Several folks have asked us, "Barbie isn't so bad, why do you host the #NotABarbie Career and Empowerment Conference?" We invited last year's Director of Organized Woman and Conference Chair, Tashia Graham to share insights on today's blog. Don't forget, tickets to the 2nd Annual #NotABarbie Career and Empowerment Conference are now available.
Not A Barbie for That
On a spring evening in 2014 a singer-songwriter, an author, a business writer, a nonprofit program manager, a city government worker, a financial professional/ aspiring chef, and a human resources professional met to plan out the year of programming for Boston GLOW. All seven women found themselves at transitional periods in their careers, so inevitably the conversation got derailed a bit and turned to work.
For most of us, there was no roadmap for what to do next. We got to thinking about how, for lots of little girls and young women out there, the plethora of career paths available are unclear. Most of us didn’t grow up knowing a woman in STEM or a woman who made her living as a nonprofit administrator. No little girl dreams of being a Human Resources Manager when she grows up!
For many of us, our first career role model was Barbie. Growing up we were fortunate to see Barbie neatly packaged as a veterinarian, a gymnast, an astronaut, but never anything even closely resembling the types of jobs that we had ended up in. Barbie could change her jobs at will. She didn’t work in a cubicle, and she certainly didn’t have student loan debt or child care costs to worry about! We just didn’t see ourselves or the women we know represented in the narrow career options of America’s most popular plastic career woman.
At GLOW we pride ourselves on providing mentorship and leadership opportunities for gender minorities of all ages. We believe that we all succeed when we can see ourselves in others, when the women ahead of us light the way. From our Spitfire Networking Series to our Girls’ Leadership programming we provide opportunities for women and girl to collaborate and learn from each other. We thought it would be awesome to go to a career conference that showcased women in our community excelling in a variety of fields. And so the Not a Barbie Career and Empowerment conference was born!
As a small, volunteer managed nonprofit, it took some time for us to plan our inaugural conference. The first Not a Barbie conference was held in 2016. Fifteen speakers shared their expertise in creative careers, community organizing, entrepreneurship, finance, and more. We networked, shared stories, made connections, but most importantly, we walked away thinking “let’s do that again!”.
We invite you to join us on April 8th for the 2nd Annual Not A Barbie Career ad Empowerment Conference. Details of sessions, speaker bios, and tickets can be found: https://bostonglownotabarbiecareera2017.sched.com/
“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” — Whoopi Goldberg