Post AAM

Major thanks to everyone who turned out for our gathering at AAM, who cheerfully distributed cards and spread the word about Harriet B's Daughters, and seriously helped us up our game. A thousand and one thank yous.

Sitting in the Women in the Workplace session, I was besieged by emotions. Sad and angry that we still need sessions like that; thrilled and humbled to hear such honesty from leaders in the field; gratified to see white executive directors of major institutions own up to their own intersectionality failings and discuss the concrete actions they've taken as leaders to better themselves, set an example for their staff, and improve their institutional structures; eye-rolling frustration that the first anonymous question asked was 'why are there no men on your panel'; hope to see how engaged people were in the discussion. No session is perfect, and this was no exception, but I got some good things out of it:

  • The posse or a 'kitchen cabinet': all of the panelists agreed and advocated for having your 'posse', a group of women outside your institution to discuss work and work/life with- the people who can provide a reality check or sounding board, support, or info. In many ways, Harriet B's is a means of creating or expanding your posse, and it was good to hear leaders in our field stress the importance of the kind of atmosphere and peer groups we're striving to build.
  • The need to 'promote' women- that it's not enough to mentor, that we need to advocate. Recommend other women for jobs, speaking gigs, journal articles, interviews. To that end, on our slack group we've started a job board, and as previously announced we're creating a speaker's bureau. Please send your info for the speaker's bureau on in so that we can begin more actively recommending folks for panels.
  • That systemic change comes in ways big and small, from eyeballing the product in your retail to reviewing your family leave policy. We're working on a '100 things' list to bring about IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, access) change in an organization- admittedly, with a real museum slant, but some of it will be applicable to other industry verticals.

Looking ahead, we already have a team of people offering to help organize a get together at IAAPA in November (thank you!). If you are willing to help organize for ASTC or SATE in October (ASTC is in San Jose, SATE is being hosted by CalArts), please let us know.