Join us for our installment of the Pacesetters Doing Business series featuring Boston Planning and Development Agency on December 7, 2023.
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Jenny Holaday will share her journey into leadership as President of Encore Boston Harbor and first woman to run a casino in Massachusetts.
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Encore Boston Harbor
Step into Winter Wonderland at our BIMA Holiday Gala. Gather your digital media and marketing peers for a night of networking and entertainment.
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Designed for mid-level managers and supervisors, this new certificate program addresses workplace well-being through unique, innovative, and actionable methods.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
This past year has been confusing, uncertain, and emotionally taxing. But despite the challenges thrown our way, we – a community of leaders, from diverse fields and at varying stages of our careers – have made it here together and for that, I am so incredibly grateful.
When I received the email from Alyson that I was chosen to be graduation speaker, I froze. My first thought was, “Can I say no?” It would save me a lot of nerves, risk of embarrassment, and the general anxiety I feel surrounding public speaking. I was drafting up a response gently turning down the offer when I remembered a quote from Dr. Brené Brown that I had scribbled down during our orientation back in October.
“When you shut down vulnerability, you shut down opportunity.”
The Women’s Leadership Program has taught me to challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone – to have courage and embrace uncomfortable situations as opportunities for growth.
One of the reasons that I was nervous to give this speech is that I am an emotional person – and it shows! I cry at almost anything. I cry when I am sad, angry, happy, overwhelmed, nervous…I could go on. For a long time, I viewed this part of myself as a weakness. I had an idea in my head of what a successful leader was. Someone who was firm and confident. How can I be a strong leader if I show my emotions? How can I confidently lead a team if I am vulnerable? How can I change this part of myself to truly be seen as a leader?
What I have learned from this program is that there are many ways to be a leader. A leader can show her emotions and still be successful. In fact, she may even be an example to others who are struggling behind their own armor.
When another participant in our cohort mentioned that she also cried at everything, I felt a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. Others chimed in the chat box sharing how they felt similarly. I reminded myself that vulnerability is a strength, and it should be celebrated in leadership, not stifled.
Being able to connect with others on a human, emotional level is a valuable skill. If you are your authentic self in the workplace, it can make you a better leader. And we need leaders who embrace vulnerability and practice compassion in the workplace. We would not have been able to get through the last year without empathy, consideration and understanding for others. This past year taught us to advocate not only for our own needs, but to become champions of our teammates and their needs as well.
As leaders, we should work to foster a culture of belonging where people can bring their true and authentic selves to work and the best way to do this is to lead by example. Showing vulnerability and an openness to feedback creates an environment of trust, improves relationships, and makes a stronger team.
Empathy, compassion, and the ability to embrace and accept vulnerability should be the norm, not just during a global pandemic.
Our leadership journeys are never complete. As we continually grow and learn as leaders, we need to remember to be vulnerable, challenge ourselves, embrace opportunities for growth, and realize that this work does not stop just because the Program is over.
Thank you all for this incredible opportunity. Thank you to Alyson, Rachel, and the entire Chamber team for their flawless organization of a completely remote program. Thank you to Mary, Kerry, Elisa and the Simmons team for sharing their expertise and leading engaging sessions. Thank you to the incredible leaders of Women’s Lunch Place, Jennifer and Nancy, for their guidance and encouragement. And big thanks to my Peer Mentor Team—Shameika, Danielle, Julia and Sissi—for your support, community, and laughter! I can’t wait to meet you all not through a screen.
To my fellow Graduates, allow yourselves to be vulnerable. Remember that your emotions are valid.
Use them as your power.
Thank you and Congratulations Class of 2021!
Women’s Leadership Program empowers women leaders with the skills and network they need to excel in their careers and to create the conditions for other women to thrive. In partnership with Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership, participants learn to identify and maximize their leadership style, build a strategic network, manage teams and perceptions, and negotiate. Nominations for the Class of 2022 are now open! You may submit a nomination here.