Not seeing aScroll to Top Button? Go to our FAQ page for more info. Empowered Women Series Archives - Page 2 of 2 - refine+focus

Category: Empowered Women Series

Empowered Women: Speaking Up as a Woman, Conversation with Annette Ballou

Sometimes you don’t have the courage to speak up and sometimes you are shut down even when you speak up. Is the solution in you building your courage or does it have to do with your organization’s culture?

How to Speak Up as a Woman, a Conversation with Annette Ballou from refine+focus on Vimeo.


Listen to Annette Ballou, J.D. Strategic Advisor to President’s Office at University of Massachusetts , she shares her thoughts on importance of innovation based organizational culture and how speaking up is foundation of it.

What do you think we should do so that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak up? Please tell us in the comments!

Empowered Women: Sasha Feldstein on How to Not to Invest in Invisible Emotional Labor

Being an empathic leader should make you a stronger leader, right? Well, not always. Sometimes, it only results in loads of invisible emotional labor at work and at home.

This emotional labor can and should be shared. Listen to my conversation with Sasha Feldstein of California Immigrant Policy Center to learn more.

If you’ve heard last Thursday’s interview with Sasha, skip the first minute. Leave a comment to tell us about your emotional labor.

Listen to more such interviews with Empowered Women here.

Empowered Women: Sasha Feldstein on How to Negotiate as a Woman

Negotiating doesn’t come easy for many women. The more we share our best practices, stories and proven techniques, the better off we’ll all be.

In this episode of Empowered Women Empower Women, Sasha Feldstein of the California Immigrant Policy Center shares her experiences negotiating. While Sasha doesn’t claim to be an expert in negotiations, her real-world, relatable experience & helpful formula will help you succeed. I’ve already started following Sasha’s advice. And I’ve seen the results. You will too when you check out this episode.


In the comments below, Tag the most skilled woman negotiator you know–we’d like to hear their wisdom, too!

Every Thursday a new conversation with an empowered woman is posted. Subscribe and join the tribe of empowered women.


Empowered Women: Yoselin Bugallo on How to Make Others Value Your Career

Your gift for the International Women’s Day is here!

As women, we often have to convince others of the value of our careers. How do we find balance and draw boundaries in our personal and professional lives?

This episode of “Empowered Women Empower Women,” is with Yoselin Bugallo, the Director of Admissions at the NYU Stern School of Business. As a specialist in career development, Yoselin has learned a variety of lessons over the years—and one piece of advice that stood out to her was that who you choose as your life partner is one of the most important decisions you make in your career.

We’re trained to look at our life in buckets that we keep separate. Everyone has a career bucket, which we’re told shouldn’t mix with our personal bucket. But we don’t really live in buckets. What happens in our personal lives and in our support systems reflects on our career. Surrounding yourself with a support system that can pitch in when you ask for help can be the framework for a great career.

Enjoy your gift and share it with others!

Interviewed by: Purnima Thakre

Video edits by: Allison Yu


Empowered Women: Naheed Chowdhry Speaking about Speaking Up

Happy Women’s Day to all empowered women and the ones aspiring to be one!

Ever thought, why do so many of us find it hard to speak up? And what can we do to make our voices heard without being perceived wrongly?

The first episode of “Empowered Women Empower Women,” is with Naheed Chowdhry, the founder of iWill. With a focus on gender equality in the workplace, iWill helps augment, not reinvent, the gender-disparity policies of global leaders.

Naheed emphasizes that the best way to shift the mindsets of others is a mix of data and empathy. It’s only when something becomes personal that you can feel the impact and the desire to change your unconscious behavior. She also points to the benefits of safe spaces, where you can open up and discuss experiences without being judged.

When you have an idea, it’s important to have your voice heard. Communication is the one tool that can enable the creation of so many bridges. So talk with facts. Try to remove the opinion. If someone’s questioning what you’re saying, use data and ask for examples from them.

Celebrate this Women’s Day with listening to Naheed’s effective framework for communication and sharing that gift with women you want to empower!

Interviewed by Purnima Thakre 

Video edits by Allison Yu

Purnima Thakre unveils “Empowered Women Empower Women” initiative

In early January, refine+focus COO Purnima Thakre unveiled plans to launch Empowered Women Empower Women, a new interview series that will focus on exploring the experiences of exceptional women in the workplace. Every other week, Purnima will interview an accomplished woman about the successes, challenges, and lessons of her career. She hopes the series will inspire discussion around being a woman in the workforce by identifying role models that other women can look up to.

“We don’t have enough mentors in our close vicinity who can share their experiences, who we can talk to about our problems,” said Purnima. “Our experiences as women are different. Our challenges are different. And the way we work, the way we lead is different. Male role models are great, but they surely aren’t enough for us.”

Purnima’s announcement comes in the wake of stalled progress for gender diversity across corporate America. Even though women have been earning more bachelor’s degrees than men for over 30 years, they remain underrepresented at all levels. For every 100 men promoted into manager positions, only 79 women are, and women often have to provide more evidence of their competence than men do.

Networking plays an essential role in success in the workplace, yet on average, women are working more and networking less than their male colleagues, often assuming they don’t have the time for career-related social engagements on top of their work-life balance. But finding role models and making professional connections with other women can have a long-term positive impact.

“For the longest part of my career, I was told to be a certain way or do things in a certain way,” Purnima said. “If I spoke up, I was too bossy, if I didn’t say anything, I was too shy. If I dressed up neutrally I was too plain, if I tried to pay attention to how I looked, I was wasting too much time. If I had spent that time knowing it was not unusual, it would have made a huge difference.”

With Empowered Women Empower Women, Purnima aims to build a community that can provide women with the role models they need. Her ultimate goal is to bring successful women closer to those in need of mentors, and she encourages anyone who resonates with a particular woman’s experience to reach out so she can connect them.

Although the initiative has received a remarkable wave of response, Purnima did notice one pattern in the nominations sent to her.

“Out of these two or three hundred women, only two nominated themselves, which I see as a problem,” Purnima said. “That’s the change I’m seeking, where we’ll feel confident enough to speak for ourselves, where we feel important enough to talk about ourselves.”

If you know a woman you’d like to nominate who is empowered, contact Purnima Thakre at

You can watch Purnima announcing the “Empowered Women Empower Women” here and below, and stay tuned to her LinkedIn for updates.



Newsletter Subscriber