Aloha ladies, It’s interesting that we’ve launched the member‘s chat today. I spent most of my workday ruminating on a topic I wanted to pose as a discussion. Empowering women is what we’re striving for within our organization, but how do we take the skills we cultivate in our safe, women-only space and apply them outside of WMYFB? For me, I‘ve always worked in a blue collar male dominated environment. I’ve worked on farms, ranches, fishing boats, and now as a laborer/mule packer in an all male work crew. Aside from some rare, incredible female work leads, I’ve spent the last decade navigating an often straight, often conservative, cis-male only workplace. I’ve stumbled through my fair share of conflicts due to treatment and assumptions based on my gender. I’ve attempted different strategies. In the past, when I’ve found myself in conflict with the professional environment, there hasn’t been a lot of resources offered to me addressing women like me, in my field, at my pay grade. There’s lots of wonderful movements uplifting women in white collar fields. Messages like “be a CEO” just don’t fit my career trajectory, as I have gravitated passionately towards more physical labor. These days, I feel at ease about my place within my work crew. I have learned how to better advocate for my needs and maintain healthy work relationships. I have also observed the ways in which I apply my leadership skills within the workplace. Female empowerment is an important mission, however I find some of my best work is done acting as a role model to the young men I‘ve worked with over the years. Building up strong women doesn’t just impact other women, and it shouldn’t! Our reach goes beyond leading other women, but the folks in our lives of other genders. I would love to explore the topic with everyone further. Some questions and topics to pick and respond to: -What makes an effective leader? -How have you navigated your male dominated and mix gendered spaces? How have you been a role model? Please share stories if you’re comfortable!