Daryl Cook-Ivan

Executive Director

The ARC of the South Shore

We recently engaged Ciara Gogan to conduct two workshops for The ARC of the South Shore on Diversity & Inclusion and the sessions met my expectations. Having two sessions on Diversity and Inclusion was like a luxury because it allowed more time for conversations and small group work. I observed all employees very engaged and eagerly participating. I liked that we had homework, and as a result were motivated and prepared for the second session.  

I thought Ciara’s presentation style was warm and open and allowed most people to talk comfortably about their feelings and share their thoughts. 

I love listening to Ted talks and I subscribe to the podcast Ted Radio hour. The February 15 podcast was devoted to Bias and Perception. The podcast included 4 very good talks about recognizing our unconscious biases and understanding how they influence our perceptions and thoughts.

After our 2 sessions with Ciara, I am definitely more aware of my own biases and intend to continually challenge myself to maintain awareness and take conscious action to mitigate my own biases. 

I thought Ciara was well prepared and knowledgeable about the topic.  She provided us with resources that we can use in the future such as the test on the Harvard website.

I would recommend her to other organizations in the future.

Thank you Ciara for two thoughtful, informative and engaging sessions. 

Abigail Mojica

Chief Operations Officer

The ARC of the South Shore

Ciara’s workshops were empowering, particularly the fact that she comes across as, and is a very open-minded individual. She made the staff feel very comfortable and that made them able to open up. It created a vulnerability that was needed on broaching Diversity & Inclusion.

She’s a natural at presenting, some people aren’t really comfortable with this topic so the comfort level that she provides on such a sensitive topic helps tremendously.

Ciara got the group engaged, which is not always easy to do. We had tremendous breakthroughs; some very real moments were shared after our sessions.

As a result our management team has more self-awareness after Ciara’s training, the points that she touched on, like the biases that we all have, made a real difference. Some people have never proper training around Diversity & Inclusion, and to have this heightened awareness’s is great for this group.

When we first engaged with Ciara, we wanted to introduce the topic of Diversity & Inclusion and create a baseline of knowledge. Ciara met and surpassed that expectation. I was also able to learn a great deal about the staff, which will help me in my mission to build a highly functional management team. I observed active listening from the team during Ciara’s sessions, which is not always easy to achieve.

Everyone felt the sessions were critical to our growth and understanding which will help improve our organizational culture.

Ciara’s style is very natural, friendly and non-intimidating. I’ve seen many people conduct workshops and presentations who are not comfortable in their own skin up there, but Ciara is and it’s a gift.

Darwin Kovacs

Affiliate Coordinator

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards - Connecticut

I met Ciara through her writings in the fall of 2018.  As I recall, she had an article in the Women in Technology International newsletter about growing up and not feeling as though she belonged.  That article struck a chord with me because as the Connecticut Affiliate Coordinator of the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s Aspirations in Computing program, I have heard from high school women and their parents how at times they did not feel comfortable being a young woman in a technology class with the vast majority of the other students being male – these students also did not feel as if they belonged.

After speaking with Ciara, I felt that She could convey a positive message about how it is OK to feel uncomfortable at times, but to use that feeling as motivation.  I thought that the high school students would benefit from hearing that women in STEM careers are very much needed and that even though there may be pressures to abandon STEM, they can achieve great things.

Ciara met my #1 objective – letting these young women know that they need to continue their passion for STEM in spite of outside pressures.  I was pleased to see the students’ participation and reaction to her Wonder Woman reference – this was a nice touch.

I read hard-copy reviews that I received that night and several of them mentioned that the best parts of the evening were the Keynote Speaker and the Panel.  Ciara was the Keynote and was a big part of the panel!

I see the biggest benefit as being for the students and parents who were in the audience for Ciara’s presentation – her encouragement will help some, if not all, continue on their STEM journey.

The #1 thing I’ll remember from our engagement is Ciara’s messages about not listening to the naysayers – be confident, believe in yourself and continue to follow your passion.

To a prospective client trying to decide if Ciara is right for their event I would say she is an excellent speaker who is very easy to work with.  Her background as a women in IT and a Coach provides an interesting perspective for the listeners.