Getting familiar with Femily: How to be the bad ass boss of your own lifeSkirt Club is lucky to know some seriously phenomenal women. This week, we get familiar with one of our favourite Skirt Club allies Femily; a silicon-valley gender consultant, expert on female empowerment and founder of the American Association of Corporate Gender Strategy. She helps organisations make life better for women, trans and queer people and coaches individuals to live their boldest, juiciest lives.
Femily will host one of our headline activities as part of our spectacular ladies retreat ‘Le Weekend’ between 5-8 September, where she will encourage and inspire Skirt Club members to move towards their goals and amp up their careers and love-lives. In our ‘up close and personal interview, we ask Femily about everything from body confidence, empowerment and activism to handling Skirt Club for the first time.
Tell us a bit about your business and speciality. Your profile says 'Consultant on corporate gender strategy' - what does this entail exactly?
I heard about Skirt Club via the Future of Sex podcast - the podcast is one of my faves that help me keep current with all things gender, sex, sexuality, and women's empowerment. I do gender equality stuff for work so it relates on the business front - but even more so: I'm queer/bi and I love independent, mischevious women so my ears really perked up!
Can you give us a flavour or a tease of what 'Boss Ladies Brunch' session participants can expect from you at Le Weekend in Miami?
Yes! Skirt Club's founder Genevieve came up with a vibrant idea to bring together smart, sexually confident, powerful businesswomen to talk about how our sexual empowerment - and our Skirt Club life - improves the rest of our life, including our careers, etc.
Genevieve, me, and three other international curious/independent womxn are going to share surprising insights about how women's empowerment includes sexual empowerment. Over a lush, relaxing breakfast and good coffee...
You in the audience will get to:
- relax in the swanky Miami hotel vibes - if you're too tired, just still come. :)
- hear juicy, heart-open tales that really "go there",
- learn tips on how to feel more integrated and alive,
- ask (anonymous!) questions of global boss ladies who are working and living full, meaningful, robust lives as [sexually alive] modern women.
Skirt Club believes that women who become empowered in the bedroom are ultimately more inclined to feel more powerful in their careers too (boss of the bedroom and the boardroom), but we recognise that there's still a massive confidence gap in terms of women going after leadership positions and demanding their true worth. What's your take on this and any advice for women struggling with this?
Yes yes yes! When we hide any part of ourselves, we can not contribute as much smarts and soul as when we can bring our whole selves to work. Women who get to practice (in the bedroom) leaning into brave situations, building their confidence, communicating strongly and clearly, being inclusive, and being self-reflective on their own needs in the bedroom are better able to do the same thing in the boardroom. Also, as a women's leadership coach - and consultant who helps companies get better for women - I get asked about this all the time.
My best tips for ambitious women are: don't do the "office housework or workplace emotional labor, don't be "too nice" - strive to be respected, outsmart man-terruptions and mansplaining, don't work for free, always ask for 15% more in salary negotiations (men do!), and think really carefully about whether the promotion (or new job) will make your life juicy and right - before you just take it.
If you want the details, I put out two guides that lead ambitious women through these basics - and my instagram account (@femilyonthego) has LOTS more ad hoc bosslady tips.
In the current climate of toxic and divisive politics, how can women make sure their voices are heard and how can we make things better for future generations when the most powerful in society are advocating for a rollback in rights?
Find the version of activism - and world changing that suits your personality and lifestyle and do that. If you like to go to bed early and are kind of shy - don't think you have to speak at a late night rally! If you're a good writer, write Op-Eds to change the hearts and minds of newspaper readers! (Here's a guide on how to do it.) If you are scared to go to a rally - tell your ladyfriend that you will watch her kids during it so SHE can go.
If you like running to raise money for cancer research or city schools: do that! If you like to pop on a gorgeous gown and give good $$$ at fancy galas, do that - and don't feel one bit guilty that you aren't doing a different kind of activism. There are 1000 things that need working on. Pick one that lights you up.
Pick one issue you care about and really hit homeruns there: millennials often give a tiny bit to 20+ different causes, but your money goes a lot farther when it's all together. Stand up for your values of peace & inclusivity (gracefully is my approach so they can hear me, but you do you) to people who are talking in ways that allow racism, sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia, and other kinds of hate/violence to take root.
For some members, their involvement in Skirt Club can be almost theraputic - but there is unfortunately still a lot of stigma in terms of body shame and stigma around same sex relationships - how can we overcome this?
Change your mind on body shame so it tells you nice things instead of mean things. We have so much more control over what we think. When you hear your mind say bad things about your body or your desires - stop your mind and redirect it. The less you think bad things about yourself the less you will think bad things about yourself. It's that simple. And it feels so freeing.
Yes I have cellulite and grey hair and big feet! But I don't think mad/sad thoughts about them all day. I stop my mind and move on. Ladies - together we can cure cancer, write Nobel prize books, and save the planet it we re-direct our minds from diets and shame.
Change your mind on same-sex shame: Ditto - when you think a bad thing about sexuality, sexual freedom, bisexuality, etc... change your mind and your heart will follow. I used to feel soooo shameful and embarrassed if anyone ever knew I had a crush on them - especially women! I just kept not letting myself think that and slowly my heart followed and then FREEDOM! Here's how to amp up your self-love on body/sexuality fronts:
- Start to follow happy, confident queer women and couples on IG and your fave platforms.
- Follow plus-size women, women of all Colors, womxn who are different than you and the same as you and SELF-CONFIDENT.
- Delete any accounts that make you feel bad - too big, too loud, too weird, too whatever!!! Seriously. Even if they are your friends. The better your feed gets the better you get. (Also, unsubscribe from any emails and magazines that make you feel "less than" AT ALL.
What main message would you give to people who are interested in coming to Le Weekend or trying Skirt Club for the first time?
Omg I have only been to two parties and I was soooooo scared the first time! I thought, "I can't do this! What if I hate it!? What if I'm expected to be or do or dress or know certain things?!?!" "What if everyone knows each other?" "What if my clients are there?" Now, I can't get enough of the scene: smart, confident, happy, open-hearted women who are SERIOUSLY INTERESTING and welcoming. I couldn't believe how KIND and welcoming everyone is - and just in a "I was in your shoes once" kind of way. (Not in a "hitting on" way.). Also there are always a huge amount of new people attending.
More than anything else that happens at Skirt Club (and yes, I've had a couple makeouts!) meeting interesting women who are bold enough to come to these parties is the HIGHLIGHT. I have made 3-4 lifelong (plutonic) friends from just the first two parties. Very, very awesome!Also, it's clear that you definitely can do - or not do - anything you want to - like leave at 10pm (which I did my first party - 2 hours was all the awesomeness my mind/body/spirit could take in!).
Femily is a speaker and expert media source on women's empowerment in the workplace. As Silicon Valley's gender consultant, Femily helps tech companies get better for women, queer, and trans people. As a sought-after 1:1 coach, Femily helps executive women live their fullest, juiciest, most meaningful lives. Foundational to Femily's coaching methodology is helping her clients rebel against "shoulds" and social norms, outsmart all "isms", and make big life/career changes that "stick." Femily is the is the Founder of the American Association of Corporate Gender Strategy.