1) What is your name & what do you do?
I work at Hired, an online marketplace for finding a job. I have been at the company for several years and previously managed our category expansion. On a personal note, I’m passionate about gender issues and believe ardently in gender equality.
2) How did you first learn about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
My friend and coworker, Amanda Maxedon, organized a group of women at Hired to coordinate follow-up actions after the Women’s March in January. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity for this group to support on International Women’s Day and I knew that I wanted to help victims of domestic violence. After doing some research, I found W.O.M.A.N. Inc. I loved the work and the mission of the organization and knew this was a cause I wanted to support.
3) Please tell us about your fundraising efforts for W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
We had SO MUCH FUN fundraising for W.O.M.A.N. Inc.! We “guest-bartended” at Jackalope on International Women’s Day (the same day as the Women’s strike). None of us had ever hosted an event like this before (or poured cocktails behind a bar 😉 ), but we were able to pull in quite the crowd of friends and coworkers. The bar was packed all night and we were able to raise over $1300 in tips to support W.O.M.A.N. Inc.
Jackalope was a great venue for the event. The staff were awesome to work with, and might I add, very patient with us as we botched many drink orders! We had four ladies from our company volunteer to bartend, in addition to myself and Amanda: Megan Kelley, Colleen Sullivan, Jamie Gray, and Vanessa Van Schyndel.
4) What inspired you to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc’s anti-violence efforts?
I think gender violence is one of the most under-discussed issues facing our community. We like to pretend that gender violence is an issue only under-developed nations have to contend with, when in reality, gender violence pervades all socio-economic classes in all countries, including ours.
This past summer, I was chased home by someone threatening me with a knife just four blocks from my apartment in the Lower Haight. I got very lucky and was able to hide in a convenience store, which happened to still be open. When I followed up on the crime, the police dispatcher informed me that women being chased or followed is the most commonly reported crime in San Francisco. This really struck me. My story is not unique – women constantly feel threatened in their daily lives. I’ve been looking for ways to support victims of gender violence since this moment and was really excited to find this opportunity with W.O.M.A.N. Inc.
5) What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?
First and foremost, I hope the money we raised can support victims. I’m a huge proponent of mental health awareness and therapy. If the money we raised will enable emotional and psychological support through therapy for even one DV victim, I will consider this event a success.
Secondly, I truly hope we were able to raise awareness for the cause. I think it’s really easy, specifically for tech workers in San Francisco, to assume women and men have reached equality (with only a few problems left to solve, like adding more female CEOs!). In reality, we are VERY far from gender equality if a large portion of the population regularly fears for their own safety. This spectrum has a wide range: from women who carry mace while running standard errands in the city, to victims of domestic abuse and rape.
Thanks Selena & team for supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.! Collectively, all those donations amounted to $1,364 — enough to provide us 75 hours of crisis line counseling on our 24 hour support line and 40 hours of DV training for 3 volunteers. We appreciate you!
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