“I don’t know about you, but I want to live in a world where TARRA doesn’t need to exist anymore.”
– TARRA Founder, Kate Bailey
What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago we were on the precipice of what could have been a new era.
No matter your politics, it was still thrilling to consider the first woman president in United States history. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, even with the help of dynamic women like graphic designer Meg Vazquez behind her.
Over the last 12 months due, in part, to the victory of Donald Trump, we have seen an incredible uprising of women in this country and around the world, fueling yet another wave of calls for equality.
This uprising was felt first with 5 million of who marched on January 21 in worldwide protest about the lack of equality throughout the world.
I stood with many of you calling for equality not just for women, but also for LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, and racial equality.
Ultimately this uprising reverberated throughout our communities, providing a platform for women to take center stage.
Hundreds of museum exhibitions, cultural events, and festivals placed women in the spotlight. There were also countless studies highlighting statistics and ideas about how to start to close the gender gap.
A FEW 2017 HIGHLIGHTS
3 of the 4 Turner Prize winners were women
This fall, King Salman announced that the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia would be lifted next June
In May the United States Library of Congress named Pulitizer Prize winner, Tracy K. Smith, the 22nd U.S. poet laureate
This summer, LifeWtr, owned by Pepsi Co., launched the Art by a Woman campaign with limited edition bottles featuring artwork by 5 emerging artists. The company also announced a mentorship program with workshops and networks to advance women in the arts.
A FEW MORE KEY 2017 STATISTICS:
- Women-owned businesses are a fast-growing segment of the U.S. business market, with women expected to own 39 percent of all U.S. businesses by 2017
- Women now make up 40 percent of new entrepreneurs in the United States — the highest percentage since 1996.
- In 2017, there were an estimated 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States — a 45 percent increase since 2007
That’s a great first step, but it will take more than a museum show, gallery exhibition, festival, magazine story or lip service from corporate executives and organizations to change the conversation
WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.
- 63% of undergraduates studying creative arts and design were female. Only 29% of artists represented by major galleries are female
- We are the only special interest group that is as large in number as the “majority” group
- Men are 85% more likely than women to be VPs or C-Suite execs by mid-career
- Women made up just 7% of all directors on the top 250 films, a 2 percent decline from 2015
- Women make up 46.4% of the advertising industry as whole but only 11% of creative directors
- 48% of female founders cite a lack of available mentors or advisers as holding them back
- The economic gender gap, will not be closed for another 170 years, even though, in 95 countries, women attend universities in equal or higher numbers than men
I could go on, but I think you get the gist of it. We are far from the 50/50 dream where women run half our companies, half our cultural institutions, and represent 50% of the international voice in politics.
But, we can’t just stand around and talk about it. We have to actually do something about it. That’s where TARRA comes in.
WHAT IS TARRA?
TARRA is a global community of women who are innovating, transforming, creating, designing, writing, building, and thinking outside the box.
We place women at the center of the conversation by highlighting those who are breaking barriers and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
We are a group of risk-takers, rebels, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are ready to level the playing field.
Give women access to life-changing opportunities for growth by providing the tools, resources and community to help them build successful businesses, careers and lives.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR WOMEN, IDEAS & INNOVATION
Last year I promised to build an organization for you and we spent last year asking women across a variety of disciplines and industries:
- What can we do to help build your careers and businesses?
- What are the challenges you face?
- What kind of tools do you need to overcome them?
We discovered that there were three key things women are looking for: education about business, mentoring and being a mentor, and meaningful networking experiences to connect with like-minded women across a variety of disciplines.
The following are the programs we are starting to develop to help make those dreams a reality.
Education is the platform to tackle. In 2018, we will roll out business education workshops, master classes and panel discussions. The topics will cover marketing, finances, legal issues and creative inspiration.
We held our first anti-networking event during TARRA2017, and it was quite the evening with a sell-out crowd and a 4 hour party with drag queen speed networking and painting a collaborative 30-foot mural.
The goal of anti-networking is to create experiences that are transformative, creative, educational and provide a catalyst to grow your businesses and careers by meeting women in an engaging way.
Our digital platform is also set to grow in 2018 with a community job board, online shop and an expansion of our digital magazine.
We have our sights on setting up TARRA chapters in Chicago and New York.
We are working behind the scenes to put together membership benefits. So stay tuned for that update in the next couple of months.
We will be reaching out to you for feedback, ideas and inspiration. We welcome suggestions and submissions, and most of all, we encourage you to connect with other women in the TARRA network to forge new relationships.
TOGETHER WE CAN:
- Cultivate a more diverse demographic in business by establishing a powerful community of women advocating for equality
- Harness the collective power of a worldwide network of women who advocate for, teach and learn from one another
- Give women the tools and education they need to push the boundaries of what’s possible in their careers and lives
Our goal is to move the needle closer to a world where gender equality is no longer a conversation but a given.
I don’t know about you, but I want live in a world where TARRA doesn’t need to exist anymore.
Until that day, I will work tirelessly to create a better future for you and for our girls.