In continuation of the Princeton Partners “Women in the Workplace” blog series, four members of our content management team share the stories of the female leaders that they admire professionally. We hope to shine a light on leaders who inspire us most.
Becoming the Editor-In-Chief of a major magazine wasn’t just a career goal for 21-year-old Elaine Welteroth, it was the greatest dream she could ever wish for. However, when she moved to New York City to be an editorial intern, she didn’t think she was capable of fulfilling her dream. After all, she didn’t have connections in the industry, disposable income to support her, or fancy clothes to “wow” the executives of fashion publications.
Just eight years later, at the age of 29, Elaine was named the Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue, making her the youngest and second African-American EIC in Conde Nast’s 107-year history. Elaine shared with her 205k followers on Instagram, “Eventually, I started believing the vision placed inside of me. I learned to shrug off the fear of failure, and how to refuse the urge to shrink—even when I was asked to.” In her new role, Elaine would push boundaries by increasing the coverage of politics and social justice in Teen Vogue. On January 14, 2018, Elaine Welteroth officially announced via social media that she would be leaving Conde Nast after six years.
The journey that led Elaine Welteroth to become Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue inspires young people, women, and people-of-color alike, especially me. As a 22-year-old just starting my career in the marketing/design industry, I have so many dreams I would like to see become reality over the course of my career. Whenever a voice creeps into my thoughts saying, “You don’t fit the candidate profile. Don’t bother trying,” I do my best to silence it.
-Christina Royster, Assistant Art Director
As a 21-year-old woman, entering my last semester in college, there is one role-model I have looked up to throughout my entire college career: Emily Raleigh. Yes, this name most likely does not sound familiar to you, but it is a name that certainly deserves to be recognized.
Raleigh’s business began from a 100-page book she created in high school that covered all the advice every high school girl needed, with topics ranging from how to deal with your hair in the morning when you don’t have time to dry it, to how to feel confident in hand-me-downs. From there, her award-winning company, Spire & Co., was born. Spire & Co. is a media company sharing empowering content for ambitious young women, with properties including daily editorials, email newsletters and campus chapters throughout the United States.
Beginning her company, she performed the unbelievable juggling act of running a start-up and attending Fordham University. She faced age prejudice, discrimination, and copy-cat companies attempting to take advantage of her innocence.
At the age of 21, Raleigh created an enterprise that knows no bounds. Although her current successes surpass those of some people that are twice her age, she is not stopping there. She is on a mission to help the next generation of women redefine what it means to be a woman leader. Raleigh serves as a true inspiration to young women, students, and CEOs and embodies the idea that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
-Andrea Janiszewski, Assistant Account Executive
I began my career at Princeton Partners two and a half years ago, having just graduated from college. One woman I have admired over the past two years of working together is my client, Denise Pace-Sanders. When I took over managing her account, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, I had only six months of “real world” experience.
Since day one of working with Denise, she put confidence in me and trusted me to take on every task she asked of the agency. She has been a pleasure to work with in good times, as well as in more challenging circumstances. She handles every situation with grace, asking insightful questions, respecting others’ processes and opinions, and all the while maintaining a positive, smart, and yet, still realistic approach.
Every day, Denise embodies a successful leader who builds others up instead of knocking others down. As I watched Denise get promoted to SVP, Brand Marketing Director, not only achieving an amazing position in her organization, but also being recognized for the smart accomplishments she has made in her work, I hoped to one day be as successful in my career as she is in hers.
-Leigh Cesanek, Account Executive
Call me “so millennial,” but I came across one of the most impactful female role models of mine on Instagram when I was in my senior year of high school. It was the second year of the app’s existence. Under the handle Yoga_Girl, Rachel Brathen posted pictures of her life in Aruba with her boyfriend Dennis, her dog Ringo, and her incredibly impressive yoga skills. Her genuine presence and impressive yoga acrobatics caught my attention and I followed her. She had about 20,000 followers at the time.
Fast forward to 2018. In the past 6 years I completed college and kickstarted my career at Princeton Partners (strategizing on clients’ social media accounts – surprise, surprise). In that same time, Rachel has grown her audience to 2.1 million followers on Instagram. Not only has Rachel toured the world teaching yoga to arenas of people, but she’s started an online yoga business called 108 World. She opened a yoga studio in Aruba with a partner restaurant, called Island Yoga and Nourish Café. She wrote a book, titled Yoga Girl, that made it to the New York Times best seller list. Her second book is in the works.
She also branched out philanthropically. She founded a non-profit group with her best gal pal, Olivia Rothschild, called 109 World that organizes mission trips around the world to create impactful change. She started an animal rescue group and shelter called Sgt. Pepper’s Friends. And just last month, she purchased a property that she intends to turn into an orphanage for the island. She has even begun work on exposing sexual harassment and assault in the yoga community in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Rachel has become a key role model for me because I have watched her grow from someone in a situation not so dissimilar to mine – young, motivated, and just starting out – into a fierce entrepreneur that has harnessed her energy and passion to build the life she wants for her family and truly change the world in any way she can. She inspires me to work my absolute hardest, seek out opportunities to make a difference, and do all things with honesty and positive intentions.
-Devon Flarity, Digital Media Coordinator
This article is part of a series in which Princeton Partners employees will continue to discuss and reflect on this timely and important topic. Through this series, we hope to build awareness of mistreatment of women in the workplace. We would like to encourage businesses across New Jersey to take actionable steps towards applying anti-harassment training in the workplace. We encourage you to join the conversation on our social media pages.
We know sexual harassment is a hard thing to talk about. We’d like to make it easier by starting the conversation in our community.
February 20, 2018
Written by Andrea Janiszewski
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