The future is female.
March marks Women’s History Month, hosts International Women’s Day, and—more personally—my own mother’s birthday. Shout out to you, Pam!
It’s a month to celebrate Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Jane Goodall, Lady Gaga, and your own mother. And at Humu HQ, it’s a month to highlight the contributions of the women in our field who are taking great strides and giant leaps in the mission to make work better.
So this month, a departure from our typical format to highlight five incredible women. Given the billions of women making change in the world today, this list is far from exhaustive—but full of inspiration. These are women we know, women we respect, and women whose work we view with wonder.
Jessica Bennett is the author of Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual (For a Sexist Workplace) and the first-ever gender editor of the NYTimes, a position she took up in 2017. In addition to Bennet’s hand in feminizing the view of the paper, making women’s experiences at work and in life newsworthy, she’s also spearheaded Overlooked—an obituary series profiling notable women whose deaths were never covered in the paper. If you’re looking for life-long career inspiration, the series is for you.
Julie Ann Crommett is the VP of multicultural audience engagement at Disney, where she’s continuing a career rooted in diversity. Before Disney she led a team at Google that educated Hollywood on the importance of increasing the representation of women in STEM jobs in media. She’s partnered with the Geena Davis Institute to look at how much screen time men and women get in top-grossing films. The TL;DR? Women on screen are often seen and not heard: just 34% of speaking roles are given to women – only 31% in animation – and just 3% to women of color. There’s progress to be made, and Julie Ann’s on the job. Because if you can see it, it makes it a whole lot easier to be it.
Arlan Hamilton is the only black queer female to have built a venture capital firm from the ground up. And if raising $36 million to invest in firms led by people from underrepresented groups weren’t enough to be awe-inspiring she just so happens to have done it in less than three years, with no college degree and no Silicon Valley old boy’s network to rely on. The problem statement? Less than 10% of all venture capital deals go to women, people of color, or LGBT founders. To learn more about Arlan and Backstage Capital, peep this Fast Company feature—or head to the company page to see Arlan’s team putting the money where it counts.
Since 2011, Alison Green (A.K.A. @AskAManager to her 46 thousand Twitter followers) has been a go-to for the kind of career advice you need to ask a manager but just can’t ask your manager. Her feed is a rich repository of burning questions, asked and answered through Green’s gaze—not only as a woman but as an experienced manager and Chief of Staff. To start benefiting from her wisdom, dive into the “Workplace Practices” section of her archives, where you’ll see recent questions on everything from announcing pregnancies to uncertainty in the workplace in a post-MeToo era. Shoutout to anyone who’s ever asked a question—you have personally made my work-life easier.
As researcher Eden King puts it, “The work we do defines us, yet work is a context in which some groups of people are burdened by subtle and not-so-subtle injustices.” King studies the challenges that underrepresented groups face on the job—and finds actionable solutions to make work better. Her latest research has us feeling seen. Complexly-titled “Stigma Expression Outcomes and Boundary Conditions,” the findings are simple: be true to yourself at work—it’s healthier and more productive.
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