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Sunday April 1, 2018

Who's Who at Her Honor: Team EFLI

Her Honor Mentoring is always seeking partnerships that support our mission and deepen our commitment to the mentorship experience. With this in mind, each year, several Her Honor mentoring partners graciously open their doors to groups of mentees. The Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute (EFLI) is one such organization — and holds truly unique alignment.

EFLI is a non-profit organization headquartered in the EILEEN FISHER Inc. offices in Irvington, NY. Founded in 2010, EFLI seeks to “promote leadership in young women through self-empowerment, connection with others and activism in their communities.” As organizations each seeking to support the young women of Westchester to tap into their highest potential, EFLI and Her Honor Mentoring have built strong connections to support deepened impact within our shared community.   

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Mentoring Team Antoinette Klatzky (left) and Jacqueline Marcia Rojas (right).

 “At EFLI, we see the importance of mentorship all the time,” says Executive Director and co-founder, Antoinette Klatzky. “When we see it, we can be it — role models and mentors show us what's possible - the roads to take, and sometimes the roads not to.” Antoinette, who herself is a graduate of White Plains High School, has been a Her Honor mentor since 2012.

This year, EFLI has three mentees placed across different roles within the organization: Jacqueline Marcia Rojas is paired with Antoinette Klatzky; Samantha Alberto is paired with Victoria Tarantino, Executive Assistant; and Citlalli Herrera is mentored by Finance Manager, Miranda Mo.

When organizations host multiple mentees, it creates opportunities to engage in positive peer-to-peer learning experiences and, often times, to build relationships with mentors across multiple roles in an organization. The majority of employees at EILEEN FISHER Inc. are women and being able to see this type of workspace can be enlightening to Her Honor mentees. As Jacqueline writes, “Learning about the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute [has been the most rewarding experience of Her Honor], and getting to be a part of many things here at EFLI.”

Mentees placed at EFLI not only get to see the inner workings of a non-profit, but also of an innovative, global, women-owned company. Many of the mentees placed at EFLI over the years have mentioned fashion as a potential interest. While this isn’t a main tenet of the work EFLI is doing to support young women, the story of Eileen Fisher as a fashion design, entrepreneur, and woman business owner with international recognition, serves as a guiding example through all of EFLI’s work. And for mentees interested in the fashion world, EFLI seeks out partners within the company that would be willing to mentor Her Honor participants for a few days over the year, so that may learn about the depth and breadth the EILEEN FISHER community offers.

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Mentoring Team Samantha Alberto (left) and Victoria Tarratino (right).

 “Having the chance to experience what it's like to work in an actual professional atmosphere [drew me to the Her Honor program],” writes Citlalli. “I hope to gain a better understanding of how to act professionally and to also learn more about the area my mentor works in.” By working alongside so many women within their placements, the EFLI mentees’ understandings of professionalism, leadership, and power might begin to shift.

Eileen’s story, as a visionary and entrepreneur, is clearly represented in the interests of the young women currently serving as mentees with EFLI. Samantha and Jacqueline both hope to pursue careers in business. And Citlalli? She would like to explore becoming a fashion design or going into education.  

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Mentoring Team Citlalli Herrera (left) and Mirando Mo (right).

As an organization that seeks to bring young women’s voices to the center, one sentiment was clearly echoed by each of the mentors: the positive impact mentees’ have on the organization. “Both my mentee and I have learned and grown so much through this amazing program. I'm proud to be a part of this wonderful community,” writes Miranda Mo.

“As mentors with Her Honor for the last five years, we learn just as much from our mentees as we see them learning in their experience,” says Antoinette. “Her Honor has opened the door for young women who otherwise might never see or experience a work environment or women leaders in such an in depth way during their high school careers. We are proud and grateful for our partnership with Her Honor!”