When I first brought our group of contributors together to pitch this new content idea for W&D, my hope was we would create a broader set of experiences for readers to enjoy. I thought about how we could take the best of our current content and continue to evolve what’s working.
The framework looked like this:
My experiences —> Collective Experiences
Vulnerability —> Empowerment
Lifestyle —> Culture
Advocacy —> Action
What I’ve learned from curating our editorial themes over the past two months is that we are most successful when telling stories from our personal experiences. The process of writing for the site is often a therapeutic one– giving us the opportunity to say, this happened to me and here’s what I learned from it. These posts are intended to paint broad brushstrokes, not to conclude that every reader has experienced something similar. They’re meant to offer up what we feel valuable, hoping readers will understand a new perspective, or help us learn what’s like to stand in someone else’s shoes for a moment.
What we can do is talk about the things we know.
Perhaps the deepest and broadest topic of conversation amongst our contributors is that of navigating life as a female. When I thought about how to package this topic on the website, I worried that dedicating a whole month to how our experiences differed from male counterparts would play into hands of those who hold us to different standards because we were born with lady parts.
When Hillary Clinton lost the election last November, the tears I cried were not because Donald Trump was going to be president, but because it felt like every dismissal I had experienced throughout my career was validated. It was a complicated tsunami of emotion, one I did not expect. Many of my friends and co-workers reported feeling the same. While I truly don’t believe the outcome of the election was solely based on gender-bias, it was a wake-up call for many of us– males and females alike. Your shortcomings and successes may be weighted differently than your co-workers– and what’s worse is your boss may not even realize it.
I’ve always believed that work ethic and grit could propel anyone to where they want to go, but at some point, we have to be realistic about what obstacles are in our way. Just as we ask ourselves, if our passion or talent aligns with our goals, what happens if we take into account the role gender could play in our career trajectory? How can we evolve if we ignore the fact that the rules ARE different for many of us? Do we fight the people who tell us otherwise or do we figure out how to hack the system?
We’re dedicating this month’s theme to supporting the unique experiences we have as women, how we can lift one another up, leverage our talents, and carve out a path to fulfillment that might look different than dreams. The perspectives will not be exclusively female nor will every topic be catered towards the female experience. But we did want to remain transparent about the internal conversations we had before pulling together the content topics.
Here are some essays to look forward to:
Leaving your Corporate Job for your Passion
Why Limitations are Liberating
The Gospel According to Beyoncé
You Don’t Have to Find your Passion to Find a Fulfilling Career
A Necessary Evil: Navigating the Political Landscape at Work
Why Women Make Great Leaders
Dealing with a Bully Boss
The Price Tag of “Having it All”
Facing Imposter Syndrome
Success Mantras from our Favorite Strong Female Leads
Feelings are Fun: Your Emotional Overdrive may be your Super Power
So You Messed Up at Work. What Next?
Coaxing Creativity: How to Move Past Creative Fatigue
Entrepreneurship: Consider These 5 Things Before Going Solo
Goodbye Self-Perfectionism, Hello Creativity: Starting in the Kitchen
How to GSD with ADHD
Risk-Taking: How to Psych Yourself Up
Setting the Table: Your First Six Months as a Freelancer
Quit the Cat Fight: Calling Truce with your Enemy
10 Ways to Improve your Emotional EQ
Is this Work Worth Your Time?
BY Kate Arends - March 7, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.