In Case You Missed It: The United States of Women Summit 2018

By Tery Amaya,  PWR Communication & Marketing Consultant

This past weekend, I attended the United States of Women’s 2018 Summit at the Shrine Auditorium with the ladies of Powerful Women Rising. Overwhelmed with the many session options, I was finally able to grab a seat for two different sessions. The first “Women of Color Leading the Resistance” which was led by Professor and Author Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro and included an influential panel of women activists including Chrissie Castro (Vice-Chair, Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission), Emiliana Guereca (Founder of Women’s March LA), Surina Khan (CEO of Women’s Foundation of California), Winter Minisee (EMPOWER National Student Leader), and Alexandra Suh (Executive Director of KIWA). The discussion highlighted how women of color have been on the forefront of activism and remain within the resistance. This session resonated with me a great deal as I grew up in Compton and was raised by Mexican immigrants who taught me early on about the resistance.

My parents were always vocal about pro-immigrant and women’s rights, and it is because of them I have participated in movements like the annual May Day March, worked to register voters within South Central during the 2008 election, and continue to support pro-immigrant and women’s rights. For this reason, I was excited to hear the messages of each speaker as they shared their grassroots efforts from community organizing, mobilizing citizen to vote, and fueling marches (like Women’s March LA). The panel also offered tips for women interested in growing their own movement. And for those of you who were unable to attend – Surina Khan shared that collaboration is vital. She advocated that by simply showing up and supporting each we can form relationships and inspire others to join or support our causes. Because #Solidarity! Am I right?


Lastly, I particularly impressed with the passion shared by Chrissie Castro’s as she continues to fight for rights of native tribes, and by Winter Minisee (who is only 17 years old) who is energizing her digital native generation to…dare I say ‘stay woke’? In all, this was a fantastic session!

The second session titled “Can Stories Help Save Us? How to Use Our Words to Shape the World We Want” was hosted by Erica Williams Simon of Snapchat and included a diverse and inspiring panel like Maytha Alhassen (of USOW), Elisa Parker (See Jane Do, #50WomenCan), and trans rights activists Camila Concepcion and Ahya Simone. The discussion focused on how stories have the power to shape our worlds, especially now in our connected world. This session interested me a great deal as a communicator because (as communication experts) we know first-hand the power of effective storytelling and I wanted to hear about how others share their story to build bridges. Often, it is through the simple act of sharing the personal stories, that many afraid to share, that we can educate others, and connect people who may have felt alone to a community that shares the same story and purpose. I mean, look at the #MeToo movement – if not for the bravery of a 13-year-old sharing her story of sexual assault with Tarana Burke, the ‘Me Too’ movement may not have been established.

And back to the panel – listening to Maytha Alhassen speak so passionately about Syria, or Elisa Parker on how she ‘gave up her power’ according to society’s standards, and most importantly learning about the struggles of trans women was an incredible experience. Femme Queen Chronicles’s Ahya Simone’s spoke about her role in the resistance for years by first taking back the harp as a black instrument and then by using it as a tool to share her own trans story. Similarly, Camila shared how she fought against machismo and social expectations of being male by rejecting the norms and coming to terms with her true feminity. Now living as two proud trans queens, they also shared the new struggles they face, much of which I myself did not even know. One struggle Camila spoke about was the injustice that trans women face in the workplace, putting trans women of color in the highest unemployment and discrimination bracket. And despite Camila’s ivy league education, she finds herself unemployed. Each speaker from this session was so moving and inspiring with their personal stories and struggles.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what we were all thinking from the start, when and where do I meet Michelle Obama?!

After a days’ worth of encouraging sessions, mingling with the hundreds of pro-women vendors and organizations in the expo hall, the grand finale ended with none of than former first lady, Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama entered the stage alongside fellow queen Tracee Ellis Ross, looking elegantly (as always) and excited to address the jam-packed auditorium. Michelle spoke about being a mother to young women, on how we need to shift the concept of perfection, and on her concerns about women, due to the outcome of the 2016 election. Mrs. Obama said, “I’m concerned about us, as women, and what we think about ourselves and about each other”.

Her concern has been the topic of conversation throughout women organizations since the election, which is focused on how did we (as women, as a nation) elect the least qualified person over the most qualified woman. Politics aside, Obama touched on what many of the other speakers of the #USOW2018 event spoke about, which was that women, despite race or political parties, really need to unite and support each other in order to bring the change our world really needs.

Take action with USOW and join the conversation using #USOW2018 and #StateOfWomen.


What a Shame

By Sara Maldonado

When I see you in the office, I turn 12 again. 

Fire rising up my cheeks. Turning bright red.


I grab you and hide you in my pocket

Hoping no one will see us together.

But then you fall and I pretend I’ve never seen you before.


You’re lying there. Helpless.


But you have me by a string. I can’t let go of you this week.

And why should I? Why should I have this shame to be with you?

Especially when I so clearly need you.


I take a deep breath and I pick you up.

After all, you’re just a tampon.

And if it’s unprofessional to have you here then can I get a paid monthly vacation?

Want to get rid of tampon shame at your office? Sign up for the Free the Tampons Movement at


Equal Pay Day

By Jamie Valiente

April 10 is Equal Pay Day, a day that signifies how long, on average, it would take a woman to earn the same amount as what their male counterpart has made in the past year.

America first implemented the Equal Pay Act in 1963 when women used to earn 59 cents for every dollar paid to men. Nowadays, women make 80 cents to a man’s dollar. Although the gap has narrowed, it still exists and it still makes a negative impact on women’s lives. On a broader spectrum, we need to consider the greater inequity present based on a woman’s race with Hispanic women making 54 cents and Black women making 63 cents to a White, non-Hispanic man’s dollar.

This wage gap is not something trivial, it is a real problem that affects women, their families, and their overall quality of life. According to The National Partnership for Women and Families fact sheet (2018), if we close the wage gap, a working woman in the United States, on average, would be approximately be able to afford: Fourteen more months of child care; more than one additional year of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, or the full cost of tuition and fees for a two-year community college; 74 more weeks of food for her family; nearly seven more months of mortgage and utilities payments; more than 10 additional months of rent; or up to 8.7 additional years of birth control. As we can see, women can do so much more for themselves, for their families and for society if the wage gap no longer existed.

To reach this goal of equity, we need to hold our government accountable for their decisions on the wage gap. Moreover, we need to advocate for the success in implementing acts such as the Fair Pay Act that would diminish wage disparities due to gender-based occupational segregation and the Raise the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act that would establish a national paid family and medical leave standard for both women and men. With these acts in mind, women will be more likely to stay in their jobs and advance in the workforce.

It is crucial we also put in our effort to make the right financial decisions to break through the constraints that hinder our success. Powerful Women Rising will be hosting a free financial workshop on Thursday, April 12th at 6:30 p.m. at a Breather space in Santa Monica. It will be led by Tina Oswald, Executive Director of the Gelt Foundation.

This workshop is a great opportunity to learn more about creating a personal budget and ensure you are saving for future emergencies. If you are interested in attending the event, you can sign up to attend here:

You can also take action by telling the EEOC that we need Equal Pay Data Collection.

Let us continue to work for Equal Pay Day to be an everyday reality instead of a reminder of inequity.

See you Saturday at the Lyric Hyperion!

By Jamie Valiente

Jana Schmieding publishes weekly podcasts where she interviews others about their bodies, lives, and experiences. Lucky for us, she goes further and hosts a live comedy show every two months to continue the conversation about body justice and amplify the comedy of women of size in Los Angeles.

This Saturday, April 7, we’re supporting Woman of Size with Jana Schmieding to host an inclusive evening of comedy, games, and prizes. Join us for Woman of Size Live! at 8 p.m. at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre & Cafe of Los Angeles.

Among Saturday’s featured comedians are Babbs & Maria Lopez with video content, Ruha Taslimi with solo character comedy, Marcy Jarreau with stand up, and the incredible comedian Madison Shepard.

We will be giving away a FREE 90-day PWR Confident-level membership at the show to one lucky individual. Do not miss out on the chance to de-stress, relax, and enjoy a night of laughter in the company of like-minded people.

Women and men are both welcome to the show! Purchase your tickets at the door for $10 or online via Eventbrite.

For more information on Woman of Size, head over to Hope to share some laughs with you in LA!

Announcing the 2018 United State of Women Summit

In the last year, women have continued to speak up, run for office and take their seats at decision-making tables. From the historic number of women running for office this year to #MeToo and #TimesUp, there is huge momentum building.

And this May, we’re partnering with The United State of Women to the convene the movement — working with organizations and individuals on the front lines of today’s most pressing fights, and equipping women with the tools and resources they need to channel their energy into action.

We’re excited to announce we’re a Community Partner the 2018 United State of Women’s Summit in Los Angeles May 5-6th. And we want you to be there.

Register today to reserve your spot at the Summit! Be sure to add in Powerful Women Rising in the affiliations section so we can join with you at the Summit.

The 2018 Summit will be a celebration of the women and allies who have made significant impact in their communities. It’s more than just a training or conference – it will be a powerful gathering of movement leaders from across the country who know their energy and power will break the barriers that stand between women and full equality. Over two days, thousands of women will convene in Los Angeles to inspire and be inspired, to motivate and be motivated, to teach and to learn. The conversations and ideas from this Summit will help give women and allies tools to take action in their own communities. And we want you to be involved!

Get your ticket to the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles May 5-6th.

For more details about the Summit – from speakers to ways to get more involved – head over to
Hope to see you in LA!

3 Key Elements of a Resume

By Sara Maldonado

A resume is beyond a doubt, one of the toughest documents to write. On one page, you have to show your experience, passion, and personality while also fitting the (many times vague) job description. However, there are three key elements to making sure your resume tells your story.

  1. Craft a compelling story. Before you start writing, you want to think about all of your past experiences. From your full-time job to all of your volunteer and travel experiences, pick the ones that tell the story you want your potential future employer to hear.
  2. Think accomplishments not experience. When writing a resume, our instinct is to talk about what we did on a day-to-day basis. You’re trying to show your experience right? Nope. Even though it’s counterintuitive, you want to think about all of the projects that made you stand out and focus on them.
  3. Align with the job description. Employers can tell when you’re throwing your resume to each and every company. You want to have several versions of a resume and always tweak them to fit the job description for the position to which you are applying. Make sure all of the experiences on your resume speak to why you are the perfect fit. You only get a page so make it count!

Need to freshen up your resume? Check out our resume services or become a member today.


5 Fun Alarm Clocks to Get your Day Started

By Sara Maldonado

Confession: I am not a morning person. But waking up to a fun alarm clock can make it slightly easier to wake up a little brighter each morning. Below are some of my favorites.  

Wake Up Light with Sunrise Sunset Simulation – This alarm clock SIMULATES SUNLIGHT. Need I say more?

Peakeep 4″ Twin Bell Alarm Clock – I love this little old timey alarm clock. Very vintage and very cool.

Wooden LED Digital Alarm Clock, Displays Time Date And Temperature, Cube – For those following a minimalist lifestyle, this alarm clock is sure to please. The neat lines are so smooth and soothing.

Color Changing Speaker,Alarm Clock – I know it says it’s for kids but hear me out: it changes colors! You could wake up to a disco party every morning. And who doesn’t need a little more disco in their life?

GEARONIC TM Modern Triangle Wood LED Wooden Alarm Digital Desk Clock – This triangular piece of wood is actually an alarm clock. Not only is it a natural beauty, it also has voice control. You can yell at it to shut up every morning.

25 Best Questions to Ask the Employer

By Sara Maldonado

Prepping for an interview? Don’t forget to interview your potential new employer right back. Make sure they’re the right fit by asking some of the following questions:

  1. What makes this company special?
  2. What does success look like in this position in the first 90 days?
  3. What are the biggest opportunities in the department?
  4. What are the biggest challenges of this position?
  5. What characteristics are you looking for in your employees?
  6. What is the history of this position?
  7. How has this position changed over time?
  8. What has success looked like in this position in the past?
  9. How do you evaluate performance within the company?
  10. What brought you to the company?
  11. What has been your favorite part about working for this company?
  12. What are the top three goals for this position in the first 90 days?
  13. What is the structure of the department?
  14. What does growth look like in this company?
  15. What is your employee turnover rate? What are some retention strategies the company is implementing?
  16. What types of professional development opportunities do you offer?
  17. How would you describe the culture of the company?
  18. Your website mentioned that the company values X. How do these company values play out in day-to-day life?
  19. How does the company celebrate achievements?
  20. What does collaboration look like between managers and direct reports at this company?
  21. What is your vision for the future of the department?
  22. Where would you like to see the company go?
  23. What is your timeline for filling this position?
  24. What are the next steps of the interview process?
  25. Have I answered all your questions?