The Story of a Girl in the Professional World

My project’s topic consists of how young professional women today continue to face adversity in the work place, different yet too familiar of the discrimination faced in the Mad Men era. My original writing was an op-ed piece about my own personal experience interning at a technology firm juxtaposed with the issues presented on AMC’s show Mad Men. I plan to re-purpose this into a creative story that conveys the view point of a young professional woman today to the viewpoint of Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway from Mad Men.

In my search for writing in various genres on this topic, I came across many different rhetorical situations, ranging from op-ed to “how-to” and an article that speaks directly to the employers of tech companies.

First up: The Mad Men Woman of Today: The Next Chapter

Published in the Forbes Woman section of Forbes, this article reaches out to a narrow audience of women who work in the business world. The piece’s exigence surrounds the season finale of Mad Men and how women today should see the end of the show as an opportunity to pay homage to the primary female characters, Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway. It eloquently combined statistics of the Mad Men era with statistics of today, illustrating how much women have succeeded but how much more room there is for improvement.

I think my only critique of this piece was how limited its goals were. Why not publish this for men and women to see? After all, men and women both watch the show. Furthermore, the piece talks about women leaving traditional men-centered cultural businesses for entrepreneurial ventures. Why don’t we encourage women to spark a change within the organization they already work for? There is room for entrepreneurship of thought and culture within an already established company.

Second: Oink Oink: When you Work with Sexist Pigs

I have to say, I do appreciate this title. It perfectly describes some of the men I worked with at my internship over the summer. This post included a user’s story of sexism in their workplace, and how to best deal with that situation. Long story short, this woman had to deal with actual pigs. Here’s an excerpt:

“Most of the men (five out of six) started discussing which women in the sales department they’d like to sleep with, joking about planting webcams in the women’s bathroom, responding to advice I suggested about a software problem with “Oh, but you’re a woman, so you don’t know anything about computers, am I right?””

ARE YOU SERIOUS? At least, that was my initial reaction. This blatantly misogynistic behavior is completely unacceptable. But… is it? Many readers suggested to A) Get away, B) Grin and Bear it, or C) Leave the company. I don’t know about you, but I would select option D) None of the above! Why should you satisfy these men by doing any of these options, especially leaving the company? In my perspective, they are in the wrong here, not you. If anything, they should be reprimanded while you are admired for working to create an open-minded, ethical and diverse culture.

Last but not least: Fixing the Leaky Bucket: What Tech Companies Must Do to Retain Their Best Female Talent

This article, published in The Huffington Post, speaks directly to employers and recruiters at tech companies. It speaks to the need for more diversity, specifically more women, in the tech industry. One excerpt that really resonated with me was:

“Women are leaving the tech industry because they feel unfulfilled and unsupported. (And Silicon Valley’s reputation as a boys network endures, as underscored by the recent news of a “Twitter Frat House” party held while the company was contending with a gender-discrimination lawsuit.) No amount of energy dedicated to hiring more women makes a difference in company cultures when current female employees slip through the cracks.”

This passage could not be more true regarding my personal experience in the tech industry. Believe it or not, when sitting in on an interview as an intern, fellow colleagues described the company’s culture as a “Frat House.” So don’t be too quick to judge that Twitter is the only company with these gender discrimination issues. If a company’s culture truly resembles that of a frat house, it does not matter how hard recruiters work to hire women. Those women will come, and then they will leave. As soon as possible. The article really drives this point home in the last paragraph:

“But without a culture that supports women and responds to their legitimate needs – one that encourages them to not only remain but fosters their growth as employees – these efforts are essentially pointless. Rather than putting all of our water into the recruitment bucket, those cultural problems first need fixing if we are to prevent the further loss of key talent at any company. “

This article echoed all of the issues I encountered as a female intern at a tech start-up. Before hiring women, the root of a company’s problem is its diversity and culture. I think this article will help me understand the key audience I am trying to address in my project as well as the points to drive home in terms of various demographics. For example, it needs to be apparent to males in the tech industry that women are vital to success, and success is vital to them receiving a high paycheck – which according to this article, is the 3rd most important reason that they stay at a company. On the other hand, women valued satisfaction in their current role and honest communication. Understanding these key statistics will help me cater my creative story to reach audiences personally and professionally.

Peace. Love. Peggy Olson.

peggy olson

 

RookieMag

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Rookie mag (http://www.rookiemag.com) is one of my favorite blogs, and I’ve been an avid reader from its inception. Tavi Gevinson originally started fashion blog when she was a sophomore in high school. It was a pretty standard fashion blog in format, but the international fashion community became enthralled by this pint-sized fashion prodigy. She traveled to countless fashion weeks, and met with the fashion world’s most coveted icons. Yet in 2013, she started rookiemag, a new franchaise in which she completely reinvented her blog to resemble something that looked much more like an online magazine publication.

Each month there is a theme, and all of the articles put out that month have to do in some way with that particular theme. These themes range from ‘mulitiplicity’ (this month’s) to ‘up all night’ to ‘trust.’ The articles incorporate these themes in a vast variety of ways, some expected and some a little less clear in their connection. Readers can click on each issue and read the articles posted each day for that month, or they can click through the “category” section in which they have articles written under categories titled things like “beauty,” “dear diary,” or “live through this.” Some of the articles are written about current cultural phenomena, some are written about fashion and beauty, and others are articles of advice. The entire publication is geared toward young high school and college aged women. Though there are many different writers who contribute blog posts, the publication has a really clear voice directed toward young women. None of the articles feel preachy (which I feel frequently when I read Elite Daily) or too dry. There is a really nice range of articles from different categories, all of which feel relatable to my particular demographic. I also like the fact that there is a nice mix between serious articles about sensitive topics such race, abuse, or politics, and fun blog posts about music and fashion. It captures the complex range of interests that any young woman might have.

In addition to the content, the blog is incredibly well designed, featuring hand-drawn icons and a vintage color-palette. The illustrated icons next to each article really attract the reader and the entire publication is overall aesthetically pleasing. Ultimately, I like this blog because I think it speaks to a very specific audience in every way – both through content and design.

It’s Tough to Hit a Homerun if You Never Step Up to Bat

While researching sources for my second project, an exploration of the gender gap in the United States political landscape, I came across an intriguing article that had the following to say about women in politics:

While ongoing analysis of political wins show that female candidates are just as likely to win their races as men, they’re still much less likely to initiate a run. The Women’s Campaign Forum, a non-partisan nonprofit established to encourage more women to run for office, estimates that 50 percent fewer women than men consider running for office.

In the article, Why So Few Women in Politics? Ask Sandra Fluke., author Robin Marty continues to explain that a large reason why females are not equally represented in Congress is not because they cannot get elected – it’s because they do not run for election in the first place. After years of unequal representation, women feel as though they are not qualified, educated, or experienced enough to even consider running for public office.

Upon reading this article, the direction of my research took a bit of a turn. The original scope of my project was a bit broad; I intended to focus on female portrayal in Congress and explore why female candidates are not elected at the same rate as their male colleagues. Now that I realize this statement is not true, I will now focus on why the female population, as a whole, feels as though it should not and cannot run for public office.

This is an important message for women to hear because there are fewer examples of strong female players in politics than there of strong men. Furthermore, many of the women who make powerful moves are either not discussed by the media or criticized for their wardrobe choices (and what do men even know about fashion anyways? UGH). The goal for my article is to show women everywhere that they are just as capable as men of holding public office, the United States needs female voices in Congress, and women should consider running in more political elections. Because let me tell you, I think most of the women I know could do a pretty amazing job.

We need more victory pictures like this one. You go, Nancy Pelosi!
We need more victory pictures like this one. You go, Nancy Pelosi!

I am a Feminist. Not crazy. Check out this Blog.

First of all, here’s the link to the blog I’m promoting in this post: http://www.the-broad-side.com

I am not a blogger; I do not follow any blogs; and honestly I find even doing these blog posts confusing and sometimes annoying. However, while attempting to locate a blog to share with you all, which was made quite easy by the wonderful Google blogs site, I came across a blog containing everything I’m increasingly passionate about lately.

Now, I am not a crazy, anti-shaving, anti-men, anti-bra woman. I’m actually quite fond of all three of those things. But lately I have come to realize that being a feminist doesn’t have to do with any of the stereotypical things I thought it did. I shave my legs, I respect men, and I do wear bras. However, I do think that being proud to be a woman and being proud to have my own opinion is something that shouldn’t be surprising to people. I hope to one day empower young girls to be confident in their own self-image and to be proud of being a woman.

The Broad Side’s slogan is “Real Women. Real Opinions.” I haven’t read through too many of their posts, but from what I have read, I think this blog would be really essential in empowering woman and girls to be critical thinkers of political and social issues of this day and age. The first article I saw was on the surface about the lovely Miley Cyrus and her twerking expo at the VMA’s, but as I kept reading, it was actually about how Miley was getting all the crap while Robin Thick wasn’t being slandered at all. Now what’s up with that? Anybody actually seen his video? Miley wasn’t doing anything that Robin Thick wasn’t having his video girls doing. Check out the blog… check out this post specifically for more about that.

It’s not an anti-men blog. I can’t say with 100% confidence, but I’m guessing most of the bloggers on this site shave their legs. And while they probably aren’t at the time of blogging, since who does at home anyways, they probably all wear bras, too.

For anybody who would like a short intro to just one of the many feminist arguments to see if it might be worth looking into more, or for anybody who just loves darn cute kids, check out Riley on Marketing because Riley is so awesome.

Disclaimer: Riley on Marketing is a YouTube video that was shared in my Women’s Studies 220 class on September 18th. It is a public video posted by dbarry1917 on YouTube. I did not create it, I’m just sharing for your viewing pleasure.

Online News Community/Public Forum

http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/top-100-women-bloggers.jpg

When I first started brainstorming for the re-mediation assignment, I had way too many ideas. I guess this is better than having no ideas at all, but still it was hard to figure out what direction to go with this project. I wanted to create an interactive article for the Glamour website, an actual blog, a new website or a public forum. Eventually I decided to create an online news community/public forum to combine all of my original ideas into one. I think this will be the best way for me to re-mediate my original argument about blogs and new media being a net gain for society. As of right now I’m thinking of using Wix to execute this project because I recently used it to create another website and think it will allow me to include all of the necessary elements in my online news community/public forum. The only problem I ran into with Wix was its tendency to freeze. This made the whole website creation process slow and somewhat annoying. I definitely do not want to run into these same problems again! I would love it if you guys had any suggestions on better platforms to use for my online news community/public forum. Here are some examples of online forums I may use as inspiration: The Women’s Nest, In The Powder Room, PepsiCo Women’s Inspiration Network, and GoGirl Finance.

I’d like your feedback on my proposal:

I plan to develop an online news community/public forum (essentially an interactive website) for Glamour readers.  This will be a public forum that allows real women to communicate with one another and share the news. My ideal audience is all Glamour readers regardless of their current level of political involvement.  I want my audience to join “the conversation called blogging” and be completely engaged in this online community. I plan to bridge the gap between hard news and soft news by providing an outlet for discussion of issues, ranging from rantings about political candidates to advice about where to buy the most comfortable high heels. This online news community/public forum will be a part of the Glamour website and build upon their Glamocracy blog section which contains political articles written in personal/opinion-based tones. My reason for choosing to create an online news community/public forum is that it will represent the argument addressed in my essay about new media being a net gain for society. This public forum will allow readers to participate in the creation of news. I think it is a great extension of my previous essay and has real world applicability and functionality. My plan for the story board assignment is to pretend like I’m pitching this project to Glamour executives, again something that I would potentially be doing in my future career. I want to connect this project to my print article by including a scan-able bar code in the print version that directs readers to the online news community. This way, all versions of my essay will come together as a whole.  I’d like to model the “I am that Girl” website because it is easy to navigate, has visually appeal, and contains well-organized relevant information in the form of images, videos and text. As you may notice, the site has been revamped since my initial blog post, but I think I actually like it better now which is why I plan to use it for inspiration when re-mediating my argument. 

What do you think?