Subkit is creating a global community of solopreneurs. It is a space where everyone with a business idea can belong. Half of the staff is made up of talented, unstoppable women dedicated to championing solo entrepreneurs around the world.
Subkit celebrates these remarkable women daily. And in honour of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, we're sharing their stories and obsessions. Coming to you live from five different countries...
Say hello to...
Beth Wright, Community Growth, UK
Cass Marketos, Community Growth + Content, USA
Evelyn Wiseman, Community Growth, Canada
Joy Warugu, Engineering, Kenya
Mari Suchodolski, Content, Portugal
Njeri Kieha, Engineering, Kenya
Shea Chandra, Product Design, USA
The women of Subkit chatted through their background, obstacles and some feminist and femme-inclusive thought. Here is a highlight reel of what these forces had to say.
Share a little bit about your life before Subkit...
Shea: Before Subkit I was conducting research on pediatric brain cancer at Cedars Sinai.
Cass: Mostly dirt-based: plants, planting, hiking to plants, hanging out with plants, learning about plants. Also, a lot of books.
Joy: I've been working as a professional software engineer for the past 5 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed working for all the different teams, spanning all over the world. I am a strong advocate for distributed teams as you get to work and learn about different cultures and people. I think life is meant to be shared and getting the chance to interact with so many different people has really enriched my life.
What is your favourite thing about your role at Subkit?
Njeri: Building things that people in the real world get to use!
Mari: I get to work alongside great people. And I'm constantly thinking and learning about solo founders who have turned their passions and talents into sustainable businesses. Most of the people in our community are small business owners that don't necessarily get the spotlight they deserve. So telling their stories is a wonderful way to celebrate their courage and determination and to be reminded that life is what we make of it.
Beth: I get my kicks by helping solo entrepreneurs find their light bulb moments. There's no better feeling!
What obstacles have you had to overcome to get to where you are today (as a woman, or otherwise)?
Njeri: Getting people to take me seriously, some people didn't think I was a good engineer just because of my gender.
Evelyn: I'm a white woman in Toronto, Canada with parents who valued my education. I'm privileged, and it's important to acknowledge that. But, like any woman, I've had some obstacles. As I rose in tech one thing I had to overcome was being heard and respected. I'm short, shrill and a bit silly. I fought against it for a long time, but eventually realized being myself, a smart and small woman, was how to succeed. Screw pretending to like sports or change my language to fit in. Authenticity is always an asset.
Beth: The ones that come to mind: 1.) Family pressure to have a "professional, serious career" (although I caved when it came to my law degree. I wouldn’t allow this pressure to carve out my future career). 2.) The negative stigma of the Events Industry. 3.) Male micro-management and stereotyping, “don’t be too emotional. Be more logical, critical, analytical." Essentially, don't be yourself. 4.) My dreams and aspirations being scoffed at. “You’ll never get there…That's unrealistic... I'd give up now.” I am a big believer and advocate of we’re stronger together than we are apart. So any obstacle I have faced, I have tried to do so with an army behind me.
Mari: Growing up in Brazil, a Latin culture where machismo is very common meant that much of my value as a woman was determined by my looks. And there was a sense of being groomed to be a wife or mother. I've had to tune into myself to understand what's my version of womanhood. And for now, it's choosing messy hair, no makeup, oversized clothing, sneakers, and a child-free life.
Shea: Being a first-generation college student, navigating the professional world wasn't completely intuitive. There was a lot of learning I had to do on my own about potential career paths. Growing up without having many close role models in tech also made me a little hesitant to transition into it.
Cass: Self doubt, I suppose, which is something we all have, but that women (broadly speaking) seem to be specifically conditioned for by our culture. I'm lucky that I eventually figured out that everybody is just making everything up as they go, mostly, which allowed me to develop more resilience around "failure."
Here is the women of Subkit's (non-exhaustive, random ordered) list of womxn, feminist heroes, icons and social media worth caring about:
Adrian Piper / Guerrilla Girls / Barbara Kruger / Tara Westover / Sophia Hilton / Meryl Streep / Beyonce / Emma Watson / RBG / Rihanna / Florence Given / Martha Gellhorn / Octavia Butler / Audre Lord / Rachel Cargle / Melinda Gates / Michelle Obama / Mary Jones / Nahnebahwequay / Frida Kahlo / Elsie Charles Basque / Laverne Cox / Virginia Woolf / Carmen SanDiego
Are you inspired to start, run or grow your business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.