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Past Event Detail

MITX Influence(her): Why It's Worth Taking Risks 04/14/2016
Event Type: MITX Event
Dates: 04/14/2016
Times: 06:00pm - 08:00pm


Hubspot's brand new office in Cambridge: 2 Canal Park, Cambridge, MA


Our 2nd Annual "Off the Record" event takes place April 14th. At this event, you'll hear from a panel of successful women, who will share "straight talk" on their careers. What was their path to success? How have they dealt with career challenges? And more.

The theme of this event is "Risk Taking." We're gathering a panel of women who have carved out their own career path. Taken a risk. Found a fulfilling career in their own, unique way.

Whether it's asking for a promotion, going back to school, launching a startup: Have you thought about taking a risk in your career? Get ready to be inspired by women who have!

Attendees are encouraged to come with questions, because this panel is ready to share their honest answers!


Below, our successful panel of female leaders share more about the risks they've taken. Join us to learn more about their stories, and how sometimes it's worth the risk to take a step - or even a leap forward in your career!

"I think one person’s small risk can be another’s huge leap; it’s deeply personal. Probably the toughest career decision I have taken was when I resigned from a very big role to take a demotion that would enable me to work part-time immediately after my first child was born. I was terribly sad about it, as I had fought hard for the role – and yet I couldn’t see how I could do both things well. (This could become a treatise on the very short maternity leave we enable in the US, but I shall not digress down that rabbit hole.) At the time it felt like the end of my career. I came to see that it was only a break, a side-step, and I am both grateful that I did it and that I was able to resume my career ascent when I felt more ready. That baby is now 10 years old and she has a younger sister and to them, a full-time working mother is totally normal."Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, COO, MIT Technology Review​
Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau is the Chief Operating Officer of MIT Technology Review, a digitally oriented media company founded by MIT whose analysis, features, reviews, interviews, and live events explain the commercial, social, and political impact of new technologies.


"I've been lucky enough to be able to leave awesome opportunities. I left Microsoft without the next thing lined up. I left Kickstarter (my dream job!) to go to Harvard Business School. And then I dropped out so I'd be able to take the role I have now. Leaving a good opportunity is one of the hardest things to do (what if the next thing isn't as good?!), but sometimes you need to do it to succeed." Ellen Chisa, VP of Product, Lola Travel Company, Inc.
Ellen Chisa is the VP Product at Lola Travel. She's on leave from the MBA Program at Harvard Business School, and received her Bachelors in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Previously she was a Product Manager at Kickstarter and Program Manager at Microsoft. In her free time she writesteaches, plays pinball, and scuba dives.​


"I've spent most of my career riding the fine line of the freelancer - and eventually turning it into a career. From my first job in Hawaii, which I got off of Craigslist one sweltering Chicago afternoon to my most recent endeavor, a creative studio with two of my closest guy friends, we've been living on the edge of financial security - and personal sanity - by choice. I am always interested in the next, best opportunity, no matter where it is, geographically (planes are just modern buses, after all). This means my career has taken me to Istanbul, and London, and Doha as well as at least 42 of these United States -- all by my thirtieth birthday."Kate Gardiner, Founder, DSTL;  Forbes #30under30 2016; The List
Kate Gardiner is an audience engagement specialist working with media brands to redefine their digital futures. She is the founder of DSTL, a New York-based agency serving clients around the world. She is also the events director for, a platform for women in business, technology and media. Kate has advised more than fifty media companies, startups and foundations on their digital infrastructure, marketing and content strategy, leveraging a background in international reporting and media management to make the most of limited resources. Among notable successes are the relaunch of Newsweek; the launch of Al Jazeera’s The Stream; the LAUNCH; and her work with New York Public Radio.

"Taking a risk becomes less scary when you realize that it's not about what you're potentially giving up, or what you're potentially gaining. It's what you're learning about your own potential that is the real power. Every risk I've ever taken in starting three companies has brought me to a new place and prepared me for a new opportunity. Looking at risk as a growth journey versus a fixed decision makes it rewarding every time."​ - Addie Swartz, CEO, reacHIRE
Addie Swartz is passionate about empowering women and creating mission-driven companies to achieve that goal. In 2013, she launched her third company,  reacHIRE, a career re-entry solution that enables accomplished women who have taken a career break to successfully re-launch their careers at leading companies. reacHIRE graduates are driving positive business results at a growing list of Boston-area companies including Fidelity, Boston Scientific, Akamai and Constant Contact. Ms. Swartz has dedicated her career to developing products and services that positively impact women at all stages of life. Prior to reacHIRE, Ms. Swartz successfully built and sold two companies: The Beacon Street Girls® which was bought by Simon & Schuster in 2008 and BrightIdeas educational software which was acquired by a division of Pearson Education in 1996. As an innovative thought leader on new pathways for women, Ms. Swartz has been featured in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Boston Globe, Working Mother, NPR, Bloomberg  Radio and MSNBC, among others. In December 2015, Ms. Swartz was selected by the Boston Business Journal to receive the 2015 WomenUp: Women of Influence Award for her work in bringing together talented women and innovative companies.



After two years in a set role, I made the leap to a brand new division within our company. I was the first woman on a team of merely 10 engineers and tasked to develop a new strategy for a new audience with exactly zero examples to learn from. It was unchartered territory. On top of that, the company brought in a completely new VP from the west coast who brought in a playbook I knew nothing about it. Little did I know then, but that job ended up becoming the best job I've ever had. That unfamiliar manager became my most-trusted leader and is a mentor to me even now. The risk of a new challenge rewarded me in ways I would have never thought when taking the role. - Anum Hussain​, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, HubSpot; 25Under25​
After nearly five years as a marketer at HubSpot, Anum took on a completely different role focused on diversity and inclusion. She's since built a framework for how the company thinks about diversity and inclusion and has been executing on the framework through women's events, resources for managers, and programming globally. She's been involved with MITX since 2013 when she was selected for the annual class of Future Leaders.  In 2015, she was selected as one of BetaBoston's 25 Under 25. She's also the co-author for Twitter for Dummies and an internationally traveled marketing speaker on the topics of content, growth, and social media. ​


MITX Influence(her) is an event series for young women in the MITX community who are looking to empower and educate themselves and grow in their careers. Our goal in creating this series is to support and develop the next level of female leaders in Boston. The Influence(her) series seeks to provide opportunities for young women to connect and find inspiration through exclusive access to leaders in the business field. After each event, attendees will leave feeling armed with the necessary tools to take their careers to the next level.​

Join us for the second of four quarterly MITX Influence(her) events in 2016!


MITX Member - $15
Non-Member - $30

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