Power of Women Inspires Young Women to Take Risks & Be Authentic - Kingswood Oxford

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May 02, 2023

Power of Women Inspires Young Women to Take Risks & Be Authentic

Over 150 people attended the Power of Women event in the Roberts Theater on Sunday, April 30, featuring several women leaders Christine Bromberg P ’23, ’24, a partner at Robinson Cole, Debra Fountain P ’23, owner of Lifer Fitness Studio, Angela Georgopoulos ’00 senior director of resource development of the American Society of Hematology, and Joyce Mandell P ’82, ‘87 GP ’21, ’22, ’22, ’23, ’25, ’26, entrepreneur and documentary film producer. The panel was moderated by Director of Leadership Giving POW advisor Jayne Rotter and student chairs Tess Chapman ’23, Maggie Dwyyer ’23, and Alyssa Temkin ’23, who masterfully kept the conversation flowing. The panelists shared their experiences and insights as women in the workforce, revealing their challenges and highlights to help our young women navigate their career paths. 

Power of Wwmen event at Kingswood Oxford in West Hartford inspires young women to take risks.


Following a brief, upbeat video where the members of POW shared what makes them feel empowered, the chairs asked the panelists a similar question. Mandell said she felt most empowered when she knew she had made the right decision. Fountain shared she feels most energized when she teaches a weightlifting class. “I love when women feel strong physically and mentally,” Fountain said.  “When I’m done, I feel like I can do anything.” Bromberg enjoys my children being happy and thriving. The audience laughed at Georgopoulos’s response to the question. “Walking into a room, and I know my worth, and I know my power, and I know they’re underestimating me,” she said,” and I’m doing it in a fabulous pair of heels.”


The women discussed where they received inspiration from family members and media personalities. Mandell’s successful businessman father taught Mandell the ropes of business. She started a direct mail business with her husband in 1971 and was attuned to making their business appear highly professional. They decided not to feature Joyce in the business brochure because they did not want to appear as a mom-and-pop business. While Fountain was a stay-at-home mom, she watched the Oprah Winfrey Show and realized that she could love what she does and make money doing it – something that she never imagined while starting her career in finance. Bromberg’s sister, a nuclear engineer with four children, was a role model. She said her sister made balancing a career with the demands of motherhood look easy, which she admitted is a fallacy. “It’s not easy,” she said. 


Many of the women shared that their career trajectories were not linear, and they took many meandering paths to wind up in their ultimate career choice. They urged the students to take their time to find out what they love to do and accept that finding a career path may look different for different people.


The panelist discussed their challenges in the business world, especially in male-dominated fields like STEM and law.  Bromberg said she learned how to have a voice and exercise a voice that is true to herself and her personality. While opening her fitness facility and ordering exercise equipment, Fountain said many of the salespeople wanted to speak with the decision-maker, and she had to tell them that she was the business owner. Georgopoulos said in the STEM field, women need to get accustomed to being in the minority. “You need to say to yourself, ‘Why not me? Why not any of us?’” she said. “There will always be more men in these courses – who cares. You have every right to be there. Take up space and be there if they underestimate you, great.” 


The panelists gave words of advice to the audience. Gereogopoulos said that the students must set themselves up for success by understanding the difference between being “interested” and “committed” in the workforce. She said being interested in what you do at work is fine; however, those who are committed will rise through the ranks. She urged the students to ask questions and embrace the experiences before them. Bromberg said that mistakes are part of learning and not to be afraid to take risks. Fountain told the group not to lose sight of caring for themselves and their bodies. Mandell said to be authentic. “Don’t lie or exaggerate or lie to yourself.”


Following the discussion, the panelists fielded questions from the audience on imposter syndrome and balance., expressing the need for women to be authentically themselves and work hard. 

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