Woman Wednesday Issue #49

The Assist Newsletter
December 7, 2022
Woman Wednesday

Name that Woman Trailblazer: Known as the “Queen of Carbon,” One of the first female professors at MIT, her research was at the cutting edge of carbon-based materials. She and her group made huge advances in carbon nanostructures, and the related technology appears in microelectronics, concrete, sports equipment, and elsewhere in our daily lives. She also fought for equality for women and helped create support systems for female scientists in academia.

👉 Click here to reveal this woman.


Meet Claribel Lizardo-Gonzalez 👋


Claribel Lizardo-Gonzalez

Hi there!

My name is Claribel — I am a proud Latina born and raised in New York City. My parents are both from the Dominican Republic.

My love for events, people and wellness, have led me to a career in People Operations/Human Resources.

In the future, I would like to become more involved in the DEIB space.

🔗 Want to connect with Claribel? Say “hi” on LinkedIn.


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Claribel’s Secrets


Q: How did you get into your current role/industry?
I must say my path was unconventional! I completed my masters in Mental Health Counseling and started working after graduation.

However, a part of me still felt unfulfilled as I didn’t feel my creative side was being used. I knew from my previous experiences that event planning was something I enjoyed and allowed me to express my creative side. So, that’s when I decided to begin a career switch. I quit my job in 2019 in search of an event planning career.

I came to realize that breaking into the event planning industry was really difficult, even with the experience I had. In the meantime, as I looked for work in event planning, I took a job as an Office Manager.

Then the pandemic hit in 2020, my role started to expand. We looked for different ways to continue to keep our employees connected even in a remote world. This is when my event planning skills came into play creating events and programming. I was also able to utilize my background in mental health to promote wellness initiatives.

Soon after my company launched our first ever People Operations department, and my current role as a People Operations Manager.

Making an impact while also fulfilling my passions are both important to me, and a career in People Operations/Human Resources has allowed me to do that. I want to continue having a part in creating inclusive policies, promoting transparency and building employee-centric workplace cultures.

Q: What’s something you do to help boost your productivity?
A: I put EVERYTHING on my calendar! By everything I mean: appointments, meetings, to-do’s, (random things that, if I don’t have it down, I will forget!).

Essentially if it’s not on my calendar for the day — it’s not a priority!

I also make sure to block off time for tasks, especially when they are tasks that take a lot of time to complete.

Lastly, for recurring meetings, (whether weekly or monthly) I have meeting notes. It’s literally just one Google Doc that I add onto. This helps me remember what was said in a previous meeting or if I need to bring up a new topic in the next meeting then I just add it to the doc for next time.

Q: How do you find work-life balance?
A: Honestly, I think this is an area for me that is a constant work in progress!

Not every week or even day is equal work or equal life, sometimes one pulls more than the other.

However, here are some things that have helped me:

I try not to waver on my lunchtime. This seems so simple, but it’s been impactful for me. Whether it’s 30 minutes or an hour everyday I make sure to take that time to each lunch and watch a show. I close my laptop and email notifications from my phone for that time. I look forward to that pause in my day, especially working from home where life and work become one.

Secondly, changing the mindset. There have been times where I have placed finishing a project first over logging off on time to go take a walk or do something I enjoy. Changing my mindset and placing myself on the same priority list has helped me improve my boundaries!

Lastly, asking for help. I have acknowledged that getting out of the routine can be difficult. Sometimes I have sought the help of family or friends to get out of the daily routine and/or join them in a similar hobby or activity during the week!

Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received so far?
A: I was once told that it is important to find spaces that allow you to be your WHOLE self and/or create space for yourself. Whether that is at work, school, etc.

Being a Latina and a woman I have felt the need to code switch in many different spaces especially in the professional world. So don’t be afraid to TAKE space, let your voice be heard and find spaces that help you GROW and EMPOWER you, for being YOU! 

Q: What’s your favorite software or app that helps with your workflow?
A: Briskine and Jotform!

Briskine is a Google Chrome app that helps you store email templates when you send similar emails often (i.e. recruiting).

Jotform is a form builder site that can be used for recruiting, collecting RSVPs for employee events, documents, etc.

Q: What’s a book or podcast you’d recommend to a colleague?
A: I recently read Good Talk by Mira Jacob, a short memoir that discusses family, race, culture and identity.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time outside of work?
A: Dancing, baking, karaoke, hosting game nights and spending time with family + friends!

💡 Check out Briskine and how to use it.

🙅‍♀️ Learn more about how to set boundaries to achieve work-life balance.


Check “Holiday Party Planning” off your list ✅


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The holidays are fast approaching, and more teams than ever are struggling with how to celebrate in this new remote and hybrid world. Fortunately, White Elephant Online has found the answer, offering the ability to play White Elephant – the fun and memorable gift swap game – virtually. Here’s why thousands of teams at some of the biggest (and smallest!) companies across the globe have used their platform:

  • It’s inexpensive. With games starting at just $49 there’s no cheaper way, remote or otherwise, to celebrate with your team.
  • It’s easy to plan. Their self-service platform is easy and intuitive, both for the planners of the event and participants.
  • It’s a tried & true holiday tradition that’s a blast. White Elephant, also called Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa, is played by millions each year.

Whether for your main event, or a fun add-on for those who can’t make it in-person, check out White Elephant Online for what may be the easiest decision you have to make all week.

Plan Your Holiday Party Today 🎁


Don’t let others define your success


In my career, I have learned many lessons but the one that I feel stands out the most is that no matter what, you are the only one that can measure your success.

Since I can remember, I have had goals and a vision of what I wanted to achieve and there were external pressures like family, friends, and colleagues to accomplish these milestones at a certain time period or age.

The more I have advanced in my career, I realize that you can’t let external factors define you.

When I changed careers there were many people in my life that didn’t think it was a good or logical decision to go seek a career outside of counseling after completing my master’s.

There were moments where I experienced a lot of self doubt and skepticism. However, I stayed true to what I wanted, and in the long run, that’s what helped me take the leap.

So in short, even if your career path doesn’t make sense to others, know that it doesn’t have to. It’s up to YOU to define your journey!


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