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PSL Weather, Right?

Welcome to (Net)Work B*tch, the monthly newsletter for busy, boss ladies who want to network and meet other cool women but don't want to leave their comfy beds (or stop yelling about how men need to shut up and step up) to do it.

Editor's Note

Hello! Lily here. Next month's newsletter marks the three-year anniversary of (Net)Work B*tch. (GIRL WHAAAAAAAT???) There'll be some fun changes happening on my side of things, but to celebrate, I'd love to feature a few fun products, discounts, and other goodies for subscribers.

If you're interested in being part of that rollout (or know someone who would be), email me!

Literally the Only Requirement for the Newsletter

The only thing you need to do if you're on this newsletter: Find ONE boss, ambitious, awesome lady to join it, too! 

Steps for how to do this:

1. Think of a boss lady.

2. Fill out THIS FORM (takes no more than 30 seconds, PROMISE) OR tell said boss lady to subscribe here.

4. I'll do the rest.

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If you have suggestions, additions, ANYTHING that you want added to this newsletter, I'm all ears! Feel free to email me at or talk to me on Twitter (since that's my home anyway).
Get Learnt, Get Turnt
#Facts: (Net)Work B*tch's thousands of subscribers have a unique mix of skill sets, knowledge, and talents. So why not share that expertise with others?

This section is dedicated to interviewing women about a career topic of interest that you can take to the bank regardless of field. And as always, if you're interested in being interviewed, you know where to find me.

Today's Get Learnt, Get Turnt features Brenda Duran, who made the transition from editorial work to communications for a government department in Los Angeles County.

Can you give 3-4 sentences about your background? 

Brenda Duran: I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I am first generation Mexican American. I am a USC Annenberg alumna with a journalism degree that I put to use for a decade as a newspaper reporter. I also ran my own magazine and dabbled in entertainment news for a short period of time. I made a huge career shift four years ago and joined the public sector where the opportunities to broaden my skill set have been endless.

What I think is so interesting about your work is you made the jump from editorial over to communications. What was that like, and what enabled you to do it?

BD: It's no secret that the media industry is experiencing major challenges due to the digital world taking over and turning the business model upside down. As a full-time writer, that was hard to keep up with. It was important for me to pivot and take my career to another level, so I used this challenging time to create an opportunity for myself. This always requires some type of risk and I took the plunge. Before when I was a writer/editor, I always felt like I was in a box, now as a all-around communications professional I get to explore all facets of communication such as marketing, branding and messaging for the masses. I would have never been exposed to this before. Writing created a fantastic foundation for me to build of off. It was a risk that really paid off. 

What's it like working in communications specifically for a government entity?

BD: When I made the shift to government I didn't know what to expect. I knew it was going to be a different world from editorial. It is. The biggest difference is that it can be very bureaucratic at times; that is just embedded in the culture. The great thing about working for government is that you have the ability to impact millions of peoples' lives and that is always an amazing thing. There is a need for creative minds in government. You can use creative freedom to make an important impact. As a communications professional in government you have a major role in how the public gets vital information and that is a responsibility I feel privileged to have. 

What's the biggest misconception people have about working on communications or heading over to comms from editorial work?

BD: I think the biggest misconception people tend to have is that you are doing a traditional PR job that is meant to drive sales. Communications has many angles to it and it really depends on where you work. Communications is very similar to editorial work in the sense that you are crafting a story and presenting it to the world. In the editorial world you are interviewing the movers and shakers to put that story together, most of the time in communications you are the mover and shaker and you are the one building that brand. Both require a lot of creativity and storytelling capabilities.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get into the fields of editorial and/or communications work?

BD: I had the privilege of going to journalism "boot camp" and learning the foundation of a good storytelling. I think in today's world you have many opportunities to do this that go beyond traditional methods like newspapers. I think its essential for anyone looking to get into editorial and communications work to know the basics of what makes a good story, be a good listener and feed that curious mind as much as you can. Read everything you can from books to indie magazines and pay attention to the world around you and what the trends and conversations are about. When you read a good story or see how a brand keeps you enticed, study that.

Finally, stay open to all possibilities. I think it's essential for everyone to adaptable. The world today is changing rapidly and you should try and keep up with it as much as you can. This requires flexibility, which can expose you to life-changing opportunities. 

You can reach out to Brenda on LinkedIn.

Want to use this section to give our ladies some impressive knowledge? Email me!
Inspiring Badass Lady Quote of the Month
From Audre Lorde:

"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own." - Audre Lorde

Reads That Are Worth Your Time
Each month, I want to feature a couple of things I (or any of you) read on the internet that are totally perspective-changing for one reason or another (and usually career-oriented) because #knowledgeispower and stuff.

1. How Women of Color Get to Senior Management by Cindy Pace

Cindy Pace discusses her research into the traits possessed by women of color who are high up in management, but she always makes an important point: It's not just about these women "leaning in"; organizations themselves have a lot of work to do to ensure racial and gender equality, not to mention access and equity in the workplace.

2. Campaigns Are Like Marathons—It’s Better to Run One With a Friend by Mattie Kahn

In a heartwarming AF story, Mattie Kahn documents the friendships that have formed between women candidates on the campaign trail. But make no mistake, the great group texts aren't the only benefit—many of these women will get elected together, and they'll become strong, powerful allies in creating legislation that's better for all of us.

3. Wage Gap, Meet Equity Gap: Women Hold Only 9% of Startup Equity by Emma Hinchliffe

Equality isn't enough; equity needs to be part of that conversation, too. You've all heard of the gender pay gap at this point, but what do you know about the gender equity gap? Women own just 47 cents of equity to every $1 men own, and women make up roughly one-third of equity-holding employees, but only hold 20% of startup equity dollars. All told, women own just 9% of all startup equity.

Email me if you have a cool read you want to submit!
Help a Girl Out
Hey hey, here's what our ladies need help with this month!

1. Feminists of Chicago

The brilliant L'Oreal Thompson Payton has got the hookup on all the good things in Chicago. First, she sent over this invite for the Cause the Effect Chicago Young Feminist Conference taking place on October 6th in the Windy City. Did I mention it's FREE?

Second, L'Oreal herself is speaking on a panel at a FREE Women in Tech Breakfast event on Friday, September 28th. It looks awesome.

2. Get That Raise

From Liz Roberts: "Ready to walk into your boss’s office and confidently ask for what you want? Looking to brush up on your negotiation skill set? Join United Women in Business and leadership coach Jamie Lee for a FREE, interactive webinar on October 17 at 12:30pm EST! In this hour-long session, you'll learn about winning strategies and interest-based negotiation that can help you close the wage gap and rise through the ranks." Register here.

3. Help a Southern California Gal Out

Geena Russo made the move from New York to Newport Beach, and she needs your help as she looks for a job: "My strengths are in public relations and digital communications strategies, I'm open to marketing positions, and am even finishing a graphic design course so I will have a portfolio to show shortly. I received my Master's in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from NYU and focused on promoting diversity in ballet and making dance a mainstream conversation. Therefore the ideal job for me would be in house at a dance company or somewhere that would allow me to be close to this passion area like a performing arts center, etc.

Social justice and diversity and inclusion is another huge passion are of mine, and therefore seeking work within non-profits, CSR, or even internal communications like workplace culture and employee engagement. While help/tips on a job would be fantastic, even meeting people out here would really help with my transition to the West Coast." Want to chat? Email Geena here.

4. Help Women in AI

Hannah Murray works for Neurala, a woman-founded artificial intelligence company. The organization is beta testing a new product for data annotation and would love people with great image and video data sets to check it out here!

5. Seattle Tech and Biz Folks, Don't Miss This

Tessa Mero has created an INCREDIBLE conference in Seattle called the API City Conference, and she's giving (Net)Work B*tch subscribers a whopping 40% off of registration. (Buy your tickets here!)

More details from Tessa: "As an Asian female who's been to countless conferences, I noticed that there was something missing. I've never seen a general software engineering conference that had a focus towards diversity to great lengths. There were many other aspects that seemed to be missing. I decided to create my dream conference. The conference that is the best of the best, in my perspective.

Another important fact is since my focus is on diversity and inclusion, I made efforts on collecting sponsorship to be able to bring more people to the conference in underrepresented groups. We also have a speaker line-up of 50% diverse presenters. Our opening keynote is about Women in Tech, which has been a highly successful keynote at other events. We also were sponsored to host a women and non-binary luncheon during the first day of our event."

6. Support Women in Film

From Rachel Annette Helson: "I am in the last week of a Seed & Spark campaign to fund my directorial debut, a short film called HATCHED written by TV writer Kimberlea Kressal (Z: The Beginning of Everything) and starring Melissa Ponzio (Teen Wolf, The Walking Dead, Chicago Fire). We could definitely use followers (it's free!) or contributors for the project (all amounts are appreciated!)." The film is also one of Women and Hollywood's crowdfunding picks!

7. Time to See Some Pop-Ups

Victoria Chow has exciting news: Pop-Up Magazine is back on tour this fall, and you're not going to want to miss out. From Victoria: "Pop-Up Magazine is a live magazine, created for a stage, a screen, and a live audience. Contributors tell vivid, never-before-told, multimedia stories accompanied by illustration, animation, photography, and an original score performed onstage by Magik*Magik Orchestra. We end the night gathered around the bar, performers and audience together.

Contributors in our upcoming Pop-Up Magazine shows include badass ladies like Ann Friedman (Call Your Girlfriend podcast), Rebecca Skloot (author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), Andi Zeisler (co-founder, Bitch Media) and many other amazing journalists."

You can snag tickets here and use the code COMMUNITY10 to get $10 off!

8. Need a Freelance Writer?

From Jandra Sutton: "I'm a Nashville-based author and freelance writer. Currently, I'm looking for more writing opportunities. I have a background in marketing, which I love, but I left to pursue my passion of writing fiction. However — with my debut novel published last year — I still need to pay the bills. I have the experience and the passion, but I'm crazy low on connections after three years of working from home. (Wamp wamp.) I'd love to connect with other members of the (Net)Work B*tch network who might be looking for an experienced freelance writer. Whether that's editorial content or marketing copy, I honestly love doing both. Anyone can check out my website or shoot me an email to say hi!"

9. Time to Journal

Jessica MacLeish wrote a guided journal called Celebrate Today: 365 Ways to Make Every Day A Holiday that came out last week. It's illustrated by the awesome team at Hello!Lucky and published by Abrams Noterie. It presents a "holiday" (i.e. Awkward Moments Day on March 18th; Best Friends Day on June 8th; Cheese Pizza Day on September 5th; Make Up Your Mind Day on December 31st) for each day of the year and prompts you to celebrate said day—IRL and within the pages of the journal. Buy it here!

10. Want Personal and Professional Development Support?

Melody Wilding recently launched a career growth and personal development community designed to help overachievers become more balanced humans. From Melody: "My intention is for this to be a safe space where members can find advice and support for navigating the pressures of success."

11. Let's Talk Voter Empowerment Day

AWP's Mia Brett wants to remind everyone that Voter Empowerment Day is this Tuesday, September 25th, and to use the hashtag #VoterEmpowermentDay on social media. For those of you based in New York, you should also check out AWP's event on Tuesday happening at Loverboy (127 Avenue C) from 5:30-7pm.

12. Watch Something Good This Weekend

From Alessandra Bergamin: "I'm a freelance multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles whose work mostly focuses on immigration, public health and environmental justice. Recently, however, I had a short video documentary called And the Lift is Good, published over at the Establishment. The documentary focuses on Tannie Schnuck, a female powerlifter who is somewhat representative of the changing face of powerlifting. It was an honor to meet Tannie and share her story of strength and vulnerability, perseverance and honesty."

13. Support Girls' Education

From Katie Riley: "She's the First is hosting an event in NYC on October 11 for International Day of the Girl. The STF graduate Ellie who is speaking (with Monique Coleman!) is give-you-chills level awesome/inspiring, and it's going to be a really fun night of celebrating sisterhood and badass female friendships."

14. Will You Go to Prom With Me?

Mackenzie Newcomb is throwing an event called Prom Night in New York City on October 13th. (And yes, you're expected to wear prom attire!) Tickets are going quickly, and all proceeds go to the American Foundation for Suicide Awareness.

15. Feelin' 22

Lexi Hill recently launched a media site called TWENTYTWO for Millennials embarking on life after college. The site, which has verticals like "learn something new," "how I got there" and "from the editor's desk," is a resource for anyone still trying to figure it out.

More on why she created the site: "After graduating from college this past May, I realized that my friends, just like me, had no idea how to prepare for the ~rest~ of our lives or what life after college actually entailed. So, I launched TWENTYTWO, as a fun side project to help not only me keep learning, but other motivated leaders as well."

16. New Biz Alert

Shanthi Blanchard just launched Spinster, a company creating a new economy for women, by women, looking to break the 'old' startup system and create a space where women can thrive.

More from Shanthi: "As a management consulting firm Spinster helps women entrepreneurs grow and scale across marketing and biz dev. After working with female founders to build companies (like DJ Kitty Cash's I AM WOMAN Project) for six years, I've put together a team of consultants across all levels within the industry (including executives), to consult female founders in a one-on-one capacity about how to grow and scall their companies—at a cost point that wont out them under."

17. Millennials, Unite

Courtney Hall started Offended Millennial to inject reality into the lifestyle blogging scene: "In between 'basic bitch' skincare posts, apartment tours & cat pics, I share progressive insights on politics, mindfulness, and feminism. My goal is to ignite positive social change, by providing encouragement to women who are trying to both make a difference AND make a living!"

An ongoing feature I'm excited to read: This one about paying off $22,000 of debt in 14 months.

18. Your Next Binge-Read

Liz Lincoln's second book it out! More details: "It features an injured football player taking physics to finish his degree, and the PhD candidate teaching his class. Guaranteed escape from the chaos of reality and a happy ending."

Need a lil' help with anything? Email me and I'll spread the word to the squad!
Shout Outs
These ladies are slaying right now. Give 'em a shout out on social media, follow 'em on Twitter, send 'em an email, become #squadgoals, etc.

Snaps for Kim Hoyos

Kim is super excited about this piece she wrote for Refinery29's Class of '29 feature, which talked to 2018 college grads about how they feel entering the "real world."
GIF for Kim:
Snaps for Kirsten O'Nell

Kirsten just started her first year of Public Policy and Administration PhD program at Virginia Commonwealth University! She says she's stoked at this decades-long journey of education and discovery. She's already loving every minute she's spent in the library.
GIF for Kirsten:
Snaps for Ritu Prasad

This month, Ritu wrote a feature on Serena Williams and the trope of the Angry Black Woman for the BBC that got a lot of attention. She says she learned a lot from reporting it.
GIF for Ritu:
Snaps for Chelsie May

Chelsie is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago researching the racialization and gendering of Jewish women in Iraq and Israel/Palestine in the 20th century. Her first academic publication came out (titled "'Girls of the Eastern Communities': The Intersectionality of Iraqi-Jewish Immigrants in Israel/Palestine, 1947-1960") in August and you can read it here!
GIF for Chelsie:
Snaps for Janna Zagari

Janna just started her job as Director of Audience Engagement for SiriusXM! YES JANNA!
GIF for Janna:
Snaps for Hannah Ha Jordan

Hannah's got a lot to celebrate this fall: She got into the Data Science Masters program at Syracuse. Classes start in October, and if that wasn't enough, she's planning on launching her side hustle business in October, too!
GIF for Hannah:
Snaps for Rawan Elbaba

Rawan has lots of exciting news to share: "After interning at different news outlets during my undergrad years, I made it my mission to find a career in journalism after graduation. As a Muslim woman of color, I've always wanted to be able to diversify the media landscape to help tell stories from underserved communities like mine. After three years of working in the non-profit world after graduation (which taught me a lot, but got to be pretty mundane), I finally landed a digital associate producer position at PBS (an actual media organizations !!!). I'll be working with the Student Reporting Labs, a program under the PBS NewsHour, helping create content for the web while also finishing up my Masters degree in Journalism at Georgetown."

She's also looking for any and all career advice as she takes this next step, so if you have any to give, email her here!

GIF for Rawan:
Snaps for Ariel Kurtz

Ariel graduated from college in June and just got her first post-grad job at the New York City Ballet as a Substitute Usher! Wooooo!
GIF for Ariel:
Snaps for Molly Lister Weissman

Molly writes in with great news that Global Citizen Year, where she works, was recently featured on PBS NewsHour in their Brief But Spectacular segment. Definitely check it out!
GIF for Molly:
Snaps for Aida Guhlincozzi

Aida successfully defended her Master's last month, so now she's officially starting her PhD! Her Master's was Latinx health care accessibility to Latinx and Spanish-speaking physicians in Chicago suburbs, and she'll be expanding on that research in her PhD, which is funded by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
GIF for Aida:
Snaps for Bianca Monaco

From Bianca: "I recently in March left my stable job in Miami tech without a job to LA to start fresh here. Within a month I attained a role as a Product Manager at a software company and I launched a little side project called So, so many people were not about my life choice to quit a role without another lined up, but after a year of hunting for a job in LA, I was like f*ck it, I got this. Saved, packed, and succeeded. I don’t think there are many stories about winging it as much as there are about securing a professional career.

P.S. I also started to take writing and improv classes for fun, and well couldn’t be happier. Essentially, this is an accomplishment in saying 'f*ck it' and it working out. I am still working on and couldn’t be happier about it. We can call that my second 'f*ck it' project, and I like it."

YAY! Also, subscribe to TGIMONDAY!

GIF for Bianca:
Snaps for Melanie Founder Kaye and Jordan Montoya

Melanie and Jordan both just started new roles at the Biden Foundation, working as Communications Director and Policy Associate for Shaping Foreign Policy, respectively.
GIF for Melanie and Jordan:
Snaps for Dani Blum

Dani wrote an excellent piece for Refinery29 about navigating the world of college hookup culture as a survivor of sexual assault.
GIF for Dani:
Snaps for Emily Frake

A heartwarming story from Emily: I'm 28 and a public school special education teacher in Los Angeles. Our model of special education is called inclusion. All students regardless of disability are fully included in the general education classroom with their peers! There are no separate classes down the hall, just for students with disabilities. We believe that all students (with the right supports) can be academically successful and make meaningful relationships with peers and teachers regardless of disability. 'Separate is not equal' doesn't just refer to race; it refers to ability as well.

I spend my day co-teaching with general education teachers so that all students in our classroom can be successful. Our class sizes are anywhere from 24-30 and a have a handful of kids with various disabilities. Inclusive education for students with diverse learning profiles is a huge issue in America. In Europe, it's quite accepted as the norm. I submitted a grant proposal to Fund for Teachers and was awarded a fellowship to study inclusive education practices for students with disabilities in England this past July. I attended The Autism Show, a two-day conference in Manchester. I then travelled to London and visited a few inclusive schools, as well as the National Autistic Society headquarters.

Now, back at my school in downtown Los Angeles, I've started to implement my learnings from my summer fellowship. In particular, I learned a lot about Lego-Based Therapy for students with Autism. I've started 5 Lego Therapy groups at my school that meet one time a week for 45 minutes. My roster has kids with Autism, kids who need help developing friendships, and kids who have had behavioral issues in the past. The goal is to help students learn how to collaborate, manage conflict, and initiate conversations independently. At my most recent session, a student brought his mom back into my room afterwards. He was so proud of his behavior and what he built during free-build time! I'm excited to see where this group goes and how the students grow in their social skills!"

She also provided a cute photo:

GIF for Emily:

Survivor GIF Life

When your enemies are about to fight
All right, newsletter done. LHerms signing off. Love y'all.


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