Women sitting around a resort in the mountains bonding over blogs, twitter and motherhood at a social media conference can beg the question – is real business being done?
Like any self-respecting corporate golf tournament, dollars and cents conversations are happening, deals are being struck and deep networking happening. It looks prettier and there’s way more hugging (and yes, crying!). But this is the real thing and women in social media are changing the face of media and marketing.
This year I’ve had the privilege of speaking at Alt Summit, Type A Parent Conference and now just back from Evo, as well as attending Blissdom and about to attend BlogHer. I’ve met the most incredible women at each, expanding my community and my love for it. I thrill to see women carving out their own corner of the internet, forming new businesses and fundamentally restructuring the work and family paradigm.
The furor over the recent Anne-Marie Slaughter piece in the Atlantic “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” evoked so many of the obstacles to women in the world’s very top jobs. It also, very rightly, brought us to the conclusion that men can’t have it all either and fundamental structural shifts in the way work happens are needed. The women I see building empires anchored in personal brands, both on and off-line, are marching to a very different drum. Their own.
It’s a drum that makes room for my family and acknowledges my deep desire to nurture whilst still being a co-provider. My work requires more travel than is always convenient. It’s complicated to leave my husband and four children. Whilst my Beloved is more than capable and I do not worry about one thing whilst I’m gone, I know there are systems he will have altered, things that I will want to adjust when I return. The children will act out for a few days and be more high needs than usual. These are prices that are not paid in the same way when my husband goes away on business. I can rail about its unfairness — it is what it is.
But what a joy to be away from them knowing what I do matters, that I have something valuable to contribute, and that my community won’t think twice when I tweet about missing my kids or aching for my husband. These are women I can bring my whole self to – my professional self, my girlfriend self, my wife and mother self, and my spiritual self – all of who I am gets to play in the same sand box.
Out of that authenticity, partnerships form anchored in business-savvy brilliance. And also … because we fall a little bit in love with each other.
Gratitude to just a few of my new girl-crushes — for a hallway chat, a quiet moment at a loud party, a lingering conversation after a session, sharing tears in a hotel room, a moment of impact — in no particular order…
All Things Fadra, Mooshinindy, Petit-Elefant, Free Anissa, TodoBebe, Parent Hacks, Good n Crazy, Formerly Phread, Art-Slam, Queen Scarlett, Sellabit Mum, By Word of Mouth Musings, Red Neck Mommy, Kidneys and Eyes, Kim Orlandini, Tracey Clark, Xiaolin Mama, Resourceful Mommy, On the Go With Amy
I know I’ve forgotten someone. Or ten. Not to mention girl-crushes from previous equally amazing conferences (Katherine Stone, I’m talking to you!). What a joyous thing to be able to go to work every day with all of you, sharing our hearts, mind and opinions. I’m so glad. And so grateful to be a tiny part of it.
There may or may not have been a flash mob at the Evo ’12 Ignite keynotes. Or a broken table in our hotel room. Enjoy!
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