A Women Who Does: Jen Maseda of MetroWest Conference for Women
This feature is a part of our "Women Who Do" Series. We are constantly seeking inspiration from the amazing women around us who are using their specific influence to break the mold, make a difference, or shake up their industries for the better. Over the last few months we have been sharing our interviews with a handful of amazing women. We hope that you have been as inspired by them as we are.
Passionate, driven, fierce, determined, inspirational: just a few words I would use to describe Jen Maseda, President & CEO of the MetroWest Conference for Women and Executive Producer of Woman2Woman Today. Even more than the job titles Jen holds, she is someone who has dedicated every day of her life to improving the lives of women around her and within her community.
The MetroWest Conference for Women held its first annual gathering just last year and sold out of tickets and exhibitor space. The conference exists to motivate and inspire women local to the western Boston area, while also giving them the opportunity for personal growth and networking. Woman2Woman Today is a cable television show all about spotlighting influential and inspiring, local women. If you think Jen sounds like a busy woman, you are absolutely right, but she says, “when you have an idea and you’re passionate about that idea it becomes easy.”
One of the first things Jen emphasized to me is that in high school she really wasn’t a great student because she lacked the drive to apply herself. That seems like a long shot from the Jen who has a Masters in Physical Wellness from THE Harvard University. What an inspiration Jen has become. She found her passion and chose to act on it and that is an example we can all learn from. Here’s the thing about people who love what they do; they make those around them want to find what they love and do lots of it. No matter what situation you are in Jen believes that her life is a prime example of why anyone can do what she is doing.
The MetroWest Conference was born out of wanting to create something tangible and attainable for local women.
The MetroWest Conference was born out of wanting to create something tangible and attainable for local women. Jen told me a story about how she went to a huge conference with great, inspiring speakers and she thought to herself, “this should be happening at MetroWest…” But there was a catch. The conference she went to was quite expensive and though it was great, it was not going to be the tangible, attainable conference she had dreamed for her community. Following that pursuit led her to call six close friends that, “have trusted me and known me in this community and they said, ‘I’m in.’”
Jen’s cable television show has also been a success in her community, as it has helped highlight local women just as we highlight Jen now. Jen kept finding in her own life, that more often than not, the people who were supporting her weren’t other women, but men. What she got from other women was disappointing to say the least. Jen shared that, “they would just tear me down and wouldn’t allow me to grow, so I wanted to model me supporting other women and show that it is positive for all of us to support other women. We are all raised and lifted when we support each other.”
"I wanted to model me supporting other women and show that it is positive for all of us to support other women. We are all raised and lifted when we support each other.”
Jen’s words are such a beautiful reminder of why it matters to use the things that are painful in our lives for the benefit of others, rather than to hold onto bitterness. We see this often played out in the lives of human trafficking survivors who choose to view themselves as more than just victims of heinous crimes. They use what they’ve battled to create a better tomorrow for other women, just as Jen used negativity surrounding herself to impact her community in a positive way.
I read one time that “empowered women empower women” and I know that to be true because of women like Jen Maseda. Speaking to Jen felt like a breath of fresh air in a world that prides itself on pitting women against each other. I could hear in her voice how much she cared about the women in her own community and what it meant to her to provide them with resources. Jen emphasized that “women need inspiration and women who don’t have access to it are missing out on a network that will help them reach who they are.”
“Women need inspiration and women who don’t have access to it are missing out on a network that will help them reach who they are.”
Jen believes the hardest steps in anything we do are the very first ones. She urges women to surround themselves with “people you trust” because they are the ones who are going to help support your dreams and even help make them a reality. She says, “if you think of an idea and test it and it makes sense, and people that you really trust to be honest with you see value in it, then do it!”
Check out the video below to learn more about Jen's work with MetroWest Conference. And if you find yourself in the Massachusetts area, consider joining the waitlist for you chance to experience this empowering event this upcoming September 20th in Framingham, MA.
You don't have to wait until December to be a part of the impact. Join the Dressember Collective and become part of a powerful community of advocates and donors furthering the work and impact of the Dressember Foundation through monthly giving.
About the Author
Sonsee Jenkins is a lover of animals (big and small), hand lettering, and writing. Her experiences include rehabilitating raccoons, writing for her school’s humanity department, and advocating for the oppressed. She attends a small university in Northeast Indiana and hopes to use her degree (and all her time working up to it) to end human trafficking