A group of regional business women passed on advice last Thursday at the Women2Women Bucks County gathering.
From advise on networking to tips on how to grow their professional careers, the discussion focused on ways to encourage other women in business. The crowd at the Newtown Athletic Club numbered about 100 people, most of them female.
The panel was made up of Mazda Miles, president of the National Association of Women Business Owners Greater Philadelphia; Angela Giovine, president of Bucks County-based Happenings Media; attorney Denise Bowman, partner at Doylestown-based Antheil Maslow and MacMinn LLP; and Sarah Chamberlain, president and CEO of Republican Main Street Partnership and Main Street Advocacy. The panel was led by Newtown Athletic Club Marketing Director Linda Mitchell.
Chamberlain said although the event was backed by a Republican advocacy group, the event was not political. She said she wants women of all political affiliations to stand up and get involved in business and their community.
Giovine encouraged the audience to “find that thing” that makes them stick out and can earn them a living.
Miles urged businesswomen to hone their strongest skills and “know when to fire themselves,” focusing on what they do best.
“Do great work, be prepared, and know your craft,” Bowman said.
Bowman recalled one job interview years ago when she was asked by a male interviewer if she planned to have a family. She thought the question was inappropriate because they were judging her because she was a woman who may need to take time off due to starting a family.
“I don’t think they asked a male the same question.”
“I decline and left,” she said, adding women need to work in environments where they feel comfortable.
The panel advised women to get out of their comfort zones and make connections.
“Fear can strap you in you or push you forward,” Giovine said. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
Miles said that all business people need to make connections as often as possible and follow up.
Bowman suggested getting involved with local nonprofits to meet others in the community and make connections.
In speaking of past experiences, Chamberlain said she encourages women to be fun and don’t don’t judge one another as much. In many cases, she said, women can be the biggest critics of other women.