Thanks to the three amazing women — Heidi Yewman, Janice Levenhagen and Angela Earl — who brought all the feels to last week’s “Like a Boss” Coffee Chat on the topic of Women Changing the Conversation. It was a powerful morning that will undoubtably stick with us for a while. Here is what we are still thinking about a week later:


What stood out to me was Janice’s point about the bubbles we can put ourselves into and forget what’s going on outside of our circle. You have to step outside your own echo chamber and remember that your circle, whether you see the need for a continued change or feel that serious progress has been made, is not representative of everyone. 


I really liked what Heidi had to say about the power of individual stories on larger issues. I think it illustrates the importance of every person’s unique experience and the impact we all can have as people. 


There were a lot of great moments in the conversation but one that stands out was Janice’s point that we must start inviting, welcoming and expecting our adversaries to be part of the conversation if we ever expect to see real change. 


I loved Heidi’s perspective on how to effectively insert your voice in the conversation and advocate for your opinion, without telling people how they should think. It’s often not the extremists at either end of the spectrum that have the greatest impact, but the majority in the middle (those adept at speaking their truth while maintaining an open mind) who have the power to effect real and lasting change.  


I admired how each of these women took the initiative to step off of the traditional career path in order to achieve their own sense of balance, power, and real results. I’m reminded of the Lily Tomlin quote, “I said ‘Somebody should do something about that.’ Then I realized I am somebody.”


Each of these women shared stories of overcoming situations where they felt they had no power — and how those experiences led them to discovering just how powerful they really are. Being able to reflect, ask questions and take advice will allow you to initiate positive change within your own life and the lives of others.


I loved when Angie shared that to find her confidence, she had to partner drive with compassion and empathy, and that she discovered that it’s a muscle that grows through positive impact. 


All of the coffee chats are inspiring, but this one was especially motivating. All of these women saw a gap — a good place to work for freelancers, a way for people to tell their stories and be heard, and a place for women in tech to come together and make change — and they found a way to help. I came out confident that if I ever see a need, I can make change for the better.