husband heads their in-house asset and investment management, and together, they manage their clients’ portfolios so that they have more control – especially when the market is down. One of her most poignant pieces of financial advice?  “Don’t wait for retirement to enjoy your life!”

Other very important pieces of advice that Laila offered were: “People don’t care what you know, they want to know that you care” – something that she imparts to all her new employees – and the traditional wisdom of: “If you want to Working Wardrobesgo fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

Smart Women is a women’s giving collective which supports the work of the nonprofit Working Wardrobes. New memberships are currently available (and are entirely tax-deductible), along with tickets to upcoming Speaker Series events.

For more information, please visit workingwardrobes.org/smart-women/ .

Tech with a twist: Innovative youth program combines coding and dance

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Group of diverse girls dancing in the danceLogic studio

Numbers, stats and creativity are all integral parts of choreography — but they’re vital for coding, too. That’s the idea behind danceLogic, a program in Philadelphia that integrates dance and computer programming for 13 to 17-year-old girls.

“With dancing, you have to look at the steps and figure out how do they fit into one another. Same with coding,” said 14-year-old Nailah Shabazz, adding “basically, if I see myself coding and helping others, I think I can also bring in other people who look like me, to also want to pursue that field.”

For 14-year-old Lauryn Dorsett, the dancing part came easy – the coding, not so much. “The coding part is sorta hard at first when you think about it,” Dorsett said. “But once you really grow into it, and stay with it for a while, it starts to get easier.”

When she realized how much money she could potentially make with the skills, Dorsett said, she was even more intrigued. “Not all fields offer the same type of opportunities,” she said. “You can get far with this.”

Franklyn Athias believes that opportunity is everything. While working as a senior vice president at Comcast, Athias started danceLogic in 2018.

Originally, Athias only planned to focus on coding – but “he had trouble getting [kids] to participate,” according to his friend and co-founder Betty Lindley.

Lindley, who runs a cultural center, suggested he incorporate dance.

Athias wants people who might be intimidated by the math and science behind coding to understand that it’s like any other skill. “It’s always hard in the beginning,” he said. “This is why the dance part is so important, because a lot of young ladies came in and could not dance. But they practice.”

That’s what happened with Shabazz, who said she “inherited two left feet” from her father. “If I have the confidence to dance in front of a bunch of people and not be afraid of making mistakes, then I have the confidence to accomplish whatever goals I have in life,” she said.

“Something they thought was hard now became easy, right?” Athias said. “And it was all because of practice. It wasn’t anything else besides, ‘let’s try it, let’s get it wrong, let’s try it again and then boom.’ The smile comes on your face and say, ‘I got it, Mr. Franklyn.’ When that happens, he said, “the world is theirs.”

Athias wants danceLogic to help give back to the community. “I came from a very rough neighborhood, and someone introduced me to something that kept me out of trouble,” he said. “If I can help motivate some other person to do the same thing that’s the reward I get outta this.

When the girls finish the 14-week program, they’re rewarded too. Athias gives them iPads, so they can keep coding – he has no doubt they’ll keep dancing.

DanceLogic costs $50 total for the 14 weeks. The West Park Cultural Center, which runs the program, says it will never turn away anyone who can’t afford the cost. The center offers scholarships, too.

Continue on the CBS News to read the complete article.

Susan Olsen Shares Insights on Owning a Minuteman Press Printing Franchise in Leesburg, Florida

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Minuteman Press printing franchise - Susan Olsen and Team pose in store

Once an independent print shop, Minuteman Press in Leesburg is now a full-service Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise.

The Minuteman Press franchise in Leesburg, Florida is in good hands with Susan Olsen. Susan brings with her a 20-year retail career and a passion for helping others and getting involved in the community. Susan says, “We are a full service, locally owned and operated print and marketing center. We offer everything from offset/digital printing in-house to all types of promotional products that you can imagine. We are fast and friendly, and we are here to help you create and design anything you need to help your business grow.”

Like many people who felt stuck in their careers, Susan decided to become her own boss. She says, “My last job was as a General Manager at Staples. I got tired of making money for other companies and decided it was time to do my own thing.” Susan was able to take full advantage of Minuteman Press International’s conversion program and buy an independent print shop that is now her full-service franchise in Leesburg.

Why Minuteman Press? Susan explains, “It is really funny how it happened actually. I was horseback riding with a friend and talking about how I just wanted something different and was not really happy with my current job. We were talking about different things I could do and I told her my favorite part of Staples was the print and marketing. I was at home the next day looking at franchises for sale online and Minuteman Press popped up. I contacted Minuteman Press International and my Regional Vice President Jeff Robey reached out to me. He arranged for me to speak with other franchise owners right away. Talking to them got me more motivated and to dig deeper about the company. It has been a great experience from the beginning. I love the customers we service. I love the industry and I love how there is something different every day.”

Taking over an existing business means that Susan has hit the ground running and jumped right into helping her clients. Susan says, “The most rewarding thing to me is being able to come to work every day and plan out what I think are the priorities, meeting the customers when I am out in the field, and meeting other business owners through the different organizations I am in. I am in the local BNI and the Chamber of Commerce. I love volunteering and helping out in the community.”

Since Susan is a new business owner with no prior experience, she credits Minuteman Press with giving her a new career path that helped her become comfortable with becoming an entrepreneur. She concludes, “I went with owning my Minuteman Press franchise instead of buying a small mom and pop shop because I love the fact that I have their ongoing support. I believe there are a great deal of benefits to being with the Minuteman Press franchise as they continue to help me as I help my clients.”

Susan Olsen’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1417 E. Main St., Leesburg, FL 24748. For more information, call Susan and her team at (352) 728-6333 or visit their website: leesburg-fl.minutemanpress.com

Click here to learn more about how to sell your independent printing business with the help of Minuteman Press International.

About Minuteman Press International

Minuteman Press International is the number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to nearly 1,000 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur 28 times and 16 years in a row, including 2019. Independent franchisee satisfaction firm Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2019 Top Franchises, 2018 Top Franchise Leaders, Top Franchises for Women, and Top Franchises for Veterans lists thanks to positive reviews from our owners.

At Minuteman Press, We Are The Modern Printing Industry™ providing high quality products and services that meet the needs of today’s business professionals and go way beyond ink on paper. Today, our centers offer innovative branding solutions and produce custom designs, promotional products, branded apparel, direct mail marketing, large format printing (banners and posters), signs and graphics, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.

To learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and speak with one of our experienced franchise representatives at no obligation, call 1-800-645-3006. Continue your franchise research, watch exclusive owner videos and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at minutemanpressfranchise.com

Promotions, Plateaus and Possibilities: Context; Coaching; and Cohort Networks Keep Careers on Track

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Professional Woman

2019 Best CPA Firms for Women and 2019 Best CPA Firms for Equity Leadership show how investing in women is Investing in firms.

The 2019 Accounting MOVE Project will delve into the perceptions and misperceptions that women and firms have about how and why women pursue partnership and other senior leadership positions. The report will also outline tactics that women, advocates for women, and firm leaders can take to ensure that all women CPAs can fully achieve their aspirations for their careers and drive firm growth in the process.

Highlights of the findings include:

  • Peer Power: Women’s peer networks are both horizontal and tend to be powerful retention factors. By comparison, men’s peer networks tend to be vertical and transactional. Leading MOVE firms shape women’s initiatives to make the most of how women organically cultivate networks.
  • Piecing the Future: Women plot their expectations based on what they observe and experience. Firms that show women the benefits of partnership and that build confidence and results with early business development wins seed ambition for partnership.
  • Intervention Builds Retention: Women don’t want to choose between coasting and quitting. Firms strengthen retention by cultivating multiple paths to senior positions, and by working with women before they reach the point of no return.

“Firms of all sizes are engineering new ways for women to excel.  And when women excel, firms win new clients and grow their relationships with existing clients,” said Joanne Cleaver, President of Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., the content strategy firm that manages the Accounting MOVE Project.  “As well, the 2019 Accounting MOVE Project illustrates the power of re-investing in programs and culture proven to advance women. Firms that consistently participate in the Accounting MOVE Project promote more quickly. As a group, 28% of their partners and principals are women, ahead of even the high mark achievement this year of 27% women partners and principals, for all participating firms.”

“The findings in this year’s report emphasize how important it is to be transparent about career paths and opportunities within your firm. Having those honest conversations strengthens relationships and really creates a sticky factor,” said Jennifer Wyne, executive director of human resources for Moss Adams, founding sponsor of the Accounting MOVE Project.

“Midcareer coaching offers the greatest return for investment in women, and the greatest opportunity for firms to drive immediate and long- term results from that investment.  At CohnReznick, we are steadily capitalizing on the effects of retaining rising women,” said Risa Lavine, Principal and chief of staff at CohnReznick. CohnReznick is the national sponsor of the Accounting MOVE Project. “This year’s Accounting MOVE Project report shows strategies to help firms retool the pipeline.”

An executive summary of the 2019 Accounting MOVE Project is available at the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance website. https://www.afwa.org/move-project/

“This year’s MOVE Report is especially important to AFWA,” said Cindy Stanley, executive director for the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), the association partner for the Accounting MOVE Project. “As a women’s organization, we see first hand the value of a strong women’s network at all stages of the career pipeline. This year’s report shows that as women advance in their career they have fewer peers, and each peer becomes more valuable. From entry level to partner, women benefit greatly from the support and example of other women in their network.”

Firms of all sizes are invited and encouraged to participate in the 2020 Accounting MOVE Project. Registration will open in August 2019 at www.wilson-taylorassoc.com. The MOVE Project is supported by founding sponsor Moss

Adams, national sponsor CohnReznick, and administrative fees from participating firms.  Registration for the Accounting MOVE Project will be open through December 20, 2019.

MOVE is making a real difference in the profession and has positioned CPA firms as innovators in the business world. Look no further than MOVE mentions in the CPA Practice Advisor, Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Parade and other publications to see how MOVE Project firms are leading the national conversation about advancing women.

Click here to view the  2019 Accounting MOVE Project Best CPA Firms for Women

Financial Freedom for Millennials: A Bucket List

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millennials discussing financial options

By Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life

The 2007 movie “The Bucket List” told the story of two terminally ill men seeking to finish out all the things they’ve always wanted to do but never completed. The duo set out on their adventure with the intention to fulfill all their dreams before they “kicked the bucket.”

While most people associate bucket lists with experiences, you can apply the same concept to personal finance matters, as well. Essentially, you list all the things you need to accomplish in your financial life and then start making moves to get them done. According to financial experts, people should start to tick off money-matter items on their lists while they are still in their 20s and 30s. With this strategy, they’ll achieve financial freedom sooner than later because they’ve set themselves up for a less stressful future as they reach retirement age.

At this point, retirement probably seems a million years away, but now is the time to start thinking wisely when it comes to money. Check out our financial bucket list for millennials.

1. Live with roommates

Most millennials want to move out of their parents’ home but can’t always afford to do it. Why forego and miss out on the pleasures of autonomy you can enjoy living on your own? Get some roommates instead to help share housing costs.

When seeking roommates, always be smart and keep safety in mind during the selection process. Everyone, especially women, should stay away from listings on Craigslist and other platforms that don’t fully vet the people out who post these listings.

Once you’ve got your roommates in the house, aside from the financial savings you’ll enjoy by splitting the rent, you can make some great memories — or at least accumulate a few great stories to someday tell your family and friends.

2. Move to an affordable city

Sure, New York is the city that never sleeps, and Los Angeles sees a lot of action, too —but these cities are incredibly expensive to live in. Instead of struggling (even with the help of roommates) in an expensive city, consider relocating to a more affordable city with a lower cost of living. Kansas City, for example, is not only affordable, but it also offers plenty of great job opportunities and even boasts some of the shortest commuting times in the country.

3. Downsize and sell some stuff

We live at a time minimizing is en vogue, especially for millennials. Aside from being a trendy thing to do, selling off possessions you no longer need or want can net you some serious cash. Try selling clothes, unused gift cards, old electronics and gadgets, pretty much anything.

If you have old toys, video games, or other nostalgic items you don’t necessarily want to hang onto anymore, try selling these too. You’d be surprised at how well nostalgia sells!  Set up an account on eBay (or another preferred platform) and get selling. Then take that money and save it or invest it so it grows.

4. Learn thrifty shopping habits

Even if you’re aiming to downsize, there will still be stuff you need. Instead of paying full price for new items, learn the art of thrifting by shopping at places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity resale stores. You can find great deals on everything for the home from kitchen necessities to furniture, along with personal items, too, such as clothing and accessories.

Other ways to save on shopping are to watch for sales, try extreme couponing, and follow discount sites such as Groupon for deals on things you want to buy. Also check out Craigslist and Freecycle to find freebies in your neighborhood.

5. Make a few investments

While making habitual changes can go a long way toward achieving financial freedom, you’ll want to find other ways to increase your bank account. Why not try purchasing some stocks and seeing what happens? Some online brokerage sites let users start buying with as little as $100 and make trades for $5. You can buy small amounts and see if you can aggressively make them grow. “Playing the market” is a unique experience that not everybody gets in their lifetime — and watching your stock’s values go up is a thrill.

6. Launch a business

Even if you’re holding down a full-time job, you can launch a business on the side to generate some extra cash and help build your financial future. It could be something as straightforward as buying a property to use as a vacation rental. Or you can build a brand in your spare time, you can market your business by creating a presence on social media and cultivating helpful business relationships. Sign yourself up to attend some trade shows to help establish a name for yourself.

Depending on your line of work, you may need to obtain a license, insurance, or meet other local legal requirements. Be sure to have your ducks in a row and do everything legally. Also, remember that you’ll need to file taxes as a business. An online calculator can help you make the necessary tax calculations.

Achieving financial freedom is a wonderful feeling! The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be that much closer to your ultimate money goals … and then you’ll be able to afford the things on your “other” bucket list.

Afro-Latina actress Tessa Thompson saves the world in ‘Men in Black: International”

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Tessa Thompson seen on the Men in Black movie set

By Arturo Conde

Tessa Thompson considers herself Afro-Latina, a black woman, a person of color, and Latinx. But when fans go to see the sci-fi action blockbuster “Men in Black: International” this weekend, she hopes that they will only see her character, Agent M, on the silver screen.

“I hope we can get to the space in Hollywood where it’s not noteworthy for a woman, and particularly a woman of color, to top line a franchise film,” Thompson, who has Afro-Panamanian and Mexican roots, told NBC News. “I hope we can get to a place where we don’t have to congratulate it, or comment on it because it happens with such frequency. But we are still really far away from there.”

“Men in Black: International” partners Agent M with Agent H (played by Chris Hemsworth) in a globetrotting mission that will take viewers on a fun and exciting adventure through Western Europe and Northern Africa to find a murderer, expose a mole, and ultimately save the world.Tessa Thompson headshot

Fans first meet M as the six-year-old Molly who has an unexpected encounter with an alien. This exposes her to a new world that is inhabited by unearthly beings. And after the Men in Black erase her parents’ memory, M dedicates her life to tracking down the organization and pursuing the truth.

“Memory is huge for M,” Thompson said. “She doesn’t want to live a lie, and she feels that because there’s this organization [Men in Black] that can go around wiping out memories, the only way to relive the truth in terms of the universe and its underpinnings is to be a part of this organization.” In playing Agent M, the critically acclaimed actress tapped into her gender and ethnicity as a way to understand what drove and tested her character.

“If you’re a woman, and particularly a woman of color, and you’re trying to get access to any space that has been historically white and male, you have to work harder,” Thompson said. “This was an inspiration for me when I was thinking about M because she’s so ambitious. She wants to be good, but she also knows that she has to be good — especially if she wants to get to where she wants to go.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

How to Find a Job as a New Graduate

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Woman sitting at a desk working on a resume

Goodbye university. Hello working life. Well, that’s the plan anyway.

Making the transition from student life to full-time employment comes with mixed emotions. Beginning your career might mean sacrificing late-night drinks on a Tuesday at the campus pub, but it comes with plenty of benefits. Just picture what you’ll do with that first paycheck.

Graduating from a university or college and finding a job is a significant life event. And people handle it in different ways. Some new grads will take their time and go traveling to forestall the change. Others will be keen to get their professional lives started right away.

Regardless of when you plan on finding a job as a new grad, the process can be challenging. Many graduates lack familiarity with the basics of job searching, or how to sell themselves to employers when they have minimal work experience.

Not to worry, here we’ll cover some of the best strategies for finding a job for those who are recent graduates. This guide includes advice on:

  1. Setting expectations for your job search
  2. The importance of a well-crafted resume for new grads
  3. How to identify job opportunities
  4. Enhancing your professionalism

1) What to Expect As a Recent Graduate

OK, time for a reality check. Unless you are extremely fortunate, you will not find your perfect job right out of school. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s important to keep your expectations in check.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do everything you can to land a fantastic job. But you need to remember that there are thousands of other new grads out there looking to jumpstart their careers too. And there aren’t many ‘amazing’ jobs on offer to people who have minimal experience.

You may find that there are limited opportunities on offer with your preferred company or in your ideal role. Be flexible in this case. Look for opportunities that vary slightly from these ideals.

By all means, stay true to your interests and background. Just don’t be too narrow in your view of how you can apply your skills and experience. For example, you may want a financial analyst position with a commercial bank.

Well, maybe that commercial bank isn’t hiring analysts right now but they are hiring project assistants. Chances are good that many of the skills required of a project assistant are required of financial analysts as well.

And maybe you can start off as a project assistant, prove your abilities, and make a leap to an analyst.

The point is to look for opportunities that are relevant to the career path you foresee for yourself. This may also mean pursuing unpaid internship opportunities as a potential starting point with a company or career path.

Internships often lead to full-time, paid roles; and worst-case, an internship offers you valuable experience that you can use to help secure employment elsewhere.

2) Be Ready-to-go With Your Resume

Before you start your job search, you had better make sure you have a resume or CV that you can send along to recruiters or other contacts. You won’t find too many organizations that don’t require you to submit one or the other as part of their hiring process.

As a new grad, if you’re serious about landing a professional job, your resume or CV should look the part. So throw away that Word document you created five years ago when you applied for a job as a restaurant server, and upgrade to a modern version.

You will want to give careful attention to layout and design so that you can make a visual impact on recruiters. A resume builder can help on that front. But even more important is the content you include.

As a new grad, your best strategy for developing a resume/CV is to create an initial version that you can alter to fit the different positions you will be applying for. Don’t make the mistake of using the same resume/CV over and over again for every application.

One of the basics of resume writing is to customize your resume/CV to reflect the requirements of a particular job description. In other words, you need to show recruiters that you’ve got what they are asking for.

In terms of content, students and recent graduates can struggle to decide what to list on their resumes, especially if they lack relevant work experience. However, there are plenty of tricks for writing a resume with little to no experience.

What’s important is that you think hard about how other experiences, such as school work or extra-curricular, demonstrate the abilities you can apply to real-world work.

Continue on to novoresume to read the complete article.

What it Takes to be a Successful Woman in the Field of Architecture

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Gretchen Callejas poses for headshot in an outdoor setting

By Gretchen Callejas

Frank Lloyd Wright. I.M. Pei. Those are the familiar names of two of America’s best-known architects.

Wright’s distinct prairie-style homes dot the American landscape while Pei’s large but elegantly designed urban buildings and complexes are among the world’s most famous architectural works. Pei’s projects, among others, include the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the controversial glass pyramid in Paris’ Louvre Museum courtyard.

But have you heard of Julia Morgan, who designed California’s famous Hearst Castle?

Or trailblazers such as Marion Mahony Griffin, the first woman to be officially licensed as an architect, and Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize?

It isn’t surprising if you haven’t. According to a January 2019 article in ThoughtCo., which listed 20 famous female architects, the role that women have played in architecture and design often go under the radar.

While architecture has been a male-dominated field, that is not the case at Felder & Associates, where I have worked since its inception in 2012. We have four women and three men on staff. The forward-thinking leadership of the firm’s managing principal, Brian Felder, has played an extraordinary part in making our workplace a gender free oasis in an otherwise industry-wide testosterone-filled desert.

Why is architecture, like so many other professions, such a tough profession for women to crack?

According to a 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times, only 18 percent of licensed practitioners are women although they make up nearly half of U.S. architecture school graduates. This disparity sometimes is referred to as “the missing 32 percent.” Unfortunately, females leave the field in disturbingly high numbers after they’re confronted with lower salaries, given fewer career-building opportunities or find a lack of mentors, who champion for them.

Full-time female architects earn 20 percent less than their male counterparts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Plus, architecture’s history as a male-dominated profession has contributed to an all-consuming workplace culture that leaves little flexibility for women expected to balance work and family. According to the Times article, 75 percent of female survey respondents had experienced sexual discrimination on the job, and 83 percent believed having a child would hurt their careers.

My personal observations and experiences have confirmed some of these disparities, but I consider myself lucky.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to maintain a successful professional career while balancing family because I have a husband who shares responsibilities and encouragement. Without his support, it would be more challenging to continue with a professional career.

And while I have quite a few female friends who are architects, I have never worked for a woman nor had a strong female mentor. Contractors and clients often assume I need to ask my male boss for help in understanding construction, codes or a design issue. When I approach a problem with the same assertiveness as a male architect, I’m sometimes labeled with the “B”-word.

Since I was a kid, I dreamed of designing buildings before I knew what that encompassed. And now as an adult would I encourage young girls to enter architecture? Absolutely. I would tell young women (and men) entering the field that determination and passion go a long way. You will be successful if you work hard, tune out the negativity and chase your goals with perseverance. If you want to be an Architect, then go be one.

I finally believe that I am in a position to give them a hand. I’ve been around enough to help guide them and try to be the mentor I never had. I’m pleased we have two young women working with us at Felder & Associates. Alma Johnson and Cathryn Sinclair graduated with architectural degrees from the Savannah College of Art and Design last year and are interning with us as project associates.

Sinclair says she believes the playing field is more level than ever before but there is always room for improvement.

“I hope to continue to see the gap close,” she says.

For Johnson, success is based on how hard you work.

“Now, the gender gap does exist, but I think that the world is evolving on a more modern idea of a woman in the workplace. I don’t see gender. I see what skill sets I need to acquire to be as successful as the candidate next to me,” Johnson says.

I hope their perspectives will remain true and their positivity high after spending 15 years or so in the industry. I suspect they will reflect on their early days as a time when they had to deal with an old and outdated set of standards.

One thing I know for certain. They are in a wonderful setting to avoid bias and discrimination working at Felder & Associates. We are, thankfully, treated equally regardless of our gender, and we treat one another with mutual respect and understanding.

My hope for young women in architecture is that they will continue to mentor the next generations of women architects, have equal opportunities and respect. One day we will be as well-known as Frank Lloyd Wright and I.M. Pei.

Gretchen Callejas is a project architect at Felder & Associates, where she specializes in historic preservation, adaptive reuse, small scale commercial architecture and high-end residential design. She is also LEED-accredited from the U.S. Green Building Council. Callejas earned Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from Ball State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Citations:

  1. Craven, Jackie (2019, January). 20 Famous Women Architects. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-female-architects-177890
  2. Stratigakos, Despina (2016, April). Why is the world of architecture so male-dominated? LA Times. Retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-stratigakos-missing-women-architects-20160421-story.html
  3. Newman, Caroline (2019, January). Three Generations Of Female Architects Seek To Bring More Women Into The Profession. UVA Today. Retrieved from: https://news.virginia.edu/content/3-generations-female-architects-seek-bring-more-women-profession

 

 

From Refugee Camp to Medical School

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Samixchha Raut standing outside casually posing in front of a tree

By Samixchha Raut

Eight years ago, I lived in Goldhap, a refugee camp in Nepal, where more than 7,000 people reside in just over 1200 households, without running water or electricity. Today, I’m 22, a senior at Rochester Institute of Technology, majoring in Biomedical Science and on a path to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor. I am studying for the MCAT exam to apply for medical school. It has been a long journey for me and my family.

My dad, a native of Bhutan, fled the homeland with his family. He settled in Goldhap, where he did construction work in a surrounding town, and later started repairing bicycles. He met my mother; they married and had me, and my two younger brothers. But there was barely enough food to go around.

In 2010, my family was able to immigrate to the United States, where we settled in Raleigh, North Carolina. I studied hard and earned a full scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology. In spring 2018, I participated in a study abroad program with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). I spent six weeks in each of three locations – studying HIV/Aids Policy & Politics in Cape Town, Media, Gender & Identity in London, and Family and Child Development in Paris. The experience reinforced my commitment to be a doctor!

As a child, I was stricken with jaundice, and it wasn’t sure that I would survive. My parents worked extra hard and were finally able to purchase the medicine that made me better. Once I recuperated, I decided I wanted to be a doctor to help others.

While studying in South Africa, my class visited a township village, Zwelethemba. I felt like I was back in the refugee camp. The people were living in severe poverty. But you could see and feel the camaraderie and love among the villagers. Every child was being raised by the entire village. I pictured myself in them.

It took me back to our camp and to our struggles. I spent 13 years of my life in a refugee camp, living just like these people, and then suddenly, there was I among them as a scholar. It reaffirmed that I am on the right path. It’s important for me to become a doctor and pursue my passion of helping underserved people by providing them with adequate health care.

The study abroad experience was so valuable because I know if I’m to become a doctor and work with a diverse population of people, then I need to experience diversity. This exposure has boosted my motivation to work hard and give back to the community.

Continue on to Hudson Valley Press to read the complete article.

Rihanna Is Now The Wealthiest Female Musician Alive

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Rihanna poses in red dress and red lipstick

It’s official, Robyn Rihanna Fenty is the world’s wealthiest female musician. Let’s let that sink in.

The 31-year-old singer, actress, entrepreneur, beauty and fashion powerhouse just became the world’s highest female earner in music, according to Forbes. Meaning she’s out-earned Madonna ($570 million), Céline Dion ($450 million) and, Beyoncé ($400 million), three of the most wealthy women musicians alive today.

The financial glow up is real: In 2018 Rihanna ranked number 7 on Forbes list with an estimated $37.5 million. As Forbes notes, she’s now worth an estimated $600 million.

As for the tipping point? In May, Rihanna officially launched her luxury fashion label in partnership with the French luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH. The partnership was historical, she became the first woman of color to lead an LVMH business and Fenty Maison is the first fashion company that LVMH has launched from scratch.

While news of Rihanna’s ascent into the highest tax bracket in her respective field is a major accomplishment, it comes as no surprise. Launched in 2017, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty generated $570 million in revenue during its first 15 months.

Then in May 2018, Rihanna launched Savage X, an online-based lingerie company. During the first 40 days on the market, the company made $100 million in sales. It’s now available in 40 markets. Sheesh.

Work, work, work, work, work indeed.

Continue on to Essence to read the complete article

The Secret to Being a Better Boss: Create a “How to Work With Me” Manual

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employees with smiling fase seated at coference table

By Julie Zhuo

Once upon a time in a past job, I received an important email in my inbox that alerted me to some distressing news.

Every six months, our company ran a wide-scale anonymous satisfaction survey that pretty much every single employee participated in. If your team was big enough (as mine was), you’d get your own breakout of the results. I always looked forward to diving into my team’s answers and getting a sense of how people were really feeling about their work, our team dynamic, and me—their manager.

As my eyes scanned the various questions, graphs, and answers, one point in particular stopped me in my tracks.

Under the question, “How often does your manager show care for you?” the chart displaying the responses from my team was a mass of red. I had to read it a few times to ensure I wasn’t misunderstanding: The majority of my team thought I didn’t show care for them?

This was hard to process because of course I cared about them. I cared a lot! I took pride in thinking of new ways to help my direct employees grow and thrive. I gave them challenging projects and frequent feedback because I wanted to see them succeed. And if there were ways in which I could help them—by hiring for their team, advocating for issues on their behalf, or pitching in on a tough project—I always showed up. How could they think that I didn’t care?

That night, I met with a colleague who was also a manager for dinner and poured my heart out to him.

“Julie,” he said, “Have you ever told your employees you care about them? Or asked them how they’d like to be cared for?”

I searched my memories and came up short.

“Everyone’s wired differently,” he said. “And even with the best intentions, we struggle to understand each other. Every manager and employee has his or her own preferences for how they operate and how they want to be treated.”

He was absolutely right.

Even if you’re a good, experienced manager, and even if you show up to work every day with confidence, you’re still going to fail to connect with others from time to time. Some of this will be due to cultural differences, or contrasting personalities, or because we simply have different perspectives and life experiences. But the more I understood about what mattered to my employees, the better a manager I’d be. Similarly, the more my employees understood about how I worked, the fewer misunderstandings we’d have.

So I took his feedback and went to work on better understanding what “being cared for” meant to my employees. And in doing so, I realized I also needed to create a user manual—to myself.

Why Should You Create a User Manual?

When you buy a new camera, it comes with a user manual that teaches you about the specifics of the gadget—what each button means, how to select the appropriate lighting for the situation, how to access the images.

A user guide to your management style works in a similar way by creating clarity for how you work—what you value, what your blind spots or areas of growth are, and how people can build trust with you. It’s something you can give to every new employee who joins your team so they know exactly how to work effectively with you. Most importantly, as you revisit and revise it over the course of your career, you get to see aspects of yourself that have changed as a result of your experience.

So how do you go about creating your own “manager manual”?

The first thing you have to understand is that you really need to know yourself. Filling one out requires you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, what makes you tick, what you prefer others around you do, and what helps you perform at your peak.

The template I’ve included below includes the questions and answers from my own user manual. You can also download a clean copy with just the questions here by choosing File > Download as > whatever file type you’d like or File > Make a Copy. After I created it and shared it with my team, I encouraged them to do the same and share their working styles with me so I could learn how to best manage them. Feel free to modify it to best suit your needs, and continue to change and adapt it as you learn more about what makes your particular user manual more effective.

A User’s Guide to Working With [Your Name]

Introduction

Why are you writing this user guide? What do you hope will be the result of writing and sharing it?

My Example: I’m writing this user guide to give you a better sense of me and my unique values, quirks, and growth areas so that we can develop the strongest relationship possible. I encourage you to do the same and share your user guide with me as well.

How I View Success

What does being good at your job mean to you? What are some of the values that underpin your understanding of success?

My Example: A manager’s job is to continually aim for better and better outcomes for their team. If my team is not happy or not producing good work, then I am not doing a good job. A manager’s three major levers for better outcomes are: people—hiring, coaching, and matching the right person with the right role; purpose—clarity on what success looks like; and process—clarity on how to best work together. Of these three levers, I believe people is the most important.

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.