JPMorgan Chase & Co. Women’s History Month Panel

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Women’s History Month Panel

Kweighbaye Kotee

March 9th, 2017

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Written by: Kweighbaye Kotee

During Women’s History Month, I had the opportunity to produce and moderate a panel for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. International Women’s Day event on March 8th. The panel was comprised of the super inspiring and amazingly talented women from the documentary film Dream, Girl. The Bushwick Film Festival had the privilege to screen Dream, Girl last year, a film that is a testament to the powerful and creative forces that women are and have always been.

The energy on stage was particularly electric that afternoon. I had the chance to speak with Erin Bagwell, the director of Dream, Girl, and the subjects she followed in the documentary: Crista Freeman (CEO of Phin & Phebes), Clara Villarosa (co-founder of Villarosa Media) and Annie Wang (co-founder of Senvol).

Erin, Crista, Clara, Annie and I are all entrepreneurs in traditionally male-dominated industries. It’s no secret that starting any business comes with its own challenges but adding misogyny into the mix of paperwork and time management brings some unique hurdles. Historically, women have not been encouraged to seek work or become independent. Women are still underrepresented in most industries,even the ones that are marketed to us specifically (E.G. makeup, fashion, etc). In a world that is run by the sometimes invisible but all too real patriarchy , it is so important to hear and share the stories of our growth and the lessons we learned to get where we are today._MG_7020 (1)

During the panel, we did just that. We spoke of our origins, the obstacles we faced and our strategies for keeping our heads up and working smarter (not necessarily harder). Annie Wang, when talking about the myth of the Modern Woman Having It All, shared her strategies for conquering the ever elusive “work-life balance.” Particularly, the difference between being busy and being productive and how having a specific set of goals can take you so much further than a cluttered calendar.

Being a woman on your own path means juggling society’s expectations of you with your own ambitions for yourself. Though we’ve come a long way since the days of Rosie the Riveter, there is a long way yet to go.

As women in business–as women in general–we are constantly having to fight for our voices to be heard. This is the reason why forums like these are so important. To document our work, our battles, our triumphs. To celebrate our victories. To share and build our vision for a better world.

So, #whoruntheworld?



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