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Gender Equality

Entrepreneurship/ Gender Equality

3 Reasons Entrepreneurship is Awesome for Women

woman entrepreneur walking on street

November 19th is officially proclaimed as Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (Yay!).

It’s a pretty big deal here in the United States, along with 143 other countries. If you are, by chance, in NYC this weekend, consider swinging by the United Nations or Athleta Union Square for some Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (#ChooseWomen) celebrations!

As a female entrepreneur, I’m pretty stoked about Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, as my entrepreneurial experience has been quite empowering. Not only did starting my own business help me achieve class mobility and higher education, but it also provided more freedom and resources for my family’s future.

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Gender Equality/ Workplace

Sexual Assault and Harassment is Everyone’s Problem

Sexual Assault and Harrassment

When I was seven or eight, I’d heard a new word – sexual harassment – on the television and didn’t know what it meant, so I asked my dad.

“It’s something women do to get attention,” he replied.

I was young and I believed my dad’s explanation until I became the woman who was being sexually harassed.

Ironically, my first encounter with sexual harassment would come from one of my father’s employees – a physician who, as it later came out, had a long record of inappropriate behavior with women.

The “trusted” doctor came into my place of work, said he wanted to hire me to teach his son to ride horses, took down my phone number, and spent the weeks that followed sexting me and stalking me on my route to and from work.

What’d the organization do? Same thing they did with all the other sexual harassment complaints against this doctor – nothing effective.

I ended up quitting my job, changing my phone number (multiple times), and moving an hour away just to get the harassment to stop.

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Gender Equality

We Work for Change in Kansas City

WorkforChange_WomensFoundation_KansasCity

I was pretty sure I’d fallen off the feminist face of the planet following my family’s move to Kansas City.

Everywhere I went, every company I interviewed at, every organization I joined appeared to be run by men. Even the local women’s networking group was led by male professionals (WTF?).

“What does your husband do?” became the most frequently asked question following my introduction.

I was even asked if my MBA was “the same as a man’s MBA” at a Chamber of Commerce event. That one literally left me speechless.

Accustomed to the more gender equal working world of the East and West Coasts, I did not take too well to (repeatedly) being the only woman in the boardroom, classroom, department, etc. Expressing my frustrations regarding the well-seated Kansas City patriarchy to the few other female professionals I encountered was typically met with a wistful, “Well, at least you get a chance to be included…” Continue Reading…

Career Advice/ Entrepreneurship/ Gender Equality

4 Tips to Conquer Your Career

conquer career

This post is brought to you on behalf of the Forté Foundation. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Forté Foundation.

Until ten years ago, I had never actually met a professional woman – an educated female that made a living wage. Growing up in fundamentalism, I was raised in a culture that did not acknowledge gender equality and restricted women to very limited roles as wives and mothers. I had no idea what developing a career involved or even how to get started. The majority of my homeschool education had been focused on the domestic arts – childcare, cooking, cleaning, etc. – and neglected subjects like math, science, and finance (all the things you wouldn’t find in the job description for a housewife).

My junior year of college, I finally encountered a real-life professional woman – a visiting professor of biochemistry. She was confident, educated, and owned her own house. I knew I wanted to be just like her, but I had no idea how to get there.

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Career Advice/ Entrepreneurship/ Gender Equality/ Higher Education

My Career Take-Off

This post is brought to you on behalf of the Forté Foundation. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Forté Foundation.

I paid for my college education by training horses and selling cattle; it was hard work, but the proceeds were enough to cover a four-year degree during the middle of the Recession — at a time when scholarships and part-time jobs were scarce. Even though I was negotiating prices, researching market trends, and promoting my livestock, I never thought of myself as a business person.

I didn’t think I was good enough at math, I didn’t think I had the capability to make tough management decisions, and in all honesty, I didn’t think there were many opportunities for women in business— an industry I unfortunately perceived as the ultimate “man’s world.”

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Career Advice/ Gender Equality/ Millennials/ Workplace

The Leadership Gap: Millennial Women in the Workplace

I didn’t grow up amidst a women’s lib culture.

In fact, I had never even met a true “professional” woman until I was in my early twenties (welcome to the bible beating Deep South).

The closest thing I’d gotten to gender equality principles was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show on my grandmother’s 1970’s circa television set, complete with tin foil attached to rabbit ear antennae ends. I remember watching this now-famous fellow Mississippian and thinking, “If she can get out of this hell hole and be successful, maybe I can too.”

After years of dealing with the dark side of an overtly chauvinist and oppressive culture – domestic violence, gender-based discrimination, and sexual assault – I did indeed get “the hell out”.  Continue Reading…

Gender Equality

Women’s March: We Can Dream Bigger

womens march feminism

Have you seen the Ancenstry.com commercials?

Happy, right?

Inquisitive descendants turn to genealogy to increase their understanding of heritage and legacy. Through the website, they access information about their predecessors, such as military service, educational accomplishments, family photos, etc. that inspire them to embrace their full potential and encourage them to share their family story.

I longingly watched the happy actors and actresses in Ancestry.com commercials, and decided to take it for a spin.

My genealogy experience – not so happy.

Turns out the only legacy my family tree provides is one of abuse, oppression, violence:

  • Not that this was a surprise; I remember how quickly our home would turn into an all-out war zone.
  • I remember calling the cops on my dad at the young age of five, because he was “gonna kill Mama”.
  • I remember believing that domestic violence and rape were simply part of being a woman – and they were, at that time, in that family.

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Career Advice/ Entrepreneurship/ Freelancing/ Gender Equality/ Workplace

5 Challenges Female Professionals Face in the Workplace

I recently had the opportunity to take part in a career panel for graduating seniors. Following the Q&A sessions, I was approached by a handful of girls, eagerly peppering me with questions about what it was like to be “the only woman” in the very male dominated world of business.

Truth be told, after years of being “the only woman” in countless meetings, conferences, and educational events (minus the exec’s secretaries), I’d grown accustomed to being the only one wearing heels.

Women are grossly underrepresented in business leadership within American culture. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a study highlighting the reasons why women are passed over for promotions by the masses, and why female CEOs (currently at 4% of Fortune 500 leadership) are about as frequent a sighting as the endangered Lesser Prairie Chicken. Continue Reading…