How do you navigate and negotiate as a woman in the field of business? This was the topic of discussion for Pamplin’s 8th Annual Women in Business (WIB) event. NYC-based alumnae and students from Collegiate Women in Business and PRISM gathered at Morgan Stanley on October 12 to network and hear from a panel of leaders.

Three strong women sat on the panel—Tracy Castle-NewmanCharlotte Ryland, and Julie Talbot—all Pamplin alumnae. Mandell Crawleywas the fourth member of the panel, adding a different perspective to the conversation since he was the only male.

With navigating and negotiating in mind, Donna Wertalik, Director of Marketing for Pamplin, facilitated the discussion. Questions ranged from, “What was a time in your career you had to negotiate?” to “What do you look for in a leader?” The panel offered a variety of answers, giving the audience insight on how to be successful as a woman in business.

Talbot encouraged women to take control of their career.“Nobody cares about you like you need to care about you,” said Julie Talbot, the Marketing & Sales Director at Mars Symbioscience, “Nobody cares about your career like you need to care about your career.”

Being the biggest advocate for yourself and your career continued to be a theme throughout the conversation. Mandell Crawley, a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, added his take on the topic.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be a woman coming into the workforce than right now,” said Crawley. “There are so many tailwinds because of advocates that have come before us–because of the Billy Jean Kings of the world, you now have this transparency that historically did not exist.”

One of these advocates is Tracy Castle-Newman, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and sponsor of the WIB event. Throughout the discussion, she shared her valuable experience and perspective with the audience. Castle-Newman shared her advice on how to find a work-life balance.

“When you think about your life, you need to think about it in terms of fulfillment,” advised Castle-Newman. “Do not think about it in terms of hours in a day–you will never get it. You just have to think about am I fulfilled and happy with what I’m doing. If you’re in the right career and doing the things that you love, then you will be fulfilled.”

Charlotte Ryland, Field marketing Manager of Executive Programs at Salesforce, added in her own insights as well.  

“I’ve always wanted to do everything perfectly, but when I think about where I’ve grown or how I’ve succeeded is because I’ve completely failed,” said Ryland. “Don’t be afraid to screw up because you’re going to screw up and it’s okay. You’ll learn from it and that’s how you grow.”

As per tradition, a young aluma was recognized with the Rising Star Award at the end of the night. This year’s recipient was Tara Petrucci, Interactive Designer at Candyspace. Petrucci gives back to Pamplin every year since her graduation in 2013, and encourages other alumni to follow suit.

“Each year, I look forward to this event,” said Petrucci. “The content of the Women in Business platform is real, engaging and provides insightful advice on relevant topics that affect women in the workplace. Not only does this event advocate for equality at all career levels, it’s a great networking opportunity to meet other Hokie women working in various industries.”