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Overcoming the Odds, Opportunities for Women Today

Today is International Women’s Day, and my heart is warm. In the month of March we take the time to recall the countless women who have shaped history, many of whom still influence us today.

Young women growing up in the 21st century have an abundance of career options to consider, and are quickly breaking down barriers in historically male-dominated environments like sports and science.

It was different for me growing up. Women had 3 options: they became a Nurse, a Teacher or a Homemaker—all in the category of helping others. Going to college was a new possibility for females, and while some like myself took that option, most didn’t.

While most young women played with dolls and dress-up, my favorite game was Office Manager, imagining the possibilities of business and the interactions between working people. Making business decisions were my interests and brought me joy. I decided back then that education, business and leadership were my true passions, and that I wanted to inspire others to feel the same.

I went to college and received a BA degree in Psychology and Education, and then went on to earn my MA in Counseling. Since that time, I’ve worked in leadership roles in the Learning and Development space, both in the profit and non-profit worlds. My focus has always been helping employees learn more about their behavior, and the impact it has on their career.

Fast forward to July 2000 when I made one of the most pivotal decisions of my life. I became an Entrepreneur and started APLS Group– delivering workshops, webinars, and coaching services on a global scale.

The Covid-19 Pandemic that began 12 months ago has had a huge impact on everyone, especially women. Traditional roles have shifted, new choices have emerged, and self-care and exploration is now encouraged. For me, I have learned the importance of creating balance in my life, and getting clearer about my boundaries and priorities.

With that, my hope is women across the world realize that now is their time. Overcome odds, break norms, and pursue a life of passion no matter what direction you choose.

Nanci Appleman-Vassil

Prior to establishing APLS Group in 2000, Nanci was a corporate training manager for R.H. Donnelley, the largest independent sales, marketing and publisher for the Yellow Pages industry. In this capacity, Nanci provided a full range of training and organization development services, including identifying, coaching and developing managers and other upper-tier employees to build a high-performance culture.

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