Voices in the Crowd: Blindsided by the Blind Spot

On Tuesday, March 15, the Women’s Business Council joined forces with the Times Union’s Women@Work for a panel discussion about “The Blind Spot”. This interesting and informative study sparked great discussion about the ways in which CEOs’ perceptions of gender issues in the workplace differ from those of working women, and explored some possible reasons why this might be. Many working women – and some men, too! – were there.  Here’s what our Voices in the Crowd had to say about the experience:

Sandy Dedrick and Jerilee Beaudoin, Pioneer Bank

“I found the event extremely interesting and very relevant to today’s business women.  The presenters were refreshingly candid while providing valuable insight to those in attendance – great event!”

-Sandy Dedrick, Pioneer Bank

“I was a bit surprised at how significant the gap in perception is between male CEOs and the general public, and women in particular, especially in the areas of women in senior management, equality in compensation and the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace.  We’ve come a long way, but there’s still more work to be done.”

-Jerilee Beaudoin, Pioneer Bank

Alan Baker, Creative Marketing Concepts

“I came here today because I like to hear the opinions of all types of business people and owners. I want to understand what obstacles still exist with gender, race, and age in the workplace, and especially the working women’s perspectives, since I do business with marketing directors who are in a large part female.”

-Alan Baker, Creative Marketing Concepts

Sonya Young, Key Bank



“The presentation was well put together and addressed issues that many women face in the workplace yet may not openly discuss. Opening the discussion with statistics behind the issues provided additional relevancy to the topic. This also provided a solid framework for the panel to provide greater insight and personal experiences that many people were able to relate to. Women have made great strides in the workplace and by continuing to have an open dialogue about such challenges it provides the opportunity to make changes.”

-Sonya Young, Key Bank

Don’t miss the next WBC program – C-Secrets from the C-Level – on Tuesday, April 12. Click here to learn more and register!


Voices In the Crowd January 12, 2016

On Tuesday, January 12, Women’s Business Council hosted another inspiring presentation entitled “Speaking Your Truth, The Power of Authenticity” presented by Albany Med Cardiologist Dr. Suzie Mookherjee. She challenged us to explore the true power in being authentic. Starting with a new year and a clean slate, the program came at a perfect time. We are prioritizing and setting goals for ourselves which means sometimes we need to say “no” in order to come closer to our authentic self. I had the opportunity to speak with some of the women in attendance. Here is what they had to say about how they are making an effort to radiate their authentic selves.

“This year, I have pledged to be more organized. When I am more organized I know when to say yes, when to say no, and when to delegate. When I am more organized, I am more focused and active on committees I am passionate about. I enjoy mentoring women, especially in the area of finance.”
– Kim Rainey

Kim Rainey
Kim Rainey, Berkshire Bank and Women’s Business Council Steering Committee Member

“My goals for this year are to complete my degree and strengthen partnerships with local organizations in order to build on my professionalism, collaboration and leadership skills.”
-Kay Aviza


Kay Aviza
Kay Aviza is working on completing her Masters in School Counseling at The Sage Colleges this upcoming May



Kiki Wagner
Kiki Wagner, Merrill Lynch a subsidiary of Bank of America



“I am carving out time for my family and I making sure I have quiet time each day. I feel closer to my authentic self when I practice yoga, tai chi, or play Apples to Apples with my family.”
-Kiki Wagner

Courtney Buckley
Courtney Buckley, Palace Theatre

“I recently made a career change into my true calling in the nonprofit realm. I am grateful because I feel I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am spending more time with family and making an effort to travel less. In my new role, I have the opportunity to showcase how the arts are revitalizing downtown. One of the many programs Palace Theatre has to offer is the arts in education program in collaboration with Park Playhouse. For example, there’s a great schedule lined up of family movies offered at no cost in the summer months.”
-Courtney Buckley

Jackie Shaffer
Jacqueline (Jackie) Sheffer, The Wagner Group and Women’s Business Council Steering Committee Member

“I have four buckets. If an opportunity presents itself and it’s not one of my buckets, I say no. My buckets are 1. Spending time with my husband. 2. Building my business. 3. Running (I’m a marathon runner) and 4. Sharks. (I love sharks).”
-Jackie Sheffer

Alicia Kelley
Alicia Kelley, Key Bank and Women’s Business Council Steering Committee Member

“This year, I am finding out who I am. I left my career behind in Tennessee three years ago and in the past, I wasn’t focused in one area because I was new to the area. This year I have pledged to focus on me and do the things that make me happy. My career makes me happy and I am working on advancing my career. I am learning to say no. My daughter doesn’t have to go everywhere and it is OK for her to spend time with her dad while I read a book. I also enjoy CrossFit. When I lift, it is just me doing the lifting. It gives me focus and I feel I am taking back my own power. My new focus has already made a difference and when I spend time with my family, I have more quality time with them.”
-Alicia Kelley