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Women in Business Day features journeys of strong females

Sasha Yablonovsky, executive vice president of customer experience at CareerBuilder, discusses the pressure of choosing a career and her personal experiences during f-block of Women in Business Day. (Photo by Sophia Zhou)

Women in Business Day provided students with the opportunity to hear various female speakers discuss their journeys and experiences through careers in business. The event is organized and coordinated by a senior in the Girls in Business club every year, and was held in the auditorium Friday, Dec. 14.

The day is a way to bring women in business into the spotlight, according to senior Shaelyn Fitzgerald, the organizer of the event. “We have gotten really strong reviews from teachers and students and we are super happy for how the day has gone,” she said. The Girls in Business club used various connections such as LinkedIn, the Boston Magazine, and personal contacts to find speakers for the day.

Throughout the day, guest speakers discussed the long process of finding the right career.

“Navigating a career is not a straight path. It is not even a ladder,” said executive vice president of customer experience at CareerBuilder Sasha Yablonovsky during f-block. “It’s like the monkey bars because you go all over the place. I am 40 and still open to a career change.”

She added, “It wasn’t until 35 when I really figured out what I wanted to be, so breathe. It’s easy for me to say ‘take risks,’ but the worst thing you will regret is not trying things.”

Simon Property Group general manager Kristen DeFamio also said it takes a long time to find the right job during her b-block presentation. “It’s okay if you have no idea what you want to do. It’s okay if you do know what you want to do. Being happy in your job goes such a long way. If you’re unhappy, that’s the point where you should look for another job.”

She added that it is important to be passionate about your job. “You want to feel good with your job. You should want to show up on a day to day basis.”

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, who attended Harvard Business School, said that growing up she always felt, “I couldn’t do numbers. Math was not my thing. You might end up being more comfortable with numbers than you realize.”

CEO of Boston Duck Tours Cindy Brown earned a degree in economics. During c-block she spoke about being asked to work for Boston Duck Tours before the company had opened for business. “If it didn’t work out, I could always fall back on banking. Now, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t go back to change anything.”

Many speakers also spoke about how being a woman made it difficult to have a career in business, but explained that they were able to overcome injustice.

“The business world is still one of those where for most of my life when I go into a meeting I’m usually the only woman in the room,” said Mayor Fuller. “If you are different from the majority, life is harder and different.”

Brown also said she embraced being a woman because there are mainly men in business. “Coming into this industry, I viewed it as an opportunity rather that a detriment, that I was a woman.”

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