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University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

University of Colorado Denver, Newsroom

'Women in non-profit' panel offers inside views

Motivation comes from helping others, opportunity, passion

9/25/2012
Women in non-profit panel
​By Amanda Heersink | University Communications

DENVER - The Women’s Resource Center, the Career Center and the Experiential Learning Center (ELC) on the Denver Campus hosted a ‘Women in Non-Profits’ career panel aimed at students on Sept. 24. On the panel were six women who have been in the non-profit arena for several years.  

The panelists spoke about what makes non-profit one of the best sectors to work in. “The greatest thing about non-profit is it is never the same thing on any day” said Joy Henika, membership manager at Girl Scouts of Colorado, “I do something different every day.”

Joan Harrold, marketing and communications manager for Bikes Belong, added, “The flexibility at my job is really nice. I can do what I need to but also still get my work done. I think it is more flexible than any other sector.”

One question from the audience touched on how the panelists came to be in the non-profit arena. Jessy Jones, supervisor for Bayaud Enterprises, replied, “I think all of us kind of just fell into it. We had a passion and we followed it.”

Mary Bogus, field operations specialist for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, added, “I think from a young age I was being groomed to be in non-profit by my family. I knew I wanted to work with people and I wanted to learn how to make their life easier.”

Another member of the audience asked 'what the most valuable experience from college was to help them in non-profits.' Erin Bennett, Colorado director for 9to5, National Association of Working Women, said, “Being involved with as many groups as possible is what really helped me.” 
Then Harrold added, “College is a lot like a non-profit really. There are never enough people, money or time but you make do with what you have and put forth your best effort.”

When asked about how to choose a non-profit to work for, Kaoru Kobayash, senior membership manager for Girl Scouts of Colorado, said, “Make sure that you really like the mission statement of the organization. When you have your bad days, and you will have them, you can remember that mission statement and why it is that you are doing the work you are doing.”

One of the final questions was about the overall impression that most people have about non-profits in that the people (mostly women) working in non-profits are overworked and underpaid. Bennett said, “What you need to realize now is that you deserve to work regular hours and you deserve a decent pay when you start out, not 10 years down the road.” Jones added, “Speak up from the start. You need to realize that your opinions and valuable.”

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Contact: amanda.heersink@ucdenver.edu

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