Booth Women Connect Conference

On Friday, I attended the Booth Women Connect Chicago conference. Our CEO asked all the women in the leadership position in our company, whether they want to attend. All of us said – yes! Ten of us for the 60-employee company – I think it’s very impressive!

There were opening remarks and a keynote, which we all attended. Also, there were four sessions when we could select one out of eight different workshops to attend. Choosing was extremely difficult!  

I liked the keynote by Ann Curry. As for the sessions, the first one I’ve attended was a panel, “The Future of Work.” It sounded fascinating, the abstract said:

The transformations facing the future of work will feel like tidal waves disrupting all industries and, subsequently, all career paths. These transformations will span organizations and most of their roles, and all types of business models will be disintermediated. In this panel, we aim to raise awareness of what is happening, why, and how to empower us to be proactive with learning transformations.

So, let’s together redefine “work”! A one-size-fits-all workday is a thing of the past. Automation, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies are bringing a world of new products, methods, and experiences to our doorsteps that are far more efficient, but unpredictably disruptive in their impact.

How do individuals empower themselves in the face of all of this change at work? How can we turn this period of technological and human change into an occasion to create more rewarding jobs and build better learning systems and career pathways? How might companies embrace flexibility in a structured way?

Join us for a lively discussion around how technological disruptions have transformed global labor markets, impacted gender parity in the workplace, and created opportunities to redefine what work is. We will share cutting-edge research and discuss how organizations whose employees are empowered to be a part of this citizen-led automation will be the winners of tomorrow. We’ll aim to have you return to your organization better equipped to make your workplace work for you, your colleagues, and your clients.

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The Confrontation

Igor wrote an article about last week’s rally, which was finally published a couple of days ago. When being at the rally, he took a lot of pictures, of which I wanted to show these two.

Pro-life and pro-choice activists face off
Pro-choice counter-protesters move to a pedestrian island

Can’t stress enough – it’s scary when there are fifteen of you against the five hundred. Marching with thousands feels good. Standing against the big crowd requires courage.

The Counter Rally Against Pro-Life Activists

The first political protest I ‘ve organized happened on January 2017, and that was a very successful one. But back that everybody was freshly angry with Trump, and in three days it grew from four people going to come to seven hundred people who came. But again, it was back then. And a reason for the protest was an elected official who didn’t want to meet with his constituents. 

That time was different. Only 15 people had shown up. And a protest itself was different.

***

Igor forwarded to me this facebook event more than two months ago. The pro-life people were planning a big rally in my hometown. My first reaction was: I can’t stay silent. I thought that if I don’t speak, any woman in Palatine who faces abortion will feel like committing a horrible sin. My second reaction was: that’s my hometown. A small one. Everybody knows everybody. I knew the rally was going to be huge. I felt scared to stand against my neighbors. 

And then, this email was sitting in my inbox for quite a while. And after quite a while, I forwarded it to one of the escort leaders. She replied – thank you! We will send somebody. And then again, nothing happened. Then I’ve sent it to the leader of the women section of the local OFA. 

Things finally started to get in motion, and I saw that the counter-rally began to appear on the calendars of many progressive groups. At some moment, I was still not sure whether anybody would come. As I’ve said, there were only 15 of us, and when the pro-life people came, they blocked our signs, and we had to move to the opposite side of the intersection. Their rally was massive. We learned later that many of the rally participants came from other places, but it felt like the whole town is against us. 

We are getting ready
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Labor Day in Pullman

I have four hours on the Wolverine train to Ann Arbor, MI. I have a comfy seat, an electric plug, and the internet available, so it’s a good time to catch up with everything :). I returned from Wisconsin on Saturday of the Labor Day weekend, so I still had two full days and a little bit for myself. Usually, on Labor Day, I try to do something meaningful, something related to the holiday. And most of the time it means visiting Pullman.

Igor talked me into visiting it for the first time in 2014. I didn’t know anything about its amazing history back then and readily absorbed all the information. At that time, everybody was talking about getting Pullman the status of National Park, and in 2015 this happened.

This year I thought there is no way I can spend almost the whole day on this trip. But then I made some calculations, and due to the new Metra weekend schedule, it all appeared to look doable. So the decision was made, and I told Igor that I am coming.

We were hoping that the new status would escalate the restoration efforts, but the Florence Hotel is still closed to the public, and the factory restoration is still in process.

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