HERdacious

Queen [or King] of Allyship

November 02, 2020 HERdacity Season 1 Episode 35
HERdacious
Queen [or King] of Allyship
Chapters
2:30
Why this matters
6:55
The evolution of allyship
8:40
Intentional language
13:00
The male role
19:20
Some fatherly advice
23:15
Future generations
28:35
Women in the Armed Forces
HERdacious
Queen [or King] of Allyship
Nov 02, 2020 Season 1 Episode 35
HERdacity

Allyship with Women and Parents in the Workplace

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Harold Hughes about being an ally to our co-workers with less privilege. Harold highlights his experience as an investor seeking out women-led businesses, his intentionality regarding supporting unique and diverse perspectives, as well as engaging with the unfamiliar. Harold encourages us to leverage our influence and power to propel women and parents forward in their professional endeavors. From hiring diverse talent to being the first “yes” one needs for successful entrepreneurship, Harold calls to both men and women -- your allyship holds more power than you would believe. Use it unapologetically, as if it was the best bottle of ketchup you’ve ever encountered (if you know, you know). 

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Harold Hughes

Harold Hughes is the founder & CEO of Bandwagon – a venture-backed identity infrastructure company that helps its customers transparently manage, aggregate, and store valuable consumer identity data. A man of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Harold is actively involved in his community participating on the Board of Directors for Rebuild Upstate and Visit Greenville. He serves as a board member for [email protected], a non-profit that focuses on the advancement of women entrepreneurs as they grow their companies. Harold is an active angel investor, investing in women, people of color, and Black founder-led companies. Harold Hughes is a “Triple Tiger” graduate of Clemson University where he received Bachelors degrees in both Economics and Political Science, before pursuing a graduate certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. 

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • Why this matters 2:30 
  • The evolution of allyship 6:55
  • Intentional language 8:40
  • The male role 13:00
  • Some fatherly advice 19:20
  • Future generations 23:15
  • Femme fact: Women in the Armed Forces 28:35

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here.

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our blog post “5 Ways to Create Space for Feedback” 

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity 

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Allyship with Women and Parents in the Workplace

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Harold Hughes about being an ally to our co-workers with less privilege. Harold highlights his experience as an investor seeking out women-led businesses, his intentionality regarding supporting unique and diverse perspectives, as well as engaging with the unfamiliar. Harold encourages us to leverage our influence and power to propel women and parents forward in their professional endeavors. From hiring diverse talent to being the first “yes” one needs for successful entrepreneurship, Harold calls to both men and women -- your allyship holds more power than you would believe. Use it unapologetically, as if it was the best bottle of ketchup you’ve ever encountered (if you know, you know). 

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Harold Hughes

Harold Hughes is the founder & CEO of Bandwagon – a venture-backed identity infrastructure company that helps its customers transparently manage, aggregate, and store valuable consumer identity data. A man of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Harold is actively involved in his community participating on the Board of Directors for Rebuild Upstate and Visit Greenville. He serves as a board member for [email protected], a non-profit that focuses on the advancement of women entrepreneurs as they grow their companies. Harold is an active angel investor, investing in women, people of color, and Black founder-led companies. Harold Hughes is a “Triple Tiger” graduate of Clemson University where he received Bachelors degrees in both Economics and Political Science, before pursuing a graduate certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. 

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • Why this matters 2:30 
  • The evolution of allyship 6:55
  • Intentional language 8:40
  • The male role 13:00
  • Some fatherly advice 19:20
  • Future generations 23:15
  • Femme fact: Women in the Armed Forces 28:35

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here.

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our blog post “5 Ways to Create Space for Feedback” 

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity 

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Sponsor

Today's episode is brought to you by HERdacity. HERdacity, is a non-profit inspiring confidence in women to achieve their professional goals. For resources, networking opportunities, and a strong community of women, visit herdacity.org to learn more. 

 

Lorelei

Welcome to HERdacious, the podcast for audacious women. Salutations to you all, welcome to HERdacious, the podcast for audacious women looking for a little career support on their journey. My name's Lorelei and I am thrilled you tuned in today as we're going to be discussing allyship with women and parents in the workplace. And to join me in this excellent, excellent conversation, we have a femme ally, the founder and CEO of BANDWAGON, an angel investor for women-led companies, and a board member of Women at Austin. Mr. Harold Hughes.

 

Harold

Hey there. Good afternoon. 

 

Lorelei

Good afternoon to you, Harold. I'm so pleased you joined us in this conversation today, it's gonna be epic.

 

Harold

I'm super excited to talk about this and learn, so I'm really glad to have these kinds of conversations, so thanks for having me.

 

Lorelei

My pleasure, I know a little bit about your background, and that's why I invited you to this conversation today, so share with us why supporting women in the workplace is an important piece to your professional story.

 

Harold

Thanks. For me, it's really simple. I look at this as an opportunity to invest in people who are leading... If you think about the fastest-growing startup segment in the country, it is women, specifically black women in most cases. 

 

Lorelei

Woot woot.

 

Harold

(laughs) Right? So I think about this from an opportunity standpoint of if I'm able to invest in assets that are being under-appreciated or overlooked, for me as an investor, I think it's a great opportunity. But also from an allyship standpoint, I'm a son, I'm a brother to sisters, I think about this in context of not only what would I do for my family members, but that's a really myopic way to look at it, because we all have seen how men sometimes only care about the women who are closest to them. I think about the bigger picture being that there's no reason for me not to be doing this. How many people are ignoring this. I think there's a huge opportunity for men to lend their voices in spaces to make sure we're able to help lift others up, and for me, that's really starting an allyship for women.

 

Lorelei

Harold, why do you choose to support women the way you do, both in your business as well as in your investment portfolio?

 

Harold

I think it's a really, really big opportunity. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that if I'm able to amplify the work of my team members and put them in a position to win, my company is going to be more valuable. We are going to be more productive and we're going to solve more problems, and so when I think about supporting the women on our team and making sure that they're not only getting the education and resources that they need, but also making sure that their work is amplified and that they are justly compensated, I think that it is most obvious for us to find the best ways to return value, not only to our team members, but to our investors. And so as we build our company and as a leader within our team, I wanna make sure that we're the best workplace for anyone, especially women, especially parents, especially folks who may feel disenfranchised and marginalized in other spaces. As it relates to investing, I'm just really excited about some of the amazing companies that are being led by women, especially right now in this country’s crazy, crazy history. And so I think about the opportunities that I've even had to invest, my first investment, I was given the opportunity by that founder to invest, it wasn't something that I was looking for, but she made sure to create space for me to contribute to her, and now I'm part of her rocket ship. And so as an investor, I think about that constantly saying, you know, it is a privilege for me to serve and be on her cap table, and that's huge to me.

 

Lorelei

Gosh, that's huge to all of us. Give us an example of one of the types of companies that you saw so much promise in that had that female perspective that made it so special and so unique in such a great opportunity for both you as an investor and for the community that it might go to support.

 

Harold

The first company that naturally comes to mind is my first ever angel investment, Partake Foods. Partake Foods was started by Denise Woodard. She is a black founder. I actually met her in 2017, via a Google summit for startups program in Durham, North Carolina. And while most of the companies that were presenting at that accelerator where tech companies, Denise had a CPG company, a consumer product good company, where she basically was selling cookies, and so you'd imagine that amongst all of these other tech companies where you've got AI and VR that a cookie company may not necessarily stand out, but I've learned really, really early on that storytelling is so important. And Denise’s story is simply incredible. She is an exceptional career professional that was working at Coca-Cola when she and her husband had their daughter and were surprised to find out that she had a food allergy through an emergency, and had to wisk the daughter away to the emergency room, and like any good mom from there was being super cautious about what she fed her. But from there, she realized like, Man, all of the great cookies and snacks and treats the kids love are full of all of the things that her daughter Vivi had allergies for. And so leaping into it, like most women that I love in my life will do, she lept in and educated herself on what a solution could be, and she created Partake Foods, a cookie company at the time to help her daughter as well as other kids, all partake of the same snack. She didn't want her kid to have this little weird snack that's over to the side while everyone else is eating the real birthday cake. And so Denise built this company and she left her job at Coca-Cola, she was selling these cookies out of her trunk at Farmers Markets, she sold her engagement ring, she went all the way in on this, and so as I got to know her as a founder and as a friend, we became peer mentors and I would help her and she would help me, and at one point I randomly said, what's your minimum check size? How much is the least you would take from an investor? And she told me and I said, Oh wow, well, I could probably do that. And she really encouraged me to do it. And so since then, she's had an insane amount of success being sold at Whole Foods and Target and all over the place, being backed by Jay-Z, and it's just phenomenal to see not only the work that she's been able to do as an entrepreneur, but as a mom. As that person who's taking a leap away from corporate America. Like who leaves Coca-Cola to start this cookie company, and so she's been doing fantastic, and I'm so excited she's allowed me to join her ride.

 

Lorelei

Love that. I mean, you talk about cookie companies, I'm all in. 

 

Harold

I should have brought some. I have a dozen boxes in my house at all times.

 

Lorelei

You all remember that: Partake Foods.

 

Harold

Yes.

 

Lorelei

Why does allyship with women and parents in the workplace matter for companies and for men?

 

Harold

I think this really comes down to building an inclusive environment and a product. I think about this when it goes back to the ketchup example, if you're familiar with it. It's like, where do you keep your ketchup in your house? Where do you keep your ketchup?

 

Lorelei

In the fridge.

 

Harold

Alright, I would never keep my ketchup in the fridge because I'm putting it on hot food. So I keep my ketchup in the cabinet. So what I love about that simple question is the difference in perspectives of each of us. And so you can imagine if you build an entire team of people who only kept their ketchup in the fridge, and then you say, Hey, I'm gonna send this team into this kitchen. We'll say the kitchen is 10,000 square feet simulated, and we're gonna give away money, you have to find the ketchup, and there's dozens of fridges and bunches of cabinets, this team of all fridge people would keep searching through all the fridges with no one checking the cabinets, and so I think about that, not only from being inclusive and supporting of women, but also from parents. And you think about what's happened, especially in this year, as you navigate the pandemic, child care has been incredibly difficult to come by, and so I think that when you start to build solutions for problems and we don't have everyone at the table who may be feeling them in different ways, we miss out on an opportunity to find that solution or find that ketchup as it ties back to that previous example.

 

Lorelei

I love the ketchup analogy, it is so great. I've never heard that before. Well, on the topic of inclusivity, I frequently hear things like, Hey guys, in a professional setting, even when the majority of folks at the table are female. You got some basic examples like resting bitch face, ice queen, descriptions like cold, too emotional. We can just go on.

 

Harold

For sure. 

 

Lorelei

How have you adjusted your language to be more inclusive towards women in your personal and professional life?

 

Harold

I'm incredibly folksy. That may not be something that is readily seen about me, but I often will say y'all or folks, I don't ever really think I say guys normally, because I try to make sure that I'm not in spaces where it is mostly guys, and I try to make sure that I'm in spaces where including people. One of the biggest challenges I will say that I have is that I'm being more and more aware of my wife, she's getting her PhD, University of Texas, and she's incredibly sharp. Howard undergrad and Clemson University Master's, and she's learned so much about gender and identity and all these different things, and she's helping me learn those too. But me growing up in the south, normally saying, yes ma'am, no sir, is something that's just built into my rhetoric, and so if I see a person who presents as female or a person who presents as male, I may naturally default to a yes ma’am or no sir, not being conscious of what their identity preferences would be, or their pronoun preferences would be. So that's one of the things that I've had to intentionally just kind of really work on my own lexicon, my rhetoric, and say, thank you very much. I really appreciate that. Or no, thank you. Explicitly not adding in those gendered pronouns afterwards or before it, and so that's something that I'm still working at, but it's really, really important for me to say, Hey folks, here's what's going on, or Hey, y'all, I hope everyone's doing really good, that's really how I've kind of guarded against it, but I do think it's really clear about how we communicate with one another, the levels of respect that we show each other, and how intentional we are about the conversations we want those people to be a part of. And so I think that it definitely starts with changing your own language and making sure that you're including people in the conversation that you want to be there.

 

Lorelei

What types of habits did you build out to be more aware and mindful of this specific instance of inclusivity? Any others that you might wanna share with us?

 

Harold 

I take more time when I'm talking, I take an extra second before I press send. I try to think through how the recipient is going to receive my message. One of the things that I learned, I guess I was in college, was about how communication works, and I think growing up, I probably just thought that if I say all the right things, then I did what I was supposed to. But I learned that communication is a two-way street, and that the sender does have some responsibility into how the recipient or the listener receives it, and so what I've tried to do is find ways to make sure that I'm being incredibly intentional about the language that I'm using. I edit my conversations down to make sure I'm saying less, so I'm meaning more. I don't wanna leave much wiggle room for interpretation. That part is really, really important to me because I think that when you try to be really flowery with your language and be really cute and creative, as I say, I think it's really, really important to say exactly what you mean and be very, very direct about it. And so by taking a second to review what I'm reading, review what I'm writing, and then taking an extra second to then press send, I'm going to minimize the chances for confusion, disrespect, of being offensive, or any of these other things. And so I think that kind of stuff is really something that we've gotten so used to in this culture, and my generation is being fast and everything is quick, and it's a tweet away and pressing send. I think that if we're able to take a second and slow down, we'll probably reevaluate the ways in which we communicate with one another, the words in which we use and the practices that we can probably change ourselves.

 

Lorelei

Thank you, Harold. We're gonna take a quick second for this sponsor break. 

 

Sponsor

Hi, Barbie here from Moonray, husband and wife indie-pop duo. If you enjoy the intro music, we invite you to listen to our debut EP Honeymoon. Streaming now on all platforms. Visit www.moonray-music.com for more.

 

Lorelei

And we're back talking with Harold Hughes about allyship with women and parents in the workplace. Share with us how male allyship with women took shape for you and what different forms it can look like in the workplace.

 

Harold

I think about allyship now and how it's like an actual word, and for me, I think when I was even starting my career, it was really just being a good friend or being a decent human being. Like I can't imagine sitting next to someone and me being paid more. I remember this story, a woman named Ashley and I were working together at the company I first was hired out of college, and I negotiated a salary that was $2,000 more than her. Literally, I was making $32,000 and she was making $30,000. And when she found out, she was livid. And it was interesting because she found out because I told her, and that was because I'm very comfortable sharing how much I'm paid, how much people hire me to do things for them. And I think that's really one of the first things that men can do in this conversation is tell them how much you're paid.

 

Lorelei

Be transparent.

 

Harold

Be transparent. Share that information, because I think that growing up, we've always talked like, Oh, it's disrespectful or rude. But I think that that structure has allowed us to disenfranchise women and people of color in a way that they have a lack of that information and aren't able to make the same decisions that an educated person with that information would make. So I'll say if Ashley knew that I was making $32,000, she likely wouldn't have accepted an offer for $30,000. And so being transparent about how much you make, I think is one of the first things that I have done as an ally or a person who wants to be a supportive part of the entire community.

 

Lorelei

A good human being.

 

Harold

A good and decent human being. And so I think about that, about thinking through how you can share how much you're being paid. That's number one. Number two, I think that it's really important to make sure that you are hiring outside of the spaces that look just like you. As an angel investor, I see lots and lots of investment opportunities, and it blows my mind how many four and five person all male teams that I see. Like unbelievable. And I think to myself, even in 2020, despite everything that's going on throughout the last even few, five, six, seven years, you would still put together a team of your bros and think like, We're the best equipped team to solve this problem? 

 

Lorelei

It’s shocking, the data just doesn't support that. 

 

Harold

So I think that as we look at where we find talent, it's important to find intentional ways to diversify your talent pool. So for example, we just hired a new software engineer. We sent our job rep to, I think, five historically black colleges and universities intentionally. Before the applicant window opened. We said, Hey, we're gonna be looking for one person in this department, giving you a two week head start to corral your people and keep them prepared. We also sent it to women's colleges, we also sent them to boot camps and coding schools so that we aren't leaving out people who don't necessarily have a four-year degree. And I think about those kinds of things that men can do as you're in the hiring position of where are you going to find people. One company that I absolutely love is a company called The Prowess Project, led here by Ashley Connell, and she is making it for women, whether you're a mom or a woman that's coming back into the workplace to be able to get connected back into the industry in all these different great roles. And we all know that in the midst of a pandemic unemployment’s super high, so companies can be very, very specific about who they want and where they wanna get them from. I encourage people to find companies like that and say, We wanna make sure that we intentionally are looking at more applicants from many different places that won't necessarily look exactly like our team, because that perspective is going to be unique and different. And so I think about being able to build a good team in unique and diverse ways, as well as being able to be transparent about what you're being paid is two of the best ways to be an ally as a man in this world right now. 

 

Lorelei

Looking for your perspective on this interesting question, what you just shared, is that teachable by women to our male counterparts, or is that something that has to be peer-to-peer gender-specific?

 

Harold

So unfortunately, I want to say that it's teachable, but I think that it's kind of going back to what you said earlier, like She's too emotional. One of the things I've learned is that if you are the marginalized group, if you ask for the thing that you should have access to, people will deem it as complaining, even if it is equitable. Even if it is equal. And so I think about that often times that I don't think it's women's responsibility, honestly, I think that that responsibility should be held by men. That should be those in that position of privilege. We've had conversations in several of my group chats lately about privilege. And as a black man in America, there are many people who talk about how we are under-privileged, and we are relative to the white male counterpart, but to our black women counterparts we’re incredibly privileged. And so I know that I may have a bad day as a black person, maybe because I'm black. But I will never have a bad day in the United States as a man. And so I think about the intersectionality of those different points that we really must encourage men to not only fight for their sisters and their wives and their moms or treat them decently, but we have to make sure that we are intentionally talking to our friends on the golf course and our friends at the bar or in our fantasy football group chats and say, Hey, that's not cool, or That's not acceptable, or you're missing out. One of the things I think we've seen from several companies is that they are willing to leave money on the table to not be inclusive. We saw that in the amount of money that was lost in North Carolina due to the bathroom bill. And so I think about this overall and that it's not gonna be a dollars and cents thing overall. I also think it's difficult to just simply appeal to the minds and hearts of the oppressive group or the group in power. So I think it's gotta be a little bit of both. I think it really has to be men being mindful that the women in your life are not the only women in the world. And then the second thing is, is that it is our job to make sure we're educating our male peers on how to be a better and decent person, as you touched on earlier. I think that putting that burden on women is not something that I would want to do.

 

Lorelei

Thank you for that. And to dovetail directly off of what you just said, doing this peer-to-peer education, how has being a father impacted the way you support working parents in the workplace, because you are having to now teach a new generation of human being how do act.

 

Harold

Yeah, it is the best thing ever. I grew up as one of five children in my household, my family is Jamaican, and so I was born in United States. I’m Jamaican-American, but I also identify as black. And so my mom, for many years, while I was growing up, worked at home. And I say I worked at home because being at home, taking care of the kids is hard work. And so there was never a point in my life where I thought like the stay-at-home mom kinda just had it all and was just hanging out, and so that has never been more real for me than during these last seven or eight months. During this pandemic. My wife and I literally broke up our day where she would have my son in the morning from about nine to one, and then I would have him from about one until five, and then in the evenings, we kinda shared him and split time. And it was really, really difficult, and I think about the number of people who can't work from home and the people who don't have that childcare option, and it was really, really tough. And so being a dad has not only re-instilled that fire that I have to support women who are in these tough situations from a child care standpoint, but also to make sure that we're looking at resources to help support that. Whether that is creating better and more equitable virtual experiences in solution, so one of the things we do online is a Miss Monica on YouTube in that circle time. And so that's like 30 minutes a day that my son is interacting with this teacher and he's learning his shapes and his colors, and I understand that even in that there's still a big gap because you think about the connectivity issues, and so many people in this country, their households don't have that internet connectivity. But I just really think that overall, we've gotta find ways to intentionally support the parents in our lives and understand that these challenges that they have are very, very unique. Being open-minded to how they are navigating that challenge is really, really important for us, and so as a dad, I've learned a lot about not only supporting my wife, not only supporting other working moms, and so I'm super excited. One of my proudest accomplishments is the level of compassion that my four-year-old has for human beings, whether he's walking by you and he's wearing his mask and he sees you wearing your mask, or for his mother and the rest of the people in my family.

 

Lorelei

Where are you at on equitable paternal leave?

 

Harold

I'm very big on that. I think that the work that many men are doing, one of the ones that jumps out is Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian, one of the co-founders of Reddit, really pushing that conversation forward. I know that when my son was born in 2016, I took about six weeks. I'm not sure how much I can really make myself take off, it's one of those things that I'm really bad at is just simply taking time off. But I do think it should be something that's provided. This idea that you should be at home as a woman, but the man should be out at work, I just think that it's so backwards. And so one of the things I do say to all of my male friends as well as the guys listening, is that your job when your wife, your significant other has that baby, is to make sure you take care of her. She's gonna make sure you get some time with the baby, you don't have to be in there ready to grab the baby and do things. Those first couple of months, make sure you're doing an incredible job of being a supportive partner, make sure that she eats, make sure she gets a few minutes or an hour to shower, and have some time to herself. I think that it's things like that that you wouldn't know if you weren't at home with your significant other and that child, and so when I think about parental leave, especially as it relates to fathers, I think that that's something we need to make sure we continue to advance the conversation on, because not only does it make the workplace better, but it makes the household better, and that's something that I just wouldn't trade for the world.

 

Lorelei

Excellent. What ways do you seek to bring future generations of leaders, all sorts of leaders to the table around the issue of allyship in general? Not just specifically allyship to women or to parents.

 

Harold

Sure. I think that in general, I'm not a huge fan of the rising tide lifts all boats kind of narrative, because I think that that idea doesn't control for the fact that some of the boats that are already in a higher position are going to just continue to rise. And so I think about the idea of how do we make sure we provide better resources to have more equitable outcomes. I think that often times we get stuck in this conversation around providing equal access or equal resources, but not really even measuring the outcomes. And so I wanna make sure that we're improving the equitable outcomes, and for that, I think that the conversation starts with, How are you able to make sure it's part of your company ethos to make sure that compensation is equal? How are you able to make sure that you're not only mentoring people who just went to your school? How are you able to make sure that you're not only networking with people who look like you? And so for myself, I try to make sure that I carve out time, not only to do these mentoring sessions with founders who are earlier stage than me, but I wanna make sure I'm in organizations that allow me to be visible in spaces I might not have been. In general, I think the opportunity for allyship across all of these different segments of people is the fact that as you acknowledge your privilege, the more likely you are to wanna try and share that. And that's where I think that the conversation is gonna be hugely impactful is if we think through the opportunities that we've received, not just because we were good, but because we are in the right space. And because someone looked out for us. One of the things I love, especially about being an angel investor or even being a job creator, is being someone's yes. And it's even better if you're there first yes. So if you're the person who says, I would like to hire you for this position in the midst of a pandemic, that is a huge yes. If you say, Hey, I wanna invest $10,000, $25,000 into your company, and I'm writing the check and wish you well, I wanna be helpful, but I trust you. That is huge votes of confidence. And I think about that as an opportunity to say, There's a lot that we can do as individual citizens to support not only our friends and family, but also the entrepreneur ecosystem. One of the things that we often talk about is fundraising, and that gets a lot of attention, but I think in general, we should all think about where we fit into the equation. Some people can't afford to be an angel investor, so maybe they can be customers. Some people may not be able to be customers because it's a business-to-business type product, but you're a manager, so maybe you can sign on a pilot and help that company get a first bit of revenue. So I think about the ways in which we are all part of this ecosystem, that is where I think it's a huge opportunity for allyship, is making sure that we're all part of the same conversations regardless of how low our voices are. And then making sure we're taking a step back to say, Oh, you haven't spoken yet. I wanna make sure I create space for you to chat, and so that's really, really important to me across allyship in every form.

 

Lorelei

Lastly, are there any resources that you would like to share with our audience to support effective allyship moving forward?

 

Harold

Absolutely, I'm super excited. I’m a board member for Women at Austin based here in Austin, Texas. And Women at Austin's mission really focuses on helping provide resources to women-led companies, make sure they're growing and scaling. And so definitely check out WomenatAustin.org. I'm part of an organization called The Fourth Floor. And that organization is focused on increasing the number of women on board of directors. I think California recently passed some legislation to require companies to have women on their board. This organization got started to try and make sure not only are women being asked to be on these boards, but they're also doing the preparedness side of it. They're also making sure of what training would you need to be an effective board member? And so I think it's really, really cool to be able to support that movement because it allows for organizations that may be led by men or maybe led by any group, to make sure they're finding women who can help grow their business, and so super excited to find plug into those resources. Aside from that, I'm a huge fan of Twitter. It has allowed me to be transparent about my start-up and how we grow and hiring challenges, fundraising in that journey, as well as being able to create real relationships with people. And so I think that it's important for us to try and be well-rounded characters online, and not just talk only about work or not just only talk about family. I think that people like to work with people that they like, and I think people will get to know you better if you're more transparent about the things you're passionate about, and so social media has been a huge, huge tool for me and my success to this date. And I think about Twitter being the biggest one of those.

 

Lorelei

To be transparent in this moment, just totally diggin’ the vibe. Thank you so much, Harold.

 

Harold

I'm super excited. This has been great, I'm pretty charged up. I kind of wanna make sure that you find some opportunities to go support some female founded companies, review those letters of recommendation and those resumes, find ways to support this ecosystem, because I think that what's gonna come down to is that the companies that do are gonna be the ones that win. And the investors that do are gonna be the ones that win. And you don't want to sit aside and let your ignorance or bigotry or any of these things stop you from making these capitalistic returns if that's your angle. But if you're just a good and decent human being, these are the things we should be doing, and hopefully we're seeing more of that every single day with our interactions with one another. So I'm super excited to be part of the conversation. I appreciate you having me.

 

Lorelei

My pleasure. Now, if you folks are on the internet as much as I might be, you'll probably discover that it's National insert obscure event day here, every day, of every month. All year round. November naturally has no shortage of said celebrations. Of course, we have the classics like Thanksgiving. But did you know that November 1st is World Vegan Day? Or November 5th being National Men Make Dinner Day? Harold, pay attention. 

 

Harold

November first?

 

Lorelei

November 5th.

 

Harold

November 5th, I nailed it.

 

Lorelei

My personal favorite, Peanut Butter Lover's Month…what? Oh, sweet peanut butter. How I love you. Anyway, November 11th is when we celebrate Veteran's Day, and we have HERdacious to honor our service members who have devoted their lives to a hold America's ideals and to keep our country safe. Today’s femme fact will be dedicated to the brave women who made their way to the United States Armed Forces and the challenges they faced to get there. Women’s service in the United States Army dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War where they served more traditional and domestic roles, such as nurses, seamstresses and cooks for the male soldiers. The domestic role assigned to women did little to damper their enthusiasm though, and as we do, women found a way to maximize their purpose in the war effort. Women who were interested in fighting in combat disguised themselves as men to participate in battle, some even served as undercover spies for the cause. During this time, both genders were paid the same. 

 

Harold

Amazing.

 

Lorelei

Now, women further progressed in taking the non-traditional roles to serve on the field of combat during the Civil War, when more than 400 women, on the record, disguise themselves as men and fought. And we have no idea what that total number is overall. Fast forward to 1914, also known as World War I. At this point, women were breaking records for Army enrollment with more than 35,000 American women serving the military during World War I. Those who enrolled ranged in age from the youngest, 21, to 69 years of age. In fact, due the large number of women who were being sent overseas during the war, the passage of the 19th Amendment was seriously propelled forward, granting women the right to vote. If we're fighting for our lives and for our country, the least our country could do was to respect and honor our contributions at the ballet box. Now, in World War II, female pilots began to take the spotlight. The Women's Air Force Service Pilots, or better known as the WASPS, were the first women to fly American military aircraft forever changing the role of women in aviation. At this point, over 140,000 women, were serving in our armed forces with over 1,000 flying aircraft as WASPS. Now some other great highlights include  a 2005, a combat-related Silver Star was awarded to Sergeant Amy Hester, which was the first non-medically related Silver Star awarded to a woman in US History. And it hasn't been the last. In 2013, the Secretary of Defense removed the ban on women to serve in combat positions. 2015, the first two women graduated from the US Army Ranger School. 2016, all combat positions were officially open to include women. In 2017, the first woman graduated from the marine corp infantry officer course, becoming the first female marine infantry officer. And in 2019, the all-male draft was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. With this case, perhaps headed to the Supreme Court. Though women have faced great pushback throughout their inclusion in the military, their persistence and passion to serve in the name of our country has made them a force to be reckoned with and acknowledged. Today, there are over 14 million women on active duty, which seems like a hefty number, but only accounts for 14.4% of the United States military. Additionally 18% of our reserves and National Guard members are female. So this is undeniably great progress. Now, on behalf of HERdacious, we'd like to take this upcoming Veterans Day to pay immense respect and gratitude to all the female service members who display courage, grace, and heroism every day. Honoring our nation and defending our liberties. You are real life Wonder Women. And we will forever be in awe. Harold, I have been in awe of you today, and I'm so grateful for your support of our fellow femmes in the workplace. Thank you so much for joining us.

 

Harold

I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

 

Lorelei

Our pleasure. Now, if you liked our show, please subscribe and consider sharing this podcast with a friend. You never know who might need a little bit of femme support on their journey forward. Until next time, be brave, take risks and allow for the unexpected. 

Why this matters
The evolution of allyship
Intentional language
The male role
Some fatherly advice
Future generations
Women in the Armed Forces