In front of a room full of several hundred people at Bentley University, most of whom were women, Governor Patrick and key female executives from across the state’s public and private sectors celebrated “Women in the Workforce” with the announcement of a new Massachusetts Women’s Leadership Fellowship.
In collaboration with Bentley University and its Center for Women and Business, the Women’s Leadership Fellowship will place paid fellows in key positions in state government for a year, as they participate in leadership development and networking programs.
In addition to the new fellowship, Governor Patrick announced the formation of the Successful Women, Successful Families Task Force, led by Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian, which he said will report back to him in six months with recommendations on what the state can do to advance women in their careers.
In addition to Governor Patrick & Secretary Kaprielian, several prominent female executives spoke on their experiences as “women in the workforce.” The panel included:
- – Dr. Beverly Scott, CEO and GM, MBTA
- – Alicia Barton, CEO, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
- – Betsy Myers, Founding Director, Bentley Center for Women and Business
- – Pamela Goldberg, CEO, Massachusetts Technology Collaborate
- – Marty Jones, President and CEO, MassDevelopment
- – Beth Monaghan, Principal, inkhouse
Recalling their own professional histories, each panelist had a personal story to tell, and all had key messages to take away. Dr. Scott professed that “there is nothing good about being the only,” stressing the importance of having a second, third, and beyond. Alicia Barton meanwhile spoke to how critical it was to “take a chance on someone promising.” Betsy Myers emphasized that women need the right support to succeed. Marty Jones, the first female president and CEO of MassDevelopment, referred to her rookie days at HUD where she had the good fortune to be mentored by Eleanor White. Pamela Goldberg expressed gratitude to her advisor at Tufts who believed in her capacity to achieve, and Beth Monaghan stressed confidence, saying “potential looks a lot different on a woman than a man.”
Despite the successes of these women, statistics show that in general, women are still under-represented in board rooms and upper level management positions. The newly created Women’s Leadership Fellowship and Successful Women, Successful Families Task Force will aim to help close that gap.