Bossed Up Women Lift as they Climb
Bossed Up is an innovative personal and professional training organization that helps women craft sustainable careers. Founder/CEO Emilie Aries is a nationally recognized speaker and political organizer who has helped hundreds navigate career transition and prevent burnout.
In addition to her recent press coverage in the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, ABC, and numerous podcasts, she is a regular contributor at Forbes, The Huffington Post, and Levo League. Her TED talk, “The Power of No,” shows how to set healthy boundaries and invest in sustainable long-term achievement.
Ahead of her February 16th event at Workbar, we caught up with her to ask a few questions:
What is the main objective of your Bootcamps?
Bootcamp is a weekend-long training for women navigating career transition. We take a holistic approach to arming women with the personal and professional development they need to "level up" in work and life. We bring in a variety of experts to help participants clarify their vision, own their voice with assertive communication, master negotiation, practice mindfulness, develop healthy relationships, better manage their finances, and put it all together with a strategic action plan. It's a LOT for one weekend - but it's called Bootcamp for a reason.
Are there any misconceptions about the push for gender equality in the workplace?
The push for gender equality is often seen as some great moral effort instead of the strategic business investment that it is. Gender equality is good for all of us. And research continuously demonstrates that diversity in the workplace helps to improve the bottom line.
How far has the movement come, and how far is there still to go?
Clearly we've made a lot of progress since women first entered the workforce, but in some ways the subtle nature of second-generation gender bias makes it even hard to make progress now. Legal and institutional barriers have fallen, sure. They're easy to identify and break down. But culture change? That work takes way longer - and the negative impacts of a patriarchal culture are both omnipresent and harder to identify.
What are some persistent obstacles for women in the workplace?
How much time do you have? For starters, women still aren't at the table. Equal representation is still an issue in 2017 in the highest echelons of power across every industry. When they are in the room, women's voices still aren't being hears in the same way. Women - and especially black women and Latina women - aren't getting equal pay for equal work compared to their male counterparts. Women are still shouldering twice the amount of housework and child-rearing duties at home, and yet seen as less devoted to their jobs when those obligations arise. (Men, on the other hand are seen as going above and beyond). Here's the thing: it's complicated. And it's rarely conscious. We're combatting the unconscious biases we all carry, and that requires coming back to a very fundamental component of the first wave of feminism: consciousness-raising.
How does the political climate in Washington affect day-to-day operations around the nation?
Regardless of your politics, it's easy to feel helpless in the current climate. The antidote to helplessness is action – in any way that serves you and your values. Start taking action in your community and engage with those around you, whether or not you agree. If you cannot get involved directly, consider donating money to a cause that you care about. Don't get mad, get involved.
What are the major lessons you'd like participants to take away from your sessions?
I hope that everyone leaves Bossed Up's trainings feeling empowered, inspired, and armed with practical, research-driven tools and tactics to improve their lives. I also hope everyone leaves feeling able to share what they learned with others - because I truly believe that the truth will set us free on this front.
Do you have a message for the Patriarchy?
Well, unfortunately, the patriarchy is in all of us! The sooner was can admit to carrying unconscious bias – the sooner we can start to combat its many negative affects. We can all become smarter and set ourselves free to reach our full potential when we question our assumptions and get critical about how we mindfully shape our lives, careers, and workplaces.
Workbar operates seven coworking locations in the Boston area (Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Norwood, Brighton, Danvers) and several other network partner locations throughout the state. Want to keep up with the World of Workbar? Subscribe to our newsletter for the most up-to-date information about our upcoming events and community news. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.