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6 April 2021 

International Women’s Month: How Our Bizza-Ladies Own It

Lauren Kerr

Take a peek into how Bizzabo celebrated International Women’s Month, as we spotlight some of our very own Bizza-Ladies.

On March 30, Bizzabo hosted a women-only led discussion to celebrate the accomplishments of our very own Bizza-Ladies across New York, Tel-Aviv, and Ukraine. These incredible women shared with us how they built their career, how they handle imposter syndrome and their tips for embracing the SaaS event industry.

As the Bizzabo team grows globally, we continue to remain focused on creating an all-inclusive future for our female-identifying rock stars so they can feel supported as they move forward in their careers.

Here are the top 10 takeaways from their experiences that all event professionals can use to be a champion for their teams and create a workplace of growth:

1. “Always do your research in new environments, new teams, and new cultures.”

– Laura Meliksetyan, Manager, Client Support at Bizzabo

There’s more to new environments and cultures than just a language. Don’t always assume similarities in communication styles,the way business is conducted, nor humor across various cultures. After all, these are some of the things that make us unique! In a world where companies are diversifying and expanding their offices globally, research and knowledge can go a long way. Ask questions, be curious, challenge stereotypes and think about how you can disrupt the norm in your new work environment to help create a supportive and uplifting space.

2.“Look for the proper training and mentorship before you’re ready to make a leap.”

– Peggy Rynne, Director, Project Management at Bizzabo

Being promoted to a manager position before you’re ready can be overwhelming. Always make sure you seek guidance and training so that you can be an efficient leader and an example for others. You need the right skills for these kinds of career shifts, and once you’ve developed them, you will be able to grow into your new role with confidence. In any transition, vertical or lateral, don’t be afraid to show off your skills and be ready to learn new ones. Obstacle is just another word for opportunity.

3. “Balance evolves throughout life. But a common theme is always making sure you know what is right for you.”

– Gini Agee, Director of Channel Sales at Bizzabo

For some people, yoga or running is a great way to find that balance, for others, it’s about seeing family and friends, or spending time reading a good book. It’s important to find an outlet that works for you and helps you recharge.

Rachel Ruggieri, Director of Events at Bizzabo jumps in with a great quote, “Balance, the new buzzword. How do we all feel human, but constantly motivated? The word that represents an imaginary yardstick that women try to measure up against.”

Balance will look different for everyone, what you feel is an ideal balance might differ from your peers and coworkers. And it will also look different in the future than it does now, perhaps there are changes in your life that will cause you to reevaluate that balance, such as having children or expanding your family. Balance is constantly evolving, from year after to year to day after day. Take the time to reflect inward and think about what balance looks like for you at this moment, and continue to keep a pulse on it as you continue throughout your career journey.

4. “Use your voice. You are the only one who can learn to say yes and no!”

– Peggy Rynne, Director, Project Management at Bizzabo

Setting boundaries will go a long way both personally and professionally. You have a voice and you should feel comfortable using it in your work (and personal) environment. These days, our work is a big part of our lives, and you deserve to feel comfortable. Use your voice to also recognize and acknowledge your peers to build momentum in driving forward the careers of those inside and outside of your circle. We rise by lifting those around us up.

International Womens Month Event Takeaways - Q&A chat

5. “Know your own worth and rights.”

– Marnina Herrmann, Senior User Experience Researcher at Bizzabo

Getting a seat at the table starts with confidence in yourself and knowing what you deserve. You must be your own best advocate, and sometimes that means looking to those around you for guidance. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you lead a team,ask what drives them in their work environment. Whether you are receiving or giving recognition, thank you goes a long way. Support and recognize each other, on both the good days and the bad.

6. “The ability to self critique and doubt yourself is central, but everyone is in it together.”

– Marnina Herrmann, Senior User Experience Researcher at Bizzabo

It’s natural to feel doubt, and sometimes this is the root of why women generally are so keen to learn. Channel this into positive thinking and embrace the challenge of learning new skills. Laura follows up by noting, “It is important that leadership looks to foster and create a space where all forms of diversity are embedded,” which in turn inspires creativity and comfort. Even when you doubt yourself, chances are you actually do know what you’re doing. And even if you don’t, fake it until you make it. Aim to create a workspace where you build up your peers, friends, and coworkers.

7. “Picking the right mentor is an evolutionary process. When you wake up, get up, and when you get up, do something.”

– Peggy Rynne, Director, Project Management at Bizzabo

You’re likely going to need a different mentor at different stages in your life. Depending on what you’re looking to achieve right now, find a mentor based on the specific skills and opportunities you’re looking for in the next stage of your journey. This time next year, you might have a different goal, that’s a sign that you are growing and evolving, and so should your mentors.

You can also be a mentor. If you’ve already gone through or experienced something, you might be the best person to invest in someone who looks up to you.

8. “Surround yourself with those who will be honest and listen to them.”

– Gini Agee, Director of Channel Sales at Bizzabo

Throughout her career, Gini noted that she “had access to many mentors over the years,” each of whom has helped shape her journey. By surrounding yourself with different people who have their own voices and experiences to offer, you can really start to identify your strengths, and just as important, areas you can improve or learn.

Look at ways to leverage your network both inside and outside of the workplace. Create a network chain of leaders and peers who inspire you and who have something to teach you, perhaps about another part of the business!

9.Challenge yourself with the things that make you nervous!”

– Rachel Ruggieri, Director of Events at Bizzabo

A general theme from all of our panelists. Whether you want to learn a new language, or try ice skating for the first time, all of our panelists agree that challenging yourself is a great way to grow. You can develop an existing skill into a strength, or embrace something completely new. Going outside of your comfort zone is what leads to growth and brings about new opportunities.

10. “Never take things for granted. Absorb what goes on in the moment, be grateful and always find joy in what you do!”

– Laura Meliksetyan, Manager, Client Support at Bizzabo

Always remain humble. Look after yourself and care for those around you. And as Rachel Ruggieri said, “Respect everyone’s time, all time is equal.” And finally, remember to approach each day with a smile (like all of our lovely Bizza-Ladies below). These also happen to be a few of the BizzaValues we live by.

International Womens Month Event Takeaways - Smiling

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