The Boston Globe is moving from their historic landmark in June. Sign up for a free tour before it’s too late!

Boston mentors networking before the event with dinner provided by The Boston Globe.

Boston mentors networking before the event with dinner provided by The Boston Globe.

On October 20th, we were proud to hold our first Strong Leaders Network Kick-off event at The Boston Globe. We enjoyed a a night of professional networking, development, and discussion between the SWSG team, members of our professional network, and community leaders. To kick off our new Strong Leaders Network model this academic year, we opened up this event to the public for free* and our response was incredibly substantial!
The discussion for the evening was the state of the current presidential election in regards to women. We explored what it meant to be a woman in politics, how female candidates influence the public’s understanding of political roles and the path by which speakers Manikka Bowman and Bridgette McMahon took to get to where they are today!

Executive Director of SWSG, Siiri Morley, moderated a discussion between Manikka Bowman and Bridgette McMahon shining light on what it means to be a professional woman in the workplace, according to their experiences.

A big take-away from the evening was the fact that women are just as qualified as men in the workforce, yet there’s a barrier to women feeling empowered to do so.
With that said, how do we empower women to feel as qualified as men are? 
5 Lessons We Learned at #SLN2016: 

  1. If we want to make change, then that change happens within the individual in order to improve the world to what we believe would make a better society for everyone.
  2. When women support each other, lift each other up, and continue to be a part of communities, we are building confidence to be able to dream and do!
  3. The best way to connect to the girls we mentor is to tap into what makes them smile and light up. When we do that, anything is possible!
  4. On average, women have to be invited 7 times before they make the decision to run for office. Men don’t wait to be invited, which is why having a strong community- with Strong Women, Strong Girls- of strong and encouraging women to lift each other up is an incredible resource to incorporate into our daily lives.
  5. We should never let someone dull our shine because we are capable, we are qualified and we are able to lead!- Manikka Bowman

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and for inspiration! Tag us in what you’re doing in your communities, work, and school, and together we can work to create a community where women are no longer viewed as unqualified to lead!
*Future Strong Leaders Network events will only be complimentary to registered members of the Strong Leaders Network
For more information about hosting a SWSG event, contact Fakisha Fabre at
To read more about our speakers, read below.

Manikka Bowman
After completing her academic studies, Manikka moved to Cambridge in 2006. Since arriving, she has developed a resume that spans education, affordable housing, philanthropic giving, food security, worker justice, and public policy. Bowman’s extensive qualifications mirror many of the larger systems that play a fundamental role in access to educational opportunities. As a Fellow with the Boston Opportunity Agenda, Bowman worked with executive leadership at top public charities and many local foundations throughout the Hub. During her tenure, her goal was to ensure that all Boston residents have access to the education necessary for upward economic mobility, civic engagement, and lifelong learning. Since moving to Cambridge, Ms. Bowman has been committed to service through her work as a Board member of the YWCA and The Cambridge Peace Commission. Manikka Bowman is currently running as a candidate for Cambridge School Committee.
bridgettemcmahonBridgette McMahon
Bridgette McMahon promotes the Barbara Lee Family Foundation’s mission to advance women’s representation in American politics through strategic communications work, including writing, research, and media relations. Prior to joining the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, Bridgette worked for Michigan State Senator Rebekah Warren, providing legislative and community outreach support. She was also a Legal Fellow at the Family Law Project, a nonprofit legal services organization dedicated to providing family law services to survivors of domestic violence. During her time in school, Bridgette clerked with Senator Max Baucus’s office and interned with Running Start, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to inspiring young women to run for political office. Bridgette holds a Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Santa Clara University.