Women: Working It

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Colleen Ammerman
Glass Half-Broken, Saturday, October 16 | Virtual

Colleen Ammerman is director of the Gender Initiative at Harvard Business School, which catalyzes and translates cutting-edge research to transform practice, enable leaders to drive change, and eradicate gender, race, and other forms of inequality in business and society. In this role, she oversees the Initiative’s staff, operations, and activities, including student and alumni engagement, programs for companies, and research conferences. She is a member of the Life & Leadership After HBS research team, an ongoing longitudinal study which examines the influence of gender and race on the life and career outcomes of MBA graduates. Ammerman is coauthor, with Boris Groysberg, of Glass Half-Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work, as well as other teaching materials and articles on workplace equity.

Danielle Dreilinger
The Secret History of Home Economics, Saturday, October 16 | virtual

Danielle Dreilinger is the author of The Secret History of Home Economics. She was a 2018 Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, was named best features writer by the Louisiana Press Association, and has received project fellowships from the Robert B. Silvers Foundation, the Education Writers Association, and the Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation). She spent five years covering New Orleans’s contentious education revolution for the Times-Picayune. Before that, she produced GBH’s local news website and wrote for the Boston Globe, most notably as the Somerville correspondent focused on gentrification, diversity, politics, and city life. She began her journalism career covering the arts for several outlets, including WBUR, where she was part of the team that won the station’s first Online Journalism Award. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Hechinger Report, USA Today, the Atlantic, Ploughshares, Nashville Scene, and No Depression, among (many) other publications. She holds a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Columbia University.

Minda Harts
Right Within, Saturday, October 16 | virtual

Minda Harts is the CEO of The Memo LLC, a career development platform for women of color, a professor of public service at NYU Wagner, and the author of The Memo. She has been featured on MSNBC's Morning Joe and Fast Company, and speaks at Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, Levi's, and Google. In 2020 she was named a LinkedIn Top Voice, and in 2018, she was named one of 25 Emerging Innovators by American Express. She hosts the podcast Secure the Seat and lives in New York City.

Dominique Mielle
Damsel in Distressed, Saturday, October 16 | virtual

Dominique Mielle spent twenty years at Canyon Capital, a $25 billion multi-strategy hedge fund, as a partner and senior portfolio manager. She was named one of the “Top 50 Women in Hedge Funds” by EY in 2017, currently serves on five public and private corporate boards, and is a contributor to Forbes. Her book, Damsel in Distressed, is the first hedge fund memoir written by a woman.

Morra Aarons-Mele
Saturday, October 16 | virtual

Morra Aarons-Mele is an entrepreneur and communications executive who founded the award-winning strategic communications agency Women Online and The Mission List, an influencer database. She is EVP of Social Impact at Geben Communication. Geben acquired Women Online and The Mission List in 2021. She is an expert in online marketing who has been working with women online since 1999. Her internet experience spans politics and the private sector. During the 2004 presidential election, she was the director of internet marketing for the Democratic National Committee. After the 2004 election she founded Edelman’s digital public affairs team where she worked with Fortune 50 clients. Aarons-Mele is also an author, podcast host, and public speaker. She's passionate about helping people rethink the relationship between their mental health and their leadership. An extremely anxious introvert herself, she hosts the top-rated podcast The Anxious Achiever for "HBR Presents" from Harvard Business Review. Her book on anxiety and leadership will be published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2022. Until 2018, she was host of the popular Forbes podcast Hiding in the Bathroom. Her book Hiding in the Bathroom: How to Get Out There (When You'd Rather Stay Home) is an Amazon bestseller and is available in five languages. She has written for the Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Guardian.

This session takes a wide-ranging look at women and work. Danielle Dreilinger’s The Secret History of Home Economics traces the history of this misunderstood field and its surprising role in creating opportunities for women in careers like chemistry, engineering, psychology, and business. Colleen Ammerman, in Glass Half-Broken, asks why women, who make up the majority of college educated workers in the United States, are still underrepresented in positions of power and status. As an exception that proves the rule, Dominique Mielle, in Damsel in Distressed, brings humor to her description of life as a very successful woman in the mostly male world of hedge funds. Minda Harts, professor of public service at NYU Wagner and founder of The Memo, offers actionable advice for women of color to cope with everything from the wage gap to microaggressions in Right Within. Our host is Morra Aarons-Mele, founder of the social impact agency, Women Online, host of the HBR podcast The Anxious Achiever, and author of Hiding in the Bathroom. Join this group of kick-ass, powerful women for an eye-opening and provocative session about work. Sponsored by Western Governors University.