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We stand against racism. We stand with those protesting its ravages.

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Black Lives Matter. The Massachusetts Women’s Forum stands against racism and with those protesting its ravages past, present, and future.  Not just active hate but also passive contempt.  As women leaders, mothers, daughters, and agents of change, we are united by a shared passion for individually and collectively shaping the world according to American values – equality and justice for all.  We are in deep mourning for George Floyd, senselessly killed at the hands of police, those pledged to protect him, protect all of us no matter the color of our skin. We are in deep mourning for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper, for every victim of racism over the last four centuries.

 

We stand for those lost, those who survived, and those who fear every day because of racism.  We call for police reform.  We demand that our police and institutions, our leaders and citizens, our society’s laws and norms, renounce racism and stop the killing of our black and brown family.

 

Today is not about one moment in time.  Our nation must face the history of dehumanization and forced submission and the lived experience of black families.  Each of us must look within, ask why, and find our personal role forward. It is we who change our society, we who sound the alarm, we who build our institutions, we who make our law, and we who keep watch.

 

The Massachusetts Women’s Forum acknowledges that in our everyday actions we must use our power and platform to listen, question, educate, unite, and act.  We commit to advocate for equity, justice, and change.  We pledge to bind together and work to lead our beloved United States of America to live up to its hallowed principles, universal values, and just laws.

 

We stand with those who shout and whisper, scream and cry, for justice: in daily life, in protest, in chambers of government, in business rooms, in classrooms, and in the voting booth.

Did you miss a Virtual Roundtable?

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We’ve posted videos of all of the Virtual Roundtables. Please note these are only available to our membership.

Watch the videos here.  

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Investing in Children is Investing in the Future

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Sandra Fenwick is the Chief Executive Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital, where she leads a team of 20,000 people dedicated to improving and advancing child health through their life-changing work in clinical care, biomedical research, medical education and community engagement. Boston Children’s is ranked the number one pediatric hospital in the nation by US News and World Report, is home to the world’s largest pediatric research enterprise and is the leading recipient of pediatric research funding from the National Institutes of Health. We spoke with Sandi about her career path and advice she had to offer.

 

Find mentors that take you to new places

Sandi always loved science from middle school on, which led her to study biology and chemistry in college. But her life was changed at Harvard School of Public Health, where she was on the premed track, when she was able to do a field research project in Saudi Arabia. There she did lab work and worked with patients, doing clinical trial research, which proved to be great experience for her later career and confirmed her passion for the field.

She found her professors’ commitment to their work inspirational and many supervisors took her under their wing. People that pushed Sandi to take more risks, tackle new tasks, and go in different directions she hadn’t considered before were especially helpful in helping her find her path.

 

Importance of Balance

Sandi offered two pieces of advice. First, find your passion and then give it your all. Do the job with integrity, take measured risk, and make sure to explore and try new things. It is especially effective if you can advance yourself as well as your institution, and lead something important that will better society.

But beyond loving what you do, it is also important to find balance in life, with a life outside of work. Sandi is thankful to have found her husband of 45 years, two amazing children and now grandchildren and community of church and friends and advises others to develop a meaningful life outside of work.

 

Investing in Children is Investing in the Future

According to Sandi, she has the best job in the world at the Boston Children’s Hospital, an extraordinary institution improving the lives of children. She is in awe of the dedication, passion, and resilience of the people she works with every day and the opportunity to support direct patient care and advance the next generation of treatment. Sandi believes that healthy children make a healthy society, and the future of healthcare lies in investing in children.

Under Sandra Fenwick’s leadership, the Boston Children’s Hospital became a “place where the most difficult challenges are faced head on, where the impossible becomes possible, and where families in search of answers find them.” Click here to find ways to be involved with the hospital’s work.

 

MWF colleagues provide personal & professional support

Sandi credits Alison Taunton-Rigby with sponsoring her for MWF membership where she has joined a group of fellow women leaders who are helping shape the business, cultural, academic and civic leadership of Boston and beyond and who have been invaluable mentors, advisors and wonderful friends. C-suite roles can be isolating and lonely-MWF colleagues have provided personal and professional perspectives, support and sustenance.

Megan Costello Joins Forces with MWF to Eradicate the Wage Gap by 2030

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The Women’s Forum is excited to partner with Megan Costello, an experienced public and political manager and strategist, who will lead a feasibility study aimed at eliminating the wage gap by 2030. After graduating this past year with her MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Megan is eager to return to the work of eliminating the women’s wage gap in Massachusetts. Megan’s career has focused on advancing women’s rights, most recently as the Executive Director for the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, an office she started under the leadership of Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Megan also worked on the campaigns of Martin Walsh, Ed Markey, President Barack Obama, and Secretary Hillary Clinton.  She is a former board member of the Massachusetts chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Political Action Committee and a former board member of the External Advisory Board of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston.  

 

Megan is familiar with much of the exciting work happening for women, especially the work helping to close the women’s wage and power gap. She is looking to build on the great work being done rather than reinvent the wheel. She will be reaching out to many of you in the coming months, but if you have ideas please feel free to reach out to her. 

 

We sat down with Megan, to hear more about her goals for the project.

 

Massachusetts is Ready for Change

 

During her time in Mayor Walsh’s office, Megan led an effort to create a national model for closing the wage gap, by working with employers, individual women, and on important legislation. Partnering with the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, she worked with employers to report real wage data anonymously. She managed the City of Boston’s partnership with the American Association of University Women to offer free salary negotiation workshops to Boston’s working women, the program has trained over 10,000 women so far.  And Megan also collaborated with lawmakers and activists on Mayor Walsh’s behalf to support the passage of the equal pay act in Massachusetts. These experiences only strengthened her belief that Boston and Massachusetts are the perfect places to push big change around the pay gap, with all the momentum and support for the cause building. Boston has been leading the way. It’s time to build on that work and take this all around the State. 

 

Women’s Equity is Good for Business

 

For Megan and a lot of us, eliminating the wage gap is not only about dollars and cents, but also getting more women into leadership positions.  This requires asking organizations to be intentional about hiring processes and making sure they have a diverse group of candidates. Many of us have read the reports, we know the data and many businesses are interested in making changes but don’t know how to move forward. What’s stopping them? The case will be different for everyone. She hopes to help organizations look back 10 years, see where they have been, where they are now, and what their goals are for the future.  Passing laws is important to create equity, but eliminating the wage gap will require changing the culture of workplaces. The initiative will need people’s buy-in. We know that when women are paid, businesses have a stronger bottom line so they question here is, “What’s stopping us from achieving it and how can we all play a role?” 

 

Bringing Groups Together will be Crucial

 

Megan is excited about the prospects of bringing together organizations that have traditionally supported women and women’s causes with business, nonprofit, public sector, and community leaders, to come at the issue from multiple angles. It will be key to engage organizations like the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, the Eos Foundation, and the Commonwealth Institute that have taken the lead in data collection and reporting, and TCI, YW, and the Partnership, the Center for Women and Work, who focus on advancing women up the ranks of leadership. To name just a few. Pooling reports, resources, and strategies from these organizations will create an incredible body of knowledge and partnerships will map the way forward. Additionally, local leaders can provide insider knowledge and bring connections to the table. Megan believes we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but rather find out what is happening, how we can add to it and how can we really dig in to have lasting and meaningful impact. 

 

Powerhouse Women Leading the Way

 

Attending the MWF event Women Opening Doors for Women five years ago, Megan remembers looking around the room and seeing all the amazing women that have broken barriers for the next generations. She recognized that this powerhouse group, that had paved the way for women, knew that their success should not end with them. They understood the importance of positions of power for women remaining and growing, and Megan is excited to see the Forum playing a key role in leading this initiative.  

 

Please welcome Megan.

 

Pam Hamlin: From “Curiosity Tour” to Entrepreneurial Adventure

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Pam Hamlin has a new role. After twenty years at Arnold Worldwide where she was an engine for growth, evolution and culture vibrancy and the CEO of the acclaimed global advertising agency, Pam found herself wondering “what’s next” so she chose to embark on a “curiosity tour” to explore the broader marketing ecosystem today, examine her goals, and define her next professional chapter.  

 

Marketing – Where creativity meets commerce.

 

At the starting line of a new chapter, Pam joins York Creative Collective as their new president. YCC is a collective of creative ventures who believe that creativity is the foundation for growth. As she tells it, she believes that she was “genetically born to go into marketing.” Her father was a wall street financier and her mother was a designer. A curiosity for business and artistic abilities brought her to marketing which she describes as the “place where creativity meets commerce.”

 

It’s obvious when you love what you do.

 

In her time at Arnold, Pam found ways to clearly define the role that marketing should play to accelerate growth for the agency’s clients, undercover the essence of a brand and reflect that in an enduring brand idea expressed through compelling campaigns. As a creative business leader and progressive marketer whose strength and passion is “fueling the growth of brands and businesses through creativity,” she is most proud of her work reimagining brands like Royal Caribbean with the “Get Out There” campaign which shattered the misconception among non-cruisers that cruising was a vacation only for those that were “overfed, newlywed and nearly dead” by focusing on people’s explorer mindset and emphasizing new innovations on the cruise line. She oversaw double-digit growth at Ocean Spray with their “Straight from the Bog” campaign that highlighted the grower-owned cooperative heritage of the company and the health properties of cranberries which set the company apart from much larger beverage brands.

Pam is also proud of Arnold’s work renovating the historic Filene’s department store building into a key component in Boston’s downtown revitalization and Arnold’s new headquarters. Filene’s legacy and authenticity mirrored Arnold’s mission of innovation and creativity as Filene’s was the place where department store retailing began. She relished the challenge of celebrating the historic aspects of the building while designing for the needs of a modern workspace.

 

Speak up and let your ambitions be known.

 

Spending the first portion of her career observing how male peers more overtly promoted themselves and their career goals, Pam chose to let the reputation of her work and results alone lead to career advancement. Pam had to learn to be forthright with employers about her goals in her career by speaking up more and letting her ambitions be known. Pam advises that women practice advocating for themselves in ways that also serve the best interests of the company.


Support is a critical component to growth.

 

Support came in many different forms within Pam’s career. Fran Kelly, Arnold’s former CEO, was an invaluable leadership and business role model for her. He took special interest in supporting Pam’s career ambitions and growth. Pam also formed a tight bond with her female colleagues at Arnold whose support, wisdom, friendship, and insight about the challenges of being a professional, working mom was a critical component in her growth. And while Pam has been a member of MWF for several years, once she left Arnold, she has had the opportunity to lean in and she relishes the “camaraderie of such an interesting, smart, talented, experienced group of women.” Since the Forum is not industry-specific, Pam especially appreciates being able to learn from those who aren’t in marketing and advertising.  


From “Curiosity Tour” to an Entrepreneurial Adventure.

 

Last year, Pam hit her 20-year milestone at Arnold and she took the opportunity to step back and envision the next chapter in her career. For Pam, this meant going on a “curiosity tour” and taking the time to explore different ways to apply her extensive marketing and general management experience. After completing a few fascinating consulting engagements, Pam is taking on two new positions — landing her first public Board seat at Cambridge Trust and a new adventure in a new world built on creativity and entrepreneurship.   As the new president of York Creative Collective, she is excited about bringing her expertise to a portfolio of promising emerging growth companies.


Pam Hamlin has been a leading voice in marketing and advertising in Boston for many years and we are proud to have her as a member of our MWF community where she sits on the Board as our Communications Chair. 

Composing a Professional Life – Beyond the C Suite

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Linda Rossetti is a Harvard MBA, serial entrepreneur and expert on transition and its impact on individuals and organizations. Her work on transition, and the incredible energy that she brings to it, coalesced after an uncertain and surprising period she experienced nearly a decade ago. At forty-five, the long-time MWF member caught herself saying, “This is it? You must be kidding. I’ve worked this hard for this?” That internal dialogue occurred during her CEO’s all-day staff meeting at Iron Mountain, a Fortune 500 company with 21,000 employees in thirty-seven countries where Rossetti served as an EVP and C Suite member. The internal dialogue unexpectedly challenged Rossetti to revisit her assumptions about work and the desired impact she hoped to have.

 

“Today, I think about my career impact in very simple terms. I want to change how the world thinks about transitions.” said Rossetti with a broad smile.

 

Rossetti believes that the topic of transition found her even though she was no stranger to transitions. Earlier she served as the CEO of EMaven, Inc., a venture-capital backed technology company that was acquired by publicly traded Perot Systems, now Dell EMC. Following that acquisition, she was recruited by an EMaven Advisory Board member to join Iron Mountain, a highly-acquisitive company that had completed more than two hundred acquisitions.

 

Like many of us in uncertain times, Rossetti searched for resources to help her make sense of how she might move forward. “I was surprised at how little I found that spoke to the enormity of what I was experiencing,” she said. Instead of caving, Rossetti doubled-down. She initiated research, a step that ultimately included hundreds of people from all walks of life who participated in two eighteen-month research cycles. “People seemed to show up. Serendipitously. For example, a professional colleague who happened to run a well-known national outplacement firm said, ‘We will be your learning lab. Let us know what you need.’” Thanks to this type of support, Rossetti’s research yielded groundbreaking insights on transitions and the skills required to navigate it successfully.

 

“I discovered that we grossly misunderstand transition as a society,” said Rossetti. “Very often the first question people ask me once they hear about my work is, “What type of transition?’” Her research revealed that a wide variety of life experiences – from job loss to divorce to remarriage to sudden success – can serve as a catalyst to transitioning although none guarantee such an action.

 

Captivated by her research findings, Rossetti initiated a series of activities designed to address her important conclusions. She founded The Transition Institute, LLC, an organization that is dedicated to supporting individuals and organizations as they navigate transition. Her clients include Merrill Lynch, the US Air Force, Analog Devices, Harvard University, and many others. Her first book, Women & Transition: Reinventing Work and Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), is a 5-star rated Amazon top seller.  Most importantly, Rossetti and her organization collaborate with a number of organizations to advance thinking about transition through curriculum design, additional research and other multi-disciplinary pursuits. She hosts the podcast Destination Unknown – a field guide; and has been featured on NPR, NECN, CBS/WBZ, Money Magazine, The Boston Business Journal, SMARTBrief and other outlets.

 

“I view my work now more expansively than when I was in the C Suite. I think about my work in transition in terms of an enlivening value proposition, one that bestows individuals – and organizations – with the confidence to make different choices in times of uncertainty. Choices not driven by fear or perceived barriers or constraints but choices that allow them to identify opportunities, pursue dreams that felt previously impossible, and ultimately live the life they’ve imagined. It is a long way from the conference room at Iron Mountain. Thanks to my willingness to not run the other way in the face of uncertainty, I feel as if I uncovered the work I was put on the planet to do.”

 

 

 

Carmen Ortiz was named a Women’s Bar Association 2019 Lelia J. Robinson Award Recipient

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The Lelia J. Robinson Award honors women attorneys who have captured the spirit of Lelia J. Robinson, the first woman admitted to practice in Massachusetts. The award recognizes women who, like Robinson, are pioneers in the legal profession and have made a difference in the community.

Carmen Ortiz was named a Women’s Bar Association 2019 Lelia J. Robinson Award Recipient

Pam Hamlin

Pam Hamlin is named to the Board of Cambridge Bancorp

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Pamela Hamlin is one of three women named to the Board of Cambridge Bancorp and its subsidiary, Cambridge Trust Company. Read about her appointment here.

Leadership Learnings with Dana H. Born, Ph.D.

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We are continually inspired by our members, their accomplishments, and the lessons they have learned. Let us know if you wish to be highlighted. Check back monthly for new conversations.

 

A Conversation with Dana H. Born, Ph.D., Brigadier General, USAF Retired
Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership, Chair, Senior Executive Fellows (SEF) Program, Lecturer in Public Policy

 

Dana Born, the Immediate Past President of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum is a leader of leaders. Holding a Doctor of Philosophy degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Pennsylvania State University, Born has a long history of social science education. Combined with nearly 30 years of military service, Born is an effective leader and has applied this knowledge to a multitude of positions throughout her career. At the beginning of her journey, Dana became the first woman to hold the presidentially appointed position of Dean of Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Currently, Dana works at the Harvard Kennedy School where she holds the position of co-director for the Center for Public Leadership. At Harvard, Dana has built a legacy as an educator, teaching leadership to students and fellows from all around the world. Dana’s background as a leader and her incredible knowledge of female professional development made her the perfect president of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum in 2017 and 2018. 

     We recently had an opportunity to speak with her and reflect on her career. 

     

Q: Looking back through your career accolades, what has been your proudest moment thus far?

DANA: “Professionally, having had the extraordinary privilege of leading and serving alongside this country’s best, brightest and bravest men and women in service to our nation for thirty years. Personally, the raising of two beautiful daughters also dedicated to serving in the military and having a close-knit family grounded by love, faith, and friendships.” 

     

Q: Throughout your life, and your career, what has been the most effective piece of advice you’ve received? 

DANA: “In the long run, you will be judged only by your character…as without that, it doesn’t matter how high up the corporate ladder you’ve climbed, how much money you’ve earned, or how many awards you’ve received. You will be remembered not by WHAT you accomplish in life…but by HOW you accomplish it.” 

     

Q: Work like yours is not for the faint of heart. What has been your driver all of these years — what has kept you going?

DANA: “As Winston Churchill once said, ‘You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.’ My drive over the years has been inspired by those I have had the privilege of serving for – dedicating themselves to making a life instead of a living.”

     

Q: How has this mission-driven you to the Massachusetts Women’s Forum?

DANA: “I have been the beneficiary of, and am now a huge proponent of the sacred obligation each of us has to pay it forward to the next generation and/or those less fortunate than ourselves. The MWF provides an ideal community enabling us to do just this. We are women of power and influence. We support and co-mentor women leaders, champion future trailblazers, and advance a better world. We are a community of dauntless women who share intimate connections, conversations of substance, and contributions to a better world.”

     

At nearly every point in her career, Dana Born has worked selflessly to protect, serve and better those around her. Whether they are her students, friends or colleagues, a woman who knows Dana Born is an empowered woman. It is our privilege to call her a member and a part of our community at MWF. 

Massachusetts Women’s Forum
Madison Shaw, Communications Associate
May 2019

2019 Summer Reception

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Our 2019 Summer Reception was a beautiful evening in a beautiful location hosted by Dr. Paula Johnson, President, Wellesley College.