One thing is clear, the women of F*it have no room for bullshit. Thursday night, Cynthia Salim, CEO of Citizen's Mark, Tracie Egan-Morrissey, Editor in Chief of Broadly, and Gina Hadley, founder of The Second Shift shared their personal stories of getting blown off, passed up for promotions, told to dress differently, told they wouldn't make good bosses, and then they called bullshit on it and found ways to succeed anyway.
Cynthia convinced the best manufacturers in the world to make her blazers, Tracie convinced Vice Media to hire her to found a feminist channel, and Gina made her work fit her lifestyle and started a company that made that possible for all women. Here's a snapshot of each woman's story. Stay tuned for the complete videos on YouTube.
Cynthia Salim, founder of Citizen’s Mark, which makes responsibly made blazers for women on the rise, taught us all that you’re never too small to matter. When she was first starting out, getting wool manufacturers and factories to pay attention to her was a struggle. Despite flying to Italy and Portugal and driving hours to the factories, once she got home, no one would return her emails. She wasn't Armani or Stella McCartney placing 10,000 yard orders - she was Citizen's Mark, which was a totally new brand, but full of potential.
So she got back on a plane (using miles!) and showed up in Italy and Portugal at these factories repeatedly. She learned that if you’re there in person, they can’t ignore you. You’re not just an email on a screen anymore, and they agreed to work with her. She convinced the top factories in the world to let her place tiny orders because Citizen’s Mark is small, but it's getting top quality blazers for women right.
Tracie Morrissey shared the unbelievable story of how she convinced Vice media to start a feminist channel and hire her to lead it. After founding Jezebel and seeing no room for women in leadership positions at Gawker, Tracie decided that the industry needed a media outlet for women, by women that could afford to write about the issues that women care about.
So she cold emailed Suroosh Alvi, one of the founders of Vice Media and told him she had some ideas. This is the kind of meeting you prepare for or blow it, and she wasn’t going to blow it. She designed a deck, putting in quotes from the media about Vice being a male-focused channel (which they didn’t like but listened to), rented iPads to hand out to everyone in the room and made her case for a new feminist channel to the team. The meeting ended with “yeah I get, you’re hired, what’s next?” And the rest is history! Broadly launched in August 2015.
Gina Hadley, founder of The Second Shift, has lived many lives. She’s been an entrepreneur, global agency executive, startup founder, stay at home mom, and even Catholic school administrator (that didn’t last.) Throughout her journey, she learned that your personal circumstances, whether you’re a mom, move to a new city, or are transitioning to a new stage of life, you should never let your situation jeopardize the potential you can have in your career. Gina started The Second Shift so educated, accomplished, high level executive women could go back to doing the work they love, no matter what.
Thank you to our sponsor Made Real Vodka for supporting the women of F*it and whipping up delicious Moscow Mules for the night. P.S. We love that you're #selfmade
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PHOTOS: See photos from Wednesday night's F*it event and other nights, also click here.
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