What inclusivity means to our Fem Founder
Hi, it’s me, Rose Kaz. Have we met ??
I’m a commercial photographer, recovering showgirl & business activist. I have been a woman in business for most of my adult life. I’ve had a few ‘jobs’ and quickly learned that I am an entrepreneur inside and out; as Napoleon Hill calls us ‘serial boat burners’. Though instead of burning things down, I am most interested in building things up, specifically social media built by women, for women globally so that we can take center stage in our businesses & in our lives! I firmly believe a women lead world will be a better world for everyone.
In recent years of social uprising, Covid lockdowns and our recurring opportunities to look at how and why we do what we do, I’ve often been asking myself about what inclusivity really means to me, to the work we are doing on the LBI Backstage Pass and overall, what it means for Women in Business. To say I’ve been to the drawing board a few times is a vast understatement and I suspect that I won’t stop drafting anytime soon. There’s this ongoing urge for me to do more, say more and do my god blessed best to ensure all women globally feel welcome in this world; even when, honestly, I do not.
It’s been said we often build the worlds we wish to live in. I can say with absolute certainty that’s exactly what I am up to with my LBI Backstage Pass crew. Now let’s be clear:
I realize every day that I absolutely do not have the answers to what a truly inclusive world looks like. But what I do know, is what it does not look like! With that said, I’ve made it my mission to remain open to feedback, questions, comments, concerns, cancels and call outs!
I also am aware that as a white woman, my privilege proceeds my imposter syndrome, my occasional social anxiety ( yea, even extroverts get it!!) and a variety of other ‘issues’ that sometimes leave me feeling not exactly welcome. This said, my sisters with darker skin have absolutely experienced far more occasions of exclusion than I. And I have empathy and want for everyone to feel welcome.
When we first launched the platform in Fall 2021, I was canceled once a week, seriously.
First by a cyst gendered, white male who told me I ‘was not man enough’ for this to be a successful endeavor of building social media by women, for women. Ha! Ok, Bro!
The next week I wasn’t Brown enough, the week after that I wasn’t Gay enough and the week following, not Hebrew enough. And let me just tell you that as a small statured but loud, Queer, Jewish, Woman, I’ve also had my own experiences of not knowing exactly where I fit in. AND that’s why I want to make sure that anyone & everyone who wants to do life differently, who wants to see our systems change, who wants to pull back the curtain on how we do business knows that we are building stages together so that we can ALL BE WELCOME. If the systems that be will not include our valuable perspectives, we will build our own, thank you very much, Bro!
So let’s talk about the value of the intersection of diversity – in people, in fields of business, and in various levels of experience as an entry to inclusivity.
Sure, I could reference ye old dictionary definitions of what the word to include really means but let’s face it, you’re reading this on a device connected to Google, so you got that search on your own, Boss! And over the arch of time, we can see that knowledge shared from people with more experience is just as valuable as the pure, unadulterated innocence of insights from new thought leaders. Same can be said for each person’s human experience offering a unique perspective, especially when that point of view is coming from a variation of cultural background, age or life path than my own; from a different socio-economic level than what I have been born into or even just from an alternative area of study, expertise or line of work.
When I talk about inclusivity with the LBI Backstag Pass crew, I lead with the intention that to be inclusive is to listen more than talk, to slow business down because in order to include everyone, this will take time. And to my surprise, honest and true surprise, slowing down for this well intending inclusion is really fucking hard for me. I really do want everyone’s voice to be heard whilst simultaneously being super efficient so as to also honor people’s time. Spoiler alert….doesn’t happen that way because to listen also takes time, to stop the express train of business takes pause and to really do bizz differently, takes the long way, yo!
And every day, I’m absolutely re-working our timeline, drafting another way to include more perspectives. That is, I’m 1000% a work in progress on this, every blessed day.
And I’m totally ok with that.