Outstanding Women in Business 2023: Get to know Ritta Fagain

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal

Ritta Fagain

Titles and companies: Chair of St. Joseph the Worker and CEO of Whyfor Agency

Industry: Nonprofit; marketing and advertising

Biggest career win to date: Honestly, being honored by the PBJ within our community of amazing women is ranking pretty high. Aside from that, it was while serving as president of the American Women’s Club of Seville, Spain on Sept. 11, 2001. After the attack, we were notified as a group of 100-plus American women overseas, we could not meet at the Consulate anymore and that we had to be vigilant as an expat group. In a time of uncertainty and fear, I felt it important to provide a sense of solidarity for ourselves and for the victims in New York. Within 24 hours we created a system that allowed us to meet, communicate and support each other safely and confidentially. Providing that to the women and their families at that time still feels like a ‘win’ to this day. 

Your best piece of advice for current and/or future women leaders? Surround yourself with trusted colleagues and friends. They will tell you the truth, celebrate your successes, and believe in you (even when you don’t). Call it your “personal board of directors” and meet regularly. Then, be that for someone else. 

Name a woman mentor who has meant a lot to your career and why. My mother. She was a single mother in a foreign country. She was an entrepreneur out of necessity and sheer grit was her fuel. Her fierce sense of pride and unwavering moral compass carried her through difficult times. She was never financially secure but was still unbelievably generous to help someone else. Although she’s no longer with me, I try to live by her example. 

What do you see as the biggest hurdle facing women who are working to advance into leadership positions? Time. Change is happening, but it is slow. We have benefitted from women before us, as we pave the way for those after us. Progress has made changes in law and policy, but biases and mindsets can take decades to change. 

What needs to change to make that hurdle fall? Conversation and engagement. Keep the dialogue open and on-going. Accelerate “time” by speaking up and having a civil discourse. Get involved (at any level) and be an agent of the change you want to see. 

What do you do to recharge? Meeting people and having intelligent, robust, and open discussions. I love walking away understanding a new perspective and being impressed. It energizes me that there is still so much to learn. 

What’s next on your career bucket list? I’ve never had a bucket list. My philosophy is to say “yes” and be open to what life unfolds for you, and then be your best at it.

Start Your Week With SJW

Subscribe to receive updates about new blog posts and client success stories every Monday morning. 

Subscribe Blog Footer

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Similar Posts

Resume Tricks and Tips

Let’s talk resumes. What should my resume look like? How many pages should it be? What if I don’t have continuous work history? A resume can be the deciding factor between you and another candidate when applying to jobs, so you want yours to be the best it can be. St. Joseph the Worker is

Read More »
Save money scrabble letters over money

Budgeting 101

Finding a job is a feat, and we are proud of each and every one of our clients who do so. The hard part of maintaining a sustainable livelihood is understanding how to correctly budget your money. Keeping up with bills and expenses in this time can be difficult. Follow the guide below to help you stay on track and further your sustainable life.

Read More »

Getting a Job as a Felon

Everyone makes mistakes in life. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, don’t give up hope on getting a job. St Joseph the Worker can provide you with all the tips and tricks necessary to gain sustainable employment.

Read More »

7 Reasons Why Work Is Important To Addiction Recovery

To help those who are on the road to recovery, we asked addiction counselors and recovery specialists this question for their best insights. From establishing accountability to growing self-reliance, there are several ways that may help you understand how work helps build self-reliance and aid you in your addiction recovery.

Read More »

Without A Home: KTAR News

During this live interview with KTAR Morning News, CEO Carrie Masters discusses the current state of the community, faced with homelessness. St. Joseph the Worker is providing solutions to the source of this problem: employment. Listen to Carrie discuss the resources that SJW offers to clients to assist when it comes to getting a job!  

Read More »

Preferred Business Partner Spotlight: 

Awake Window & Door Co. Awake Window & Door Co. came to SJW in April of 2021, prior to opening its Gilbert facility, to discuss how it can be a Fair Chance Employer. The company began offering background-friendly, entry-level positions for $17/hour with benefits and room for growth. We referred clients looking for work and

Read More »

Long-Time Employee Daren Strunk Promoted to COO

After too many years shuffling papers and chasing dollars that left him unfulfilled, a bit of serendipity brought Daren Strunk to SJW nearly 10 years ago. And, that good fortune has continued, which is why we are excited to share he has been promoted to COO. Daren started as a volunteer before joining SJW full-time

Read More »

Leave a comment