Looking For Community In a Culture of Agendas

I attended an interesting discussion with friends last night on the topic of women in the workforce – specifically, at ad agencies.

(As it turns out, agency life is still quite the boys club compared to other industries).

I don’t work for an ad agency, nor am I trying to climb a corporate ladder (As my friend so brilliantly said, I’d rather build my own ladder than climb someone else’s!), but I went because I’m always interested in what women are talking about.

Admittedly, most women-oriented events irritate me. I don’t know why this is, but I’ve never been able to get on the bandwagon. Perhaps I’m too snarky and not feminist enough.

But even if the official discussion didn’t thrill me last night, I was energized by the time I spent with my friends who attended with me.

I realized how starved I am for community right now, particularly creative community. In my work I have a very small team, and I’m still learning how to create a culture of brainstorming and feedback. Somehow I’ve put myself in the position of coming up with all the ideas, and I figured out it won’t end well if I continue this way.

I also realized how fortunate I am to know so many smart and creative women entrepreneurs, and how silly it is that these woman are not yet my BFFs.

So here is where I get confused about my dislike for women’s events, because I actually crave community with creative women entrepreneurs. I think we face a unique set of challenges and can benefit greatly from sharing our experiences, but I tire of the how-can-we-be-successful-like-men drumbeat.

I don’t want to be successful like a man. I don’t even want to be successful as a woman. I want to be successful in what God has specifically gifted ME to do, which can’t be compared to anyone else, man or woman.

3 thoughts on “Looking For Community In a Culture of Agendas”

  1. Hi Jen! I was just mulling over a similar problem I have, though not specifically with women’s events. I haven’t been to a lot of events for women. But products, literature, and media created and marketed specifically for women often turn me off. They irritate me. WOMEN is too large a demographic to be encapsulated in one event, magazine, or self help book. And I think your last point speaks directly to my problem, that I am a PERSON who happens to be a woman, and I don’t fit neatly into a hyphenated category. (No matter how much I’d like to sometimes.)

  2. I’m bored by specialization. There’s just too much easy self congratulation for me to be interested. I have no idea if that’s part of what you feel at women’s groups. I’m too much a fan of chaos to sit and listen to the kind of order most events try to provide, and that most sane people seem to want.

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