In 2022, the world is striving to cultivate an environment of inclusivity for women everywhere. At YPTC, equitable goals that celebrate diversity have been at the forefront since its founding in 1993. To honor the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day campaign, #BreakTheBias, we spoke with some of the women who have broken and continue to break the bias at YPTC and how they’ve felt empowered to do so.
“I am proud to be in the position of Managing Partner of a growing organization like YPTC. Here, I have the opportunity to work with and learn from inspiring female leaders every day. In founding the Women in Nonprofit Leadership Conference, and as the host of Mission Business Podcast, I have found so much purpose in being able to provide other women leaders with a platform. I commit to continuing to work to #BreakTheBias in my professional life and beyond.” -Jennifer Alleva, Managing Partner
“I was personally recruited to YPTC while I was pregnant with my second child and looking for part-time work that would allow me more time at home. I was assured by YPTC that having a family wouldn’t limit my career options, despite my having encountered limitations at my prior employer. Since then, I’ve had endless growth opportunities without pressure to climb the corporate “ladder.” No matter where they are in their careers, all our staff members can find a place here—we celebrate each other’s wins and support each other when we need it. Everyone is respected and welcomed, and we appreciate that we are truly better together!”-Heidi Pelczar, Chief Operating Officer
“Reflecting on this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreaktheBias, I wanted to share what I learned about Mary Washington Wylie, the first African American woman to earn her CPA in 1943. She was an exemplary accountant, businesswoman, and mentor. The Chicago-based firm she co-founded—Washington, Pittman, and McKeever—became one of the largest Black-owned accounting firms in the United States. Washington Wylie’s proudest achievements were the 30 accountants who earned their CPA licenses while working for her. As an African American woman, I recognize that my rewarding career owes her a great debt. I am so grateful that YPTC provides me with opportunities to repay that debt. YPTC’s culture of support helps me (and others) to become a better accountant — and we pass that support along to clients that are making the world a better place to live.” -Teresa Henderson, Manager, YPTC Anywhere
“Having worked most of my career in male-dominated environments, I had resigned myself to be the token “box checker” as a minority female in a management position. Often, I was the only female sitting at the decision-making table and I struggled to make myself heard. When I first met everyone at YPTC, I was suspicious of how kind, welcoming, and generous everyone was with their time, feedback and commitment. There are numerous women in leadership who are making decisions that actively influence the direction and growth of the firm, but all the women in the company bring traits that protect and strengthen the culture. Traits such as empathy, patience, humility, communication, collaboration, and the ability to multi-task (many of us are moms and/or caretakers of aging parents while holding down challenging roles at YPTC). This job gives me hope that in the future, my daughters and nieces will find employers with nurturing environments that allow them to develop professionally and have fulfilling careers.” -Tanya Pal, Director, Houston
“My experience at YPTC has been unlike any other I’ve experienced in my professional career. I had become used to navigating a world where I expected to encounter discrimination as a woman. It was not until I began working at YPTC did I feel that weight lift. Not only do I feel supported, but I believe by not bearing the weight of stereotypes and bias, I have gained confidence and my career has transformed. In turn, it has made me more aware of how the other women I work with may have also been affected by encountering daily bias in their careers. I am more intentional in supporting other women because of the tremendous amount of support I’ve received at YPTC.” -Teresa Salemi, Director of Client Services
“Throughout my life, positive female representation has helped me envision myself as a student, professional, and leader, as well as an athlete. At YPTC, I’ve been on multiple calls with external parties that automatically assume our leaders are exclusively male when our COO and Managing Partner are women—this is a mistake I happily correct every time. I am also lucky to lead a team of talented women in marketing; we all have different skills and experiences that make the department stronger. While there is always more work to be done, I strive to have a part in representation for other women. Sometimes making a big difference can seem overwhelming, but we can all #BreaktheBias through lifting each other up daily, even if the ways seem “small”. -Ericka Blair, Marketing Manager
There is strength in numbers, and as YPTC grows its workforce of diverse women, efforts in challenging gender-driven barriers, evolving culture, and breaking the bias will grow too—both in 2022 and the future beyond.
To learn more about International Women’s Day and the 2022 theme #BreakTheBias, visit internationalwomensday.com.