Lessons in Leadership for Greater Boston Women

10633771_10152806492639807_5364283766401633258_oNearly 1,300 women and (men) in Greater Boston business – all ages and career levels – came together on January 29 for the 21st Annual Pinnacle Awards, the region’s largest celebration of the amazing impact women bring to our community.

Besides the networking, cheers, great lunch, and (even more) networking, the highlight of the day came when we met the 2015 Pinnacle Honorees – a select group with amazing accomplishments in excellence in entrepreneurship, management, and lifetime achievement.

Many valuable lessons learned and career advice beamed throughout the room. In case you weren’t there, here are some of the best:

“Success comes from loving what you do.”
-     Joyce Murphy, Executive Vice Chancellor, UMass Medical School

“Take 1 minute out of your day to just say hello to someone, it really matters.”
-     Cindy Laba, Founder and Head of School, Beacon Academy

“Caring, compassion, and service to others is what is most important.”
-     Joyce Murphy, Executive Vice Chancellor, UMass Medical School

“Be you, and be comfortable in your own skin.”
-     Bev Scott, General Manager, MBTA

“We don’t want girls today to hear that they are not good enough.”
-     Deb Re, Chief Executive Officer, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston

“The mark of a true leader is recognizing not just WHAT you leave behind, but also WHO you leave behind.”
-     Bev Scott, General Manager, MBTA

“Seeing hope and relief in people’s eyes is priceless.”
-     Dr. Thea James, Associate Professional of Emergency Medicine, Boston Medical Center

“If something doesn’t make you emotional & passionate then it probably isn’t worth your time.”
-     Deb Re, Chief Executive Officer, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston

“Success means earning respect along the way.”
-     Emily Rooney, Host and Executive Editor, “Beat the Press” and Radio News Special Contributor, WGBH-TV Boston

Click here to view the photo gallery from the event.

Interested in learning more tips? Here’s another Boston networking event coming up soon!

(Of course, you can also @bostonchamber with the mottos you live by – and we’ll share them via Twitter!)

Chamber Announces 2015 Advocacy Priorities

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today released its 2015 Advocacy Agenda, focused on four key areas – talent, innovation and growth, cost competitiveness, and infrastructure and investment – critical to improving the region’s overall business climate and competitiveness.

“With a new legislative session underway, the Chamber has outlined a number of important public policy priorities designed to strengthen our regional economy,” said Paul Guzzi, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “Our 2015 agenda seeks to strengthen talent development and retention efforts, spur regional innovation and business growth, improve our cost competitiveness, and secure necessary investments in transportation infrastructure. We look forward to working collaboratively with leaders in city and state government, as well as the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, to accomplish these important goals.”

The Chamber’s 2015 Advocacy Agenda is shaped around the following four key areas:

legislative agenda 2015

View the full agenda here.


Blizzard Update from the Chamber

Chamber members and others in the Greater Boston business community:

As the region begins to dig out from the ongoing storm, we wanted to urge continued caution as you and your employees make plans to return to work.

Please note that, as of Tuesday afternoon, the emergency parking ban in Boston remains in effect until further notice. The Governor has announced the travel ban will be lifted in Eastern and Central Massachusetts at midnight on Tuesday. MBTA service will resume Wednesday, with anticipated delays and service interruptions.

The Mayor’s office is urging that businesses make arrangements for employees to work from home on Wednesday, if possible, and/or schedule staggered arrival times to reduce the number of people traveling during peak hours. For more information, visit boston.gov/snow.

Stay safe, and we look forward to getting back to business as usual!


Paul Guzzi
President & CEO

Message from Chamber on impending snow storm

As you know, the storm making its way to our region is expected to be severe, creating major disruptions and dangerous conditions.

The Governor has declared a statewide travel ban, beginning at midnight tonight, and Boston has announced an emergency parking ban starting at 6:00 p.m. tonight. The MBTA will close at midnight and will remain closed tomorrow.

We have heard from both the Mayor and the Governor, who strongly urge all residents to remain inside during the storm, particularly tomorrow, when the impact is expected to be most extreme. Please take these precautions seriously – particularly with public transit closed, travel could be very hazardous. This storm could be one of significant proportions.

We wish you a safe commute and good luck in riding out the storm.

6 Ways Greater Boston Women in Business Can Thrive

One of Greater Boston’s biggest differentiators is the hundreds of talented women in our business community. They’re leading companies. They’re bringing innovation to new heights. And they’re laying the foundation for a successful future. Sure we might be biased, but there’s truly no better place for a woman to build a career than in Boston.

How can women continue to thrive? No matter your age, industry, or level of experience, here are six tips to keep you soaring:

  • Build a brand: What do you want to be known for at the end of the day? Identify three unique value traits that you bring to the table, or how you’ve specifically helped your organization grow. Communicate (or in this case, self-promote) them whenever you can – at team meetings, job reviews, and even externally at networking events. Building a personal brand gives you confidence, added visibility, and surely a leg up on others. (Fact: This is an area many women in the most senior positons haven’t mastered yet)
  • Nurture your network: Studies show women only have a small percentage of C-suite positions. A key reason? Men typically navigate their personal networks more frequently to spread job openings, or position themselves for the next big thing. That alone shows the priceless benefit to expanding your network. Focus more on being strategic – where it’s quality over quantity. It’s easy to add new contacts to LinkedIn or shake a new person’s hand. You want to make sure you’re connecting with the RIGHT people who will help your career. Luckily, events like this and this expose you to these high-level connections.
  • Get out of the office: Always budget specific time to re-charge yourself. This means time for family and friends on a daily basis. A set amount each week devoting to cooking, the gym, or partaking in your favorite hobby. And a specific time monthly for professional development events, meet-ups, or networking events. Track your progress, and hold yourself accountable to taking these “breaks” from work.
  • Actively associate: Business associations offer an impactful source of development. You’ll network with others, get inspired, and build even more of those strategic connections. Luckily, Boston offers a wealth of these groups, whether it’s specific to an industry, career level (ie: CEO or CFO clubs), or the overall region.
  • Get sponsored: Mentors, and the guidance they provide, are invaluable. But you also need at least one sponsor – someone who is well connected, respected, and influential, and will act on your behalf. Tap their insight and expertise. Ask them what it takes to truly advance your career. And build an ongoing relationship with them. Ideally, this is someone who will recommend you for jobs, and be your true advocate on your journey to the next level.
  • Work the Web: Building high-level networks doesn’t only happen in person. Online connections carry more weight in today’s business world. Make sure you’re continually updating your LinkedIn profile with new skills and achievements. Join and participate in online groups dedicated to business. Create a Twitter profile; follow industry and local influencers; and engage them with your insight.

What other strategies would you add to this list? Feel free to @bostonchamber on Twitter with your thoughts!