Woman Wednesday: Katie

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Katie, Madison County, New York 

“In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t! I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’ll answer this with what is probably a very broad, cliché answer: I am passionate about love and happiness. There isn’t anything more important in life than these two things, and they mean something different to each person you talk to.

 

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For me, being passionate about love means building a life around the people and animals who are special to me and making sure I dedicate enough energy into spending quality time with them. Just like anybody, I have suffered the loss of beloved relatives, friends, and animals. I’ve grown stronger from these experiences, and I have realized just how precious the present is and how immensely my relationships affect my inner peace. Love is a nice segway into the “happiness” portion of my answer – the two go hand in hand for me.  It can be difficult to pin down what brings you genuine happiness in life, and I think I am finally starting to understand the meaning of it for myself! For me, happiness comes from finding fulfillment and joy in the things I do every day. I came to this realization through working on my career in jobs that weren’t completely fulfilling or positive for me and my quest for happiness. They may be right for other people, but not for the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been building inside me.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

I left my office job at the beginning of 2018 to pursue my own design & illustration business, K. Marie Design Co., and I have since found a genuine sense of happiness and fulfillment I always knew was missing. This change put a lot into perspective for me and it’s been a challenge, but I can tell you one thing; I’ve been able to focus on my passions for love and happiness a lot more since I made the jump. I’ve never felt surer of anything. Working for myself also meant having the flexibility to accept a position teaching a design class at my alma mater, Cazenovia College, during the fall 2018 semester. You never know what may happen when you take brave new steps. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, including the process of making your abstract dreams and passions part of your everyday reality.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: This is something I have learned recently, something very important. It is okay to change course! It’s okay to change plans, and it’s okay to question yourself. I grew up desperately wanting to be part of the equine industry, and then it blew up in my face when I went to do that in college. I then spent my time honing my design skills hoping for the perfect 9-5 job after college, and that expectation ultimately failed me, too. In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple of horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t. I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Don’t limit yourself by what you, your peers, or society tell you your life “should” look like at any stage in your journey. Take your time, try different things, and learn when it is time, to be honest with yourself by recognizing that something may not be right for you… and make a change. You will find your way – it may be hard to believe when you’re in the low points, but as long as you keep pushing forward, things will work out for you.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood was wonderful – very family oriented, which has definitely had a big impact on the person I am today. My parents are very nurturing and generous people, and I never understood just how much that really meant at the time! My mom stayed home with me, my sister, my brother, and our dog. We didn’t have a lot of the material things other kids had, but I never once felt alone or unloved. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. My mom and dad continue to be a huge influence on me today. They have always been very supportive, and they encourage me to do things that make me happy.

 

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Pictured: Artwork by K. Marie Design Co.

 

This family support has been vital since I left home for my freshman semester of college at The University of Findlay in Ohio, where I was planning to be an equine business major. Things didn’t work out at Findlay due to a lot of personal things I was going through at the time, but my family was behind me through it all. I eventually went home to NJ, spent the spring semester of my freshman year at the community college, and then transferred to Cazenovia College in the fall of 2012. After about two weeks at Caz as an equine business major, I realized that my lifelong love for horses was better off as a hobby rather than a career in a fast-paced, unforgiving industry. I changed my major to visual communications to chase my other love besides horses, which has always been art. I’ve always loved to draw, and the community at Cazenovia helped me find my feet and discover smart ways to marry illustration and graphic design together. I’ve been through quite a lot since I left home eight years ago, and it’s all played a part in making me into the creative, free business owner I am today! I can confidently say that I am excited rather than terrified by a future of unknowns and constant development in myself and in my creative career.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I’d like others to learn that you have to do things that make your soul happy. Don’t settle for a job, a relationship, a major, or anything that does not feel right to you. You are the only one who can make good things happen for yourself, but you are also the only one who can prevent good things from happening by becoming complacent and accepting less than you know you deserve. Evaluate your life and your happiness. Do some brainstorming and soul searching and think back to the dreams that lit up your eyes when you were younger. What do you want your life to look like when you’re 90 years old and thinking about your past? Is this what you want to remember? Maybe it’s time for a change!

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Pictured: Design by K. Marie Design Co.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means pride and equality. It means building other women up and encouraging other women to pursue their passions and make their marks on the world. A lot of people out there will use feminism as a shield to hide behind while they try to tear men down. Those people are not true feminists. Feminism is important to me because we have been pushed around and treated like we’re lesser than men in a lot of different ways. I see a lot of progress for women in the modern world, and I think it’s fantastic that men and women are joining together to make the world a more justified place for people of all genders. There will always be room for improvement, as with anything, but the fact that there is more awareness and more action is a great start.

 

 

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Pictured: Sketch by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Connect with Katie:

 

Website: www.kmariedesignco.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmariedesignco

 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kmariedesignco

 

Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/kMarieDesignCo

 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Corrie

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 

 


 

Q and A with Corrie, Baltimore County, Maryland

Teacher, Animal Lover, Towson University Alumni

“I wasn’t a failure or a quitter for changing my major. I was making myself happy. I also learned that it is very hard to stick with something when people are against you, but in the end, it is worth it.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?
A: My passions include teaching, animals, and conservation.
I am currently a 4th grade teacher. I absolutely love teaching. I feel at home in a classroom surrounded by students. My students bring out the best in me, and my goal is that I can do the same for them.

 

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I didn’t always want to be a teacher. When I was younger, I saw myself working with animals. My first job was being a kennel technician at an animal hospital. I eventually moved on to be a veterinary technician, which I continued to do all throughout college. While working at the animal hospital, I started being a nanny for a doctor that I worked with. I instantly fell in love with being around the kids. I really enjoyed helping them with their homework. I started to rethink my entire life path, and I became a teacher.
My love and compassion for animals never went away. Being a teacher allows me to teach my students about animals and conservation. I enjoy telling my students about all my pets- most of them are rescues. We talk often about the impact we have on our environment and the animals we share our environment with. I constantly let them know that they can be an advocate for animals and our environment in many ways.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?
A: My family has had the biggest impact on my life. I was raised by my father. He was a single parent raising myself and my brothers. My dad worked hard to give us a great life. Every day, I strive to make him proud. Growing up in a family of all men wasn’t always easy. Let’s face it; girls and boys are different. I didn’t have a lot of confidence around other girls and women. I wasn’t used to being around them. My dad is amazing and always encouraged me to be a strong woman. He even bought me books about how to be a strong woman when I was in middle school. He knew how important it was for me to feel comfortable in my own skin.

 

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When I was in college, I started as a biology major. I was almost finished with my degree when I decided to pursue teaching. Most people were very supportive, but of course, some were not. People thought I was crazy when I told them I was switching majors. They questioned my motives. They often brought up my love for animals, and they brought up the cost of education. There were a few times when I almost decided not to switch majors and to just stick with what I started. I’m glad I didn’t. I learned a few valuable lessons from that experience. One thing I learned is that change isn’t a bad thing. I wasn’t a failure or a quitter for changing my major. I was making myself happy. I also learned that it is very hard to stick with something when people are against you, but in the end, it is worth it. The last thing I learned was that a great support system is so important. My husband, Tony, who was my fiancé at the time, supported me in my decision to no end. He was my biggest advocate and supporter. I would like others to learn that change can be a good thing, to always stick with what your mind and heart are telling you, and to keep positive people in your life.

 

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Q:What does feminism mean to you?
A: What does feminism mean to me? That used to be a very hard question for me. I honestly used to believe that feminism was a negative word. I thought it was a word that was used to describe women who hated men. I was raised by my father and brothers, so, of course I didn’t hate men. It took me a while to realize that feminism doesn’t have to be negative. To me, feminism means believing in yourself as a woman. It means knowing that you can do anything and everything you put your mind to. Feminism means wanting the best for all women. It means wanting to see women succeed in their careers and life.

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Mary

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 

 


 

Q and A with Mary, Baltimore County, Maryland

 

“If you find the positive in every day, you will be so much happier. Also, when you have goals and put them into the universe, you are speaking them into existence. Finding the positives and putting them out to others will get you into the right mindset to achieve your goals.” 

 

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Meet Mary: Elementary Teacher, Business Woman, & Make-up Artist

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about children, fitness, health, and empowering women. As a full-time elementary teacher and beauty advocate, I find time for all my passions. And I try my best to come through in all I do.

Something that I love about my beauty business (besides our products) are the causes we support. Our new foundation line, the Defend Innocence line, is dedicated to empowering parents, caregivers, and community members to help end child sexual abuse. I love that this line helps connects two of my passions while continuing to protect the innocence of children. I am currently promoting the Defend Innocence brand to continue to raise money for the cause. Ultimately, what will be raised will allow for more women to attend the Haven Retreat to receive the healing they need. I began my beauty business through Facebook, and I continually meet new people with it.

 

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Pictured: The young bride, Mary, and her flower girl on Mary’s wedding day. 

 

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Mary smiling and modeling the make-up she loves to wear and share with other women. 

 

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Don’t you just love Mary’s Fourth of July look? 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in Annapolis my whole life, and I always wanted to be a teacher. I was definitely a tomboy until I was in high school (and even less in college). I was an athlete my whole life, and I still run these days.

 

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Pictured: Mary & her family representing the O’s! Proud O’s Fans! 

 

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Pictured: Mary, her husband, & their fluff babies.

 

Q: What is something you have learned that you would like others to know?

A: I have learned how to be positive and grateful for anything and everything life has to offer. If you find the positive in every day, you will be so much happier. Also, when you have goals and put them into the universe, you are speaking them into existence. Finding the positives and putting them out to others will get you into the right mindset to achieve your goals.

 

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Whatever you have a passion for, you will find time for. We are so busy in life these days, but if you have a passion for it, you have to find time for it. Make it a priority! Children, and now, beauty, have become huge passions of mine. And I have found “jobs” that bring these two together. I never feel like I’m working, because I love what I do. ❤️

 

 

If you would like to get in touch with Mary about her experiences, beauty tips/ products, or you’d just like to say hello, connect with her online via her shop by clicking here . If you purchase any products via that link, you will be supporting Mary and her cause.

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Faith

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.


 

Q and A with Faith, White Marsh, Maryland 

 

“Look back to when you were younger, and see if what you love now is what you loved back then. Often, the things we loved when we were kids are the things we have a true passion for.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?  

As a mom, wife, and a full-time manager, I have a very busy schedule every day! I love every minute, and yes, sometimes everything can go up then down, but it all seems to manage itself out. I love being a mom to a wonderful 10 month old as well as a stepmom to 2 kids- both 8 and 9 years old. I love every second I can be with them. I am a full-time manager with a company geared towards children for 9 years. I’m very thankful for the love and support of my husband, mom, and sister so that I can do what I truly love– which is photography. I have been a photographer for around 7 years, and I seriously started doing it as a business two years ago in 2016. Over these two years, I have grown so much. Photography is a skill you can learn and teach yourself by doing it hands on and watching videos. I started my passion of photography originally by shooting nature photography. I loved capturing the waterfront where I lived plus the woods and animals all around me. Especially when I went on trips, I loved taking my camera and capturing every moment. Photography can be so relaxing whether during a session or event or when editing the images.

 

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I love all the support and feedback I get from not only family and friends, but from my loyal clients as well! Some have been with me since 2016 and through my growth. I hope they stick by me through many more years. I also hope to be full time with photography in at max 5 years and not just part time- like I am now. I would love to have my own studio one day. I do sessions and events for all kinds from family, newborn, maternity, birthdays, weddings, and much more! Recently, I started a new venture in my career and started shooting weddings! This has been a huge step to further my career, and I can’t wait for all the new adventures this brings me. If you ever need any photography done, you can contact me through my Facebook page Faith Nicole Photography. I’m located in White Marsh, Maryland, but willing to travel in Maryland or another state. I would love to capture your family memories for you to keep forever.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I come from of a family of three kids. As a middle child, I always found way to keep myself busy in addition to playing with my siblings and cousins. We lived an outdoor life, which consisted of always playing games, fishing, and anything under the sun. If I wasn’t outside, I was indoors playing school or doing arts and crafts (especially painting and drawing). I was a very shy and quiet kid when I was younger. I worked really hard in school and was mostly on the honor roll. I graduated in 2010 from Eastern Tech High school where I was a part of the culinary program. After high school, I didn’t go to college like most of the kids I graduated with. I wanted to, but I really wanted to work and become independent. I wanted to make sure I could pay for what I wanted and needed without having to ask my parents for it. Even now, working full-time, plus running my own business, I work very hard not only to support myself, but also my family. I think being so creative and independent when I was younger helped me grow to where I am now and it especially has helped with running my own business. I still have a lot to learn, but as I tell others, you can only learn best by doing it and trying.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: The most important thing to know is to always follow your dreams and passion. Even when I get discouraged and want to give up, I always try to remind myself that it will all work out. I look back at my work from the past, and I honestly cringe to see how different and little I knew back then. I’m still learning until this day about how to take photos. I even have severely upgraded my equipment from a simple cheap camera to now a professional DSLR camera along with a lot of other equipment, props, backdrops and more. I will grow and grow every year the more I practice and work on my passion. I organize throwbacks next to current work to show my clients and others the difference from time to time. I love and appreciate my clients that have stayed with me throughout my growth, and I truly appreciate it from the heart. Basically what I’m saying is… don’t give up as it will be a struggle at times, but you will make it through. Keep working on everything you want, and you will get it one day! Despite a bad review here or there, you will get many more good reviews. Keep doing what you love, and I support you along the way too!

 

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The best way to learn from my story is look back to when you were younger, and see if what you love now is what you loved back then. Often the things we loved when we were kids are the things we have a true passion for. Mine was photography throughout the years among doing many other things such as girl scouts, soccer, gymnastic, karate, and being an adventurous and crafty kid. Even through high school and then when I started working, I always admired photography and seeing everything in a creative point of view. In 2016, my passion clicked in my head, and I started doing what I loved to do again. I enjoyed seeing the faces and reactions of my clients once they saw their images. Now with the growth I have had, the reactions are even greater, and I hope they will be further down the road. Doing what you love to do will make your life that much greater. But to add to that, it is your family and friends who make it even much greater. Capture those memories forever, because everyone grows up too fast and changes. I love being able to capture the memories for all people to keep and look back on years from now, and for your kids and grandkids to see many, many years from now.

 

Click here to reach Faith about Photography services and inquires. 

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Woman Wednesday: Jessica

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.


 

Q and A with Jessica, Hunterdon County, New Jersey  

“I remember flipping through a magazine one day (out of boredom), and I came across an article about hiking. And the editor decided to highlight “Legs strong enough to hike all the way to the top.” This statement resonated with me, because I started hiking with my friends around that time. On day 1, day 2, day 3…and okay let’s say up to day 30, I felt pretty weak. But every time we went, I was a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, and I was not running out of breath. I could see and feel the progress I made. So, I was not the best I could be on day 1, but to keep up with my friends, I had to keep going even when I was tired. I had to eliminate the mental barrier that said, “I can’t do it today, so I shouldn’t even try.” If you have a goal in mind, keep going, because you might be surprised by what you can do.”   

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: There are two ways I can answer this question- professionally and personally.

Professionally, it is marketing. I was really lucky to have found this passion at the age of 18. At the time, I was working at American Eagle Outfitters and taking two AP classes I enjoyed- drawing and psychology. I loved my job at American Eagle, but I was not a pushy sales-woman. I like getting creative, but I was not an artist. I found human behavior to be fascinating, but I wasn’t the next psychologist. Marketing was a combination of various things that already interested me.

 

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And personally, my passion has become traveling. I have been able to visit some exciting places including Sri Lanka, India, and the UK. The best part about traveling is remaining quiet behind a camera and snapping a photo of the architecture and people. Recently, I was getting lost in London. Exploring is a liberating feeling. I’m either alone with my thoughts and camera or meeting someone new.

Next on my list is Greece!

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was somewhat quiet; I didn’t come out of my shell until I was about 16-17. I hated large group gatherings, being on a team, class projects – you name it, and I felt uncomfortable. In school, I’d rather zone out or people watch. I hope my former classmates didn’t think I was a creep for staring.

Overtime, I became an extroverted person. I have no doubt that there is correlation between finding my passion(s) and finding my confidence. When I finally found something that I was both good at and had fun doing, I wanted to talk to other people. I wanted to reach out and connect with the people who enjoyed the same things.

Side note: I don’t stare as much. I now read about industry trends and user behavior. Unless I am a tourist behind a camera.

 

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Q:What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: You are stronger than you think you are.

I am not only talking about physical strength.

I remember flipping through a magazine one day (out of boredom), and I came across an article about hiking. If you don’t live under a rock, typically a strong statement will be enlarged and bolded. And the editor decided to highlight “legs strong enough to hike all the way to the top.”

 

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This statement resonated with me, because I started hiking with my friends around that time. On day 1, day 2, day 3…and okay let’s say up to day 30, I felt pretty weak. But every time we went, I was a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, and I was not running out of breath.

I could see and feel the progress I made.

So, I was not the best I could be on day 1, but to keep up with my friends, I had to keep going even when I was tired. I had to eliminate the mental barrier that said, “I can’t do it today, so I shouldn’t even try.”

If you have a goal in mind, keep going, because you might be surprised by what you can do.

Almost ten years ago, I tore out that statement and put in a book. It’s still on my desk.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: Do not be afraid to make decisions to improve your life, and do not be afraid to seek help.

Over an extended period of time, I experienced one unfortunate event after another. Even when things were going well, I sometimes wondered if I will, metaphorically speaking, fall…again. I did not surround myself with the right people that could fully understand what I was going through and support me. Unfortunately, this caused me to battle with depression.

I decided to go to counseling and remained in it for about 3 to 4 years.

I noticed there was a common theme during my sessions. I need to navigate through the current situation and keep my end goals in mind. To me, this meant I could not put my entire life on pause. I could not call in sick and distance myself from the entire world like I wanted to.

I’m no longer enrolled in counseling, but when faced with stress, I adjust and make decisions for my own mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. I frequently wear a compass necklace as a reminder to navigate through life and keep moving in the right direction.

 

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As I answer this question, I wish I could turn to the counselor I met with during high school and the counselor I met with during college who both helped me and just say, “Thank you.”

 

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Q: What does Feminism mean to you?

A: I do not consider myself to be a feminist. I simply believe that if an individual has the desire and capability to do something, they should be treated fairly.

What I would like to start to see from women is female-to-female empowerment in the workplace. Many of us talk about it (#girlpower), but I often find that women often target and act malicious towards other women. If a female employee wants to be seen as an equal to her male peers, she should not spend time knocking down another female employee. From a male supervisor’s point of view, he might associate your comments with women all together.

 

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We need to put aside our differences, get our job done, and empower one another. Until then, we will still be talking about the need for feminism.

 

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I highly recommend getting together with other women in your industry, place of employment, or with a female who has a similar job function. You could end up learning something new and/or experience a happier environment which you both may share.

Grab a drink, get a smoothie, or do whatever you both might find to be easy and comfortable.

 

Q: Why should women take roles in business?

A: I am going to follow up with a (sassy) question…or two.

  1. Would a company like to limit themselves?
  2. Is it a women’s obligation to stay at home with no option to pursue a career?

I can answer both questions for you, no.

A company requires diversity to fuel new ideas and enhance the potential for profitability and expansion. If they would rather limit themselves to only about half the population, that is their choice and their risk. But nobody can deny the fact that there are female leaders and entrepreneurs that are driving economic growth.

Not all women desire to be caretakers.

As someone who works in a business environment, I feel that I bring value to my team and to my employer (at least that is what my paycheck tells me). If I propose a campaign idea that my male peers did not think of and it directly results in sales (and yes I actually have), then I deserve to be there.

What I do brings me joy, so I’ll be sticking around as long as I bring value.

 

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