Hi. I’m Emily, the Publisher of the Bucks County Beacon. I don’t take much of a front-facing role here, but I think it’s important to say a few words on International Women’s Day.
I have had a lot of opportunities to work with great women throughout my career, and I would like to take a second to honor a couple of them. My first “real” job was working for a female real estate agent in southern California as her assistant. She had emigrated from China with $3,000. In China, she had been a law professor. When she came here, she had to start over. By the time I worked for her, she was selling over $20 million a year in real estate. That’s no small feat. She taught me how grit and determination can create success, regardless of your circumstances.
I moved to Arizona where I worked for a title insurance company, and I had a female boss who showed me what business hustle looks like, and how to build a business regardless of the framework put in front of you.
When I moved back to Pennsylvania in the midst of the crash of 2008, I took a job as a bartender. (I had worked in restaurants quite a bit throughout the years). Within months of moving back, I was pregnant. I continued bartending throughout my pregnancy, but as motherhood approached and my ankles swelled, I realized that daycare would cost more than the money I was making in my bartending job. I could feel the sink or swim moment upon me, and knew that if I was going to be the mom I wanted to be, I would need a job where I could work from home, so I dove back into my freelance business I had started while I lived in California. My first clients were the women I listed above, my former bosses, who trusted in my abilities and wanted my talent. I grew my business from there, with their help, with grit and determination, and quite a few setbacks.
Fast forward 14 years, and here I sit, writing this story on my couch. My daughter is nearly 14 years old now. I never did go back to a job where I had to show up at an office regularly. When my daughter was a little baby, and I was doing work while she napped, I thought about how I could be successful in my career without taking away from her, and how to show her what a successful professional woman, wife and mom looks like. My mom proved to be a great example of how to be successful in her professional career, but had many more struggles in front of her, as a single mom. I hope I’ve built on the example that my mom gave me, and have set a great example to my daughter up to this point.
So, now I’m at this point where I’m the publisher of this awesome news website. Just like I want to set an example for my daughter, I want to be able to show other women the possibilities of achievement, and try to right some of the inequities we as women face in the workplace. As a woman who’s worked in technology for the better part of my adult life, I know firsthand the struggles of a woman trying to achieve in a male dominated profession, and the struggles of parenting with a career. But my experience is one of privilege.
So, as we build the Bucks County Beacon, there are a number of actions we try to take. We empower women to share their stories. I am so impressed with the scores of women who have written and continue to write for us. Whether they are seasoned journalists, activists, concerned parents, or high school and college students, I love the opportunity to read stories by women. I also love that our writers tell us what’s important to them, in their communities, so that we can cover that too. Building an engaged and participatory media outlet means hearing all the voices in the community, not just the dominant ones.
We endeavor to follow in the footsteps and traditions of the original women who organized International Women’s Day over a century ago. In our reporting, we aim to shine a light on those who support workers’ rights, voting rights, women’s rights and progressive political ideals, as well as calling out those in power. Whether you are a man or a woman, today is a great day to recommit yourself to the pursuit of not only equality, but equity.