Caption: Career Consciousness Raising in Boston
how to be a woke feminist at work
Last Thursday, Boston babes (including two dudes) welcomed us with open arms for our FIRST OFFICIAL UNLADYLIKE APPEARANCE/EVENT, How to Be a Woke Feminist at Work. It was terrible! Kidding, kidding. We had a blast at District Hall, and folks showed up ready to share about the day to day challenges of applying our feminisms at work, especially with the Trump dumpster in the background (and sometimes foreground, depending on where you work, your religion and the color of your skin...). It was such an energizing way to start reconnecting with our fledging Unladylike community after months of mostly only talking to each other in our stretchy pants as we dove into building a business together.
Why Boston? We were passing through town on our way to girls' camp, and there's simply no better way to prep for camp than getting real about workplace feminism with 50 of our new best friends. Thank you, thank you to everyone who came out and lit up our lives.
As a pair of cis, straight, white feminists, us (Cristen and Caroline) talking about intersectionality at work begins with our acknowledgment of our limited personal experience and perspective. Since the 1960s, in fact, college-degreed white gals like us have commandeered too many working women convos, focusing increasingly on individual achievement and upwardly mobility as the goals and overlooking the employment realities of most women in America, much less the world.
Our Unladylike mission -- Stay Curious. Build Empathy. Raise Hell. -- demands that we start a new dialogue that examines beyond the wage gap and glass ceiling and salary chats that ignore race, class and all of our compounding identities. We want to create time and space to crowdsource and support a more inclusive workplace feminism that isn't so capitalistically contingent on your bank account, education, profession and ambitions. Also as white women, we want our workplace message to support allyship, not anxiety and exclusion, and our Boston workshop was a first step in that commitment.
We've shared a few of our sources from the talk below to help you think about feminism, inclusion and allyship in your own career. If you have any tips n' tricks to help your fellow humans navigate a sexist boss, a clueless coworker and other minefields, regardless of where your own career path has led you, tweet us. And if you'd like us to bring this talk to where you are, let us know!
- What we learned from improving diversity rates at Pinterest (Harvard Business Review)
- The rise of executive feminism (Harvard Business Review)
- How Do I Respect My Coworker’s Gender (and My Own)? (The Billfold)
- How to build a feminist workplace (FastCo)
- Women in the workplace: Feminism's potential impact (Researchgate)
- Guide to Allyship