Pare and Flourish is a business that focuses on empowering young professionals, particularly women. We host Flourish Roundtables, which are monthly networking events for women who want an encouraging environment. These events inspire productive, meaningful conversations about topics such as confidence, goal setting, and being a millennial woman. Each event has its own topic; we feel that having a topic beforehand helps guide the conversation and keeps a clear objective in mind. Roundtables provide a monthly space for the women to focus on themselves without distraction.
Why do you choose Pare and Flourish as your main method of engaging with feminism?
Our work allows us to use our skills and interests to engage with feminism. We feel that working inside our wheelhouse helps us to contribute the most to our mission. In our personal lives, we are feminists who live our truths. Professionally, we knew we had more to contribute; this is how Flourish Roundtables came to fruition.
Who is your favorite feminist mover, maker and/or shaker?
One of the feminist women who inspired our direction is Sheryl Sandberg. Her book Lean In opened our eyes to workplace inequality in a different way. As a woman in the workplace, it’s something you feel, but you sometimes assume that you’re reading too much into a situation. Sandberg uses real-life scenarios as well as research studies to paint a clear picture of workplace sexism. Beyond identifying the issue, she presents insight on how to equalize. She helped us understand that the most important step to female equality is to educate both women and men about how to move forward in a positive way.
How do you balance your mission of social justice with earning a living?
Pare and Flourish is currently a labor of love. We have not yet left our day jobs and we use our personal time to grow P&F. It is sometimes difficult to balance, but every time someone tells us that we’ve made a difference in their life, the difficulty no longer matters. We are constantly reminded why we do this and we truly enjoy every minute.
Can you talk about the evolution of Pare and Flourish?
Pare and Flourish began as a small personal development blog with no clear direction. We had no real idea what we were doing. We began noticing, over time, that we had two clear interests: empowering women and learning about career-oriented topics. Once we realized this, we found our niche and ran with it. We’ve snowballed into a business that inspires women to chase what they want, and we couldn’t be more happy with the direction.
What do you hope people gain from experiencing your events?
We hope women walk away from our Flourish Roundtable events with a sense of pride. The type of pride that comes from the acceptance and encouragement of your peers. When we write an article about a woman’s accomplishments, or a woman guest posts an article on our site, we want our female audience to realize that they are capable. They need to know that they are capable of achieving as much as, or even more than, their male counterparts. At the end of the day, women raising up other women is invaluable.
How do you enlist your community in shaping the goals and methods of your outreach?
We connect with influencers who support our mission. Usually, we collaborate with those influencers in some way. We bring them in as co-hosts or co-moderators for our Flourish Roundtables, we write articles about their work, or we ask them to write a guest post for our website. Bringing as much awareness as possible to what driven women can accomplish is what keeps us working on this business.
What do you wish people understood about your area of interest within feminism?
We want people to understand that feminism has its place in the workforce, but that does not mean we make our male colleagues “the others.” As allies, our male coworkers can further workplace equality by helping to create an equal environment. The key to identifying unequal situations is education. Because men do not experience many of the same workplace inequality issues, they are less likely to notice when it’s happening. A great book for men to read to understand workplace inequality and how to help is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Is collaboration something you incorporate into your practice? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Not only do we incorporate collaboration, but it’s one of our favorite aspects of our work. Empowering women in their careers hinges on coming together to lift each other up. Much of what we do centers around collaborating. Our roundtable networking events are co-hosted by women in our communities. Pare and Flourish’s blog features our articles alongside those written by female professionals about their personal experiences. We currently have two collaborations underway that we’re particularly excited about. It’s our way of creating a relationship with the professional women in our community as well as to showcase their strengths, accomplishments, and inspirations.
What are 5 ways our readers can support the work you’re doing?
- Subscribe to pareandlfourish.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Collaborate with us to tell your story about professional challenges and successes.
- Attend a Flourish Roundtable (if you’re located in Kentucky).
- Lift up the women around you to do their best personally and professionally.
- Start a discussion in your community about equalizing the gender gap in the workforce.
Are you a Feminist Mover, Maker & Shaker? We would like to share the important work you do. Learn more here.
Skylar Wooden and Katie Butler, co-founders of Pare and Flourish, work to empower young professionals, particularly women. Along with their talented Web Designer, Matt Long, these women are on a mission: to inspire women to listen to their intuition and reach for what they want, personally and professionally. They bring women together to support and encourage one another.