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Bridge Women's Network

Our mission is to be the firm’s key resource and point of advocacy for the most current research, programming, practices and opportunities for dialogue and collaboration, and to provide a firm-wide platform to recruit and promote female career development, develop relationships internally between groups, and provide leadership opportunities.

2023 Women's History Month Panels, Podcasts & Interviews

International Women's Day Panel

BPM Leadership Panel

Women's History Month Podcast

March Series: I Wish I Knew - Advice from Female Leaders at Bridge

Ana Fannon

Commercial Regional Property Manager, BCRE

Find a Mentor

We all have a best friend who knows the good, the bad and the ugly and you need the same in a professional setting. A mentor is someone who will support and guide you through the great and not so great times of your career. Just this week I bet you had a situation where you thought “I wish I had someone to talk this through with” that’s when you call your mentor. Think about someone you look up to either within the company or the industry and ask them to take you under their wing. If no one comes to mind, many of our industry organizations offer mentorship programs so someone like you can be connected to a potential mentor.

Celebrate Other Women

Nothing boosts our confidence than positive acknowledgement from our female colleagues, reassurance that we are a strong work force of female professionals who are going to celebrate each other. I promise you it’s worth it, these ladies are your allies and will have your back, work as a unit not trying to compete with each other. It’s easy to do, if one of your coworkers offers a creative idea in a meeting, acknowledge it! If your colleague gets a promotion, give them a handwritten card congratulating them on their achievements. Imagine how you would want to be celebrated for your accomplishments. 

Pass Go & Collect $200

Run circles on that board and make mistakes along the way. Identify those mistakes not as failures but as opportunities to improve yourself and your skill set. Any leader will tell you, the mistake is not the issue, it’s all in how you handle and grow from it. Open Microsoft Word and at the top write out the mistake, then write out different scenarios that you have could have used to achieve the outcome you wanted instead and highlight the one you will use next time. Each time you pass go learning from your mistakes you’ve gained so much value as an individual. I really wish I knew starting off that making those mistakes was going to shape me into the career driven professional I am today; I may have even celebrated them.

Get Involved

Day in and day out you show up to work and we know you’re mastering your position and skill set, but there is always room for growth. Get involved in fabulous internal committees just like this one or even outside of Bridge, there are many industry organizations, but you must join a committee. It’s literally free training! You’re obviously helping a great organization by volunteering your time but in return you’re developing your multi-tasking skills, public speaking, organization, etc. Take it another step further and chair a committee developing your leadership skills so that you’re prepared for that role when it comes.

Janet Stewart

Director, Debt Capital Markets

Proactive, Proactive, Proactive!

Try to stay a step ahead and look for solutions to problems instead of waiting for direction.  Being proactive in your everyday work life keeps you more focused, keeps things running smoothly, and helps you reach goals faster. Newton’s first law of motion supports that a body in motion stays in motion.  Being proactive is the same concept of staying in motion and you’ll find that you finish work early and deal with possible problems before they become problems.  Also, being proactive keeps your work mind healthy and in a positive frame. Being proactive can boost you up to the next level and ultimately to the position you deserve. It gives you power.

"Everything is Your Fault"

When I got hired here at Bridge, my boss (Brad Andrus) told me “everything is your fault”. At the time I thought that was super unfair to say, because I have no control over other people.  But in a strange way he is absolutely right.  Everything is my fault when it comes to me or better put, I am in control of my actions, my emotions, and my attitude. If I need to obtain more knowledge about a process, it is in my control to get it or ask for it.  If someone sends a rather unpleasant email, it is totally in my control on how I perceive it or how I’m going to handle it.  When (not if), I make a mistake it is up to me how to fix it and up to me on what I learn from it and how to move forward.  If someone does me physical harm, it is ultimately on me to deal with it; whether I sit and complain or get up and beat them back. Stop trying to be a people pleaser, and just do your best. It’s great to be a helper and help others when you can, but don’t belittle yourself in that process. Own your process and your style and your attitude and remember you are in control.

Communication is Key

Two things with this; First, say what you mean and say it with strength. Stop apologizing or qualifying yourself when you speak with others.  You don’t have to be pushy or overly aggressive but speak with confidence.  Your knowledge is valuable, speak up.  Don’t allow yourself to be interrupted or talked over.  Sometimes this can be the hardest challenge you’ll find in the workplace; it is difficult to find the balance between the overbearing egotistical person and the mousey pushover person. But you need to find your confident center and use it to deliver your statements with authority and certainty.

Second, this world is becoming more and more diverse by the minute. You need to learn to communicate with all different groups and individuals both giving and receiving.  Don’t read emotion or perceived tone into emails or messages. There may be times when you feel like a text or email was intentionally pointed at you and you suddenly feel undervalued, discriminated against or targeted.  9 times out of 10, that is not what was intended. Don’t put your ‘feeling’ on a subject when one wasn’t intended. 

Play to Your Strengths

Identify what you are good at and use it! There are many in corporate America that are unsure of themselves in the workplace.  You need to remember that you got your job for a reason, and you are good at what you do.  Don’t forget that.  If you want to be better at something, then go do it!  Take a class, or seminar and find out how to be better or learn more. Volunteer for more, then you can see what you are capable of and if somethings fit better for you than others. Hate to say it but if you wait for someone to recognize your efforts and talents you may be waiting a while. Recognize yourself and your accomplishments. Give yourself the praise you deserve and then go do more.   

Why Do We Celebrate Women's History Month

International Women's Day

Women's History Month Theme 2024

Women's History Month is a dedicated month to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions of women to U.S. history. From Abigail Adams to Susan B. AnthonySojourner Truth to Rosa Parks, the timeline of women's history milestones stretches back to the founding of the United States.

The actual celebration of Women's History Month grew out of a weeklong celebration of women's contributions to culture, history and society organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978. Presentations were given at dozens of schools, hundreds of students participated in a "Real Woman" essay contest and a parade was held in downtown Santa Rosa.

A few years later, the idea caught on within communities, school districts and organizations across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women's History Week. The U.S. Congress followed suit the next year, passing a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women's History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.

International Women's Day, a global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women, took place for the first time on March 8, 1911. Many countries around the world celebrate the holiday with demonstrations, educational initiatives and customs such as presenting women with gifts and flowers. 

The United Nations has sponsored International Women's Day since 1975. When adopting its resolution on the observance of International Women's Day, the United Nations General Assembly cited the following reasons: "To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security."

The National Women's History Alliance designates a yearly theme for Women's History Month. The 2024 theme celebrates "Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion." This theme recognizes women who understand the need to eliminate bias and discrimination from individuals' lives and institutions.

Women's History Milestones: A Timeline

Women’s history is full of trailblazers in the fight for equality in the United States. From Abigail Adams imploring her husband to “remember the ladies” when envisioning a government for the American colonies, to suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fighting for women's right to vote, to the rise of feminism and Hillary Clinton becoming the first female nominee for president by a major political party, American women have long fought for equal footing throughout the nation’s history. Below is a timeline of notable events in U.S. women's history.

 

"Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water." – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), political figure, diplomat, activist, First Lady. themes.

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity," Amelia Earhart (1897-1937?), aviation pioneer.

"You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right." – Rosa Parks (1913-2005), civil rights activist.

"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." - Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), U.S. Congresswoman.

"My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." – Maya Angelou (1928-2014), memoirist, poet, civil rights activist.

"It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent." – Madeleine Albright (1937-2022), U.S. Secretary of State.

"Champions keep playing until they get it right." – Billie Jean King (1943 - ), tennis champion.

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." - Alice Walker (1944 - ), novelist, short story writer, poet, social activist.

"One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world."

― Malala Yousafzai (1997- ), Pakistani female education activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

2023 BWN Mentoring Program

The BWN Analyst & Associate Mentoring Program by The Bridge Women’s Network has started its third year in March. This year, the program has 45 mentee/mentor pairings, 9 additional mentors, and almost 100 participants. Its main goals are to provide support to junior female talent, connect female Analysts and Associates with senior mentors, increase engagement, and provide professional development. Mentees and mentors build trust, share experiences, and create long-term professional relationships through a two-way feedback partnership. Mentees are provided with resources, skill development programs, and networking opportunities, and are paired with a mentor for one-on-one meetings. The program year will end in early December, and the 2024 program will start in February.

2023 Women's Leadership Exchange

The BWN Leadership Exchange is in its second year. The program supports rising senior female talent and has twenty participants - female Bridge Directors and MDs promoted within the last three years. The objective is to develop leadership skills and learn from each other's experiences.

The upcoming Q2 sessions include roundtables with Chris Young, Partner Emeritus, and Co-Founder of Bridge Investment Group, and Olivia John, former head of Multifamily Real Estate at Blackstone. Last year's success prompted all members to stay in the cohort as we brought in new promoted individuals. The BWN Leadership Exchange is inspired by the Circles program and other peer female leadership development programs. Successful groups form lasting bonds.

Past BWN Offerings

Tina Renee McCall

Teresa Hough

Charlotte Morse

Isela Rosales

Inna Khidekel

Gino Ferro

Jeehae Lee

Krissy Cavin

Rachel Mondelli

Allison Ramirez

Martha Agarwal

Bridge Women's Network Committee

Connect with BWN

We’re always looking for great ideas, events, photos, and other resources to share!

Reach out to: bwn@brideig.com

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