March is Women’s History Month (it’s also national sauce month, just FYI). For all the reasons you might think, we care deeply about this topic. We also know that if you’re a woman, you might wonder if you’re even celebrating this month right. I mean, how can we, as women, compete with national sauce month? Sauce is so delicious!
Fear not. Before you go down a internet rabbit hole to learn how sauce is making friends, influencing people, and "having it all", here are five things you can do to remind yourself that... we got this.
#1 - Ask questions of someone you admire (like, say, a female CEO of a tech company disrupting a major industry)
Kaitlin Reimann is CoFounder and CEO of uBack. uBack is a simple personal giving mobile app that makes it easy for nonprofits, donors and corporations to engage in philanthropy. In March uBack partnered with 1871’s Wistem, and Conciencia Ventures to host a panel on Women and Philanthropy. (For more about this event read Eric Lugo’s post here).
As moderator, Kaitlin asked such thoughtful questions that we were inspired to ask her some of our own. Read our conversation below:
Who is your biggest source of inspiration? Why?
My parents! They always taught our family two important lessons: (1) No "should'ves" - meaning we always needed to work hard, challenge ourselves and to keep looking forward. (2) The truth behind "people may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel" - my parents have this incredible energy for life and that extends into everyone they meet where they can always be depended upon to support others, listen and have fun!
Is there a particular notion/sentiment/idea coming from the event you're most excited to implement or test?
There are so many to choose from! I took to heart the call to action from the distinguished panel participants to contact our elected political representatives. As a person who is passionate about many different causes, I am concerned about the impact of our current political environment and budget situation and what that means for critical nonprofit support services. My fear is if we don't join our nonprofit partners and demand resolution and actions even more individuals in our local communities who are in the greatest need of these services will suffer.
Needless to say this is now something I am committed to taking on thanks to the wonderful female leaders who joined us.
What would be your advice to young women who want to "bridge the gap" / "blur the lines" between business and Nonprofits?
Be bold and chase your own possibilities. We are in an age where people know that the individuals who created today's challenges are not going to be the ones to fix them. Therefore, if you have an idea or see something that could be improved - take charge, collaborate with others and make it happen. We often think that our ideas are not plausible but we may be shutting doors to new possibilities before we even get started so I say - go for it!
To learn more about the work Uback is doing, visit ubackforgood.com.
#2 Be Brave (or at the very least have your mentor forward a Ted Talk on the subject)
Our good friend (and “wisdom owl”) forwarded this to us this month. We got halfway through before thinking, “You know who needs to see this? Everyone’s sister.” Bravery, like “owning it,” “leaning in,” or “rounding up,” might not come naturally to you – but cultivating that skill is worth the time it takes to practice.
“In the 1980s, psychologist Carol Dweck looked at how bright fifth graders handled an assignment that was too difficult for them. She found that bright girls were quick to give up. The higher the IQ, the more likely they were to give up. Bright boys, on the other hand, found the difficult material to be a challenge. They found it energizing. They were more likely to redouble their efforts.” - Reshma Saujani
#3 Find empowering advice on bullies and doubters (get this advice from the most powerful, intimidating/inspiring person of all time)
So, the resiliency in being brave is useful to your career, but First Lady Michelle Obama wants you to know that it also has the power to change society. Compelling encouragement.
"For me, when I was younger, it was always the doubters. And I don’t know about young people here, but growing up as a black girl on the South Side of Chicago, where the expectations of me were limited, as I was trying to make my way and do good in school and apply to good colleges, there were always people around telling me what I couldn’t do, always telling me how far I should only dream. And my reaction to that at that time was to prove the doubters wrong. That spurred me -- “I’ll show you.” They give you strength.
All of these unfairnesses and inequities, you all experience that every day in your life -- the bully, that loudmouth, that person who’s saying -- they’re there all around you. All that stuff just follows you into adulthood. They’re there no matter what.
So now, you’re practicing that strength. You’re practicing understanding your passion. You’re practicing utilizing your power. And that starts right at home -- mentoring your young brothers and sisters, your cousins, being a role model to the people in your community. That’s where change happens." - Michelle Obama
#4 Get to Work (and Get Paid)
Get Hustlin’ is a newsletter that should be required reading for anyone and everyone looking to take a FLOTUS-eqsue “I’ll Show You” approach to their career. Written by a talented team (who happen to be women), Get Hustlin' gives you the intel you need to get ahead. So go ahead, subscribe here. (Also, at the end of the day, you should get paid. Ann Friedman has advice worth remembering when it comes to remembering your worth.)
#5 It’s ok to call yourself a feminist (Canada Gets It)