Celebrate and Support Each Other

Women Female Feminism Lady Madam Friends ConceptHappy International Women’s Day!

Honor the strong women in your life today. It is because of those that have empowered you that you can now empower others.

And if you are not empowering the other women around you it is


Let me share a short story is with an all-too-common theme.

My BFF was getting close to the day she would take early retirement from her job of 20-plus years. In an effort to make sure she did right by her employer, my Bestie recommended a replacement to take over for her. This was someone she had worked with off and on over the years. My Bestie brought this woman into her workplace and mentored her till the day she left to start her new life unencumbered by the daily restraints of employment.

The relationship went beyond the workplace as well. My Bestie was supportive when her replacement was having trouble with one of her children, offering constant support and solicited advice. They often took lunch together and shared confidences. This was a real friendship.

But a month or so after my Bestie sailed – quite literally- into the sunset, she started hearing from former clients and co-workers that the friend she had handpicked as her replacement was enthusiastically spreading around some bad blood.

(You can just hear Taylor singing about this, can’t you?)

The newbie seldom missed an opportunity to share with anyone in ear shot that she had to “clean up after her predecessor,” throwing continual shade on my Bestie’s work ethic, habits and intelligence, all the while implying that her own arrival on the scene came just in time.

Yep. She went there.

Why would she do that? Insecurity? Fear? Basic ungratefulness?  IDK.

But I do know this- there is not a limited supply of success.


I can be successful, you can be successful, we all can be successful. And you know what else? We don’t have to stomp on others to do so.

The road to true success should not be paved with the blood of other women.

Now more than every we need to join together and LIFT EACH OTHER UP.

Not trounce all over one another.

Today presents the optimal opportunity for you to reach out to a woman who has extended a hand to you in one form or another, and give them praise. Share this blog to let them know they have made a difference in your life.


And when you are done with that, turn and extend your hand to someone who can benefit from your strength.  Be that strong woman who makes a marked difference in the life of another.

Never forget …


Thanks for all the support you give me. I truly appreciate you all.




Gather Your Tribe

three beautiful friends authentic


Have you seen the ad where an elderly immigrant woman is speaking to her newborn great-granddaughter?

The woman reminisces about the struggles and obstacles she has faced in her life and tells the newborn that (I’m paraphrasing here) if she struggled and sacrificed and swore to succeed so her great granddaughter could have a chance to be anything she wanted, then it would all be worth it.

Watch it here.  https://youtu.be/nhnz2CMzirM

It may seem a little schmaltzy to you, or maybe it made you want to rise like a Phoenix academically, But neither of those scenarios are what prompted me to share it.


We need to think long and hard about what type of work environment we would deem acceptable for our children and our children’s children.

Don’t we all want things to be better for future generations?

The time has come for us to jump in and tackle the problems facing women in the workforce with a VENGEANCE.

This is not a battle for the timid, or the quiet.  It is a speak-out, hold-strong, gather-your -tribe kind of battle.


Time to gather your tribe.

I am doing that in my office, throughout my peer groups, within my friendships and with this blog.

I have been blessed with many strong female role models. These fantastic women, some who have sadly passed and others who may just be finding their stride, have empowered me in a multitude of ways. They range in age from twenty-somethings to octogenarians.

They are my tribe. And the common thread they have woven into my life’s tapestry is that there is strength in truth.

That merits repeating…There is strength in truth.

There is also strength in numbers.

We need to unite our voices and gather a tribe of women who are no longer going to suffer in silence.

Our tribe needs those who are not going to laugh off  inappropriate comments or actions simply because they do not know how to respond in the moment.

Those who are not going to allow a distinction between women’s work and men’s work, men’s pay and women’s pay.

Those who are not going to settle for less than they deserve.

Those who desperately want the BS to end with this generation.

Here at elevenTEN we are all about supporting other women.

Be a part of our tribe.

elevenTEN matters.


P.S. Thanks to my friend who sent me this encouragement this week.

Take heed of the message.


That One Dream…

Woman Suffering From Depression laying on bed, Bed , Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

Finding Your Voice


Ever have that dream where you are thrust into a situation that requires  you to communicate a warning or response to something that is happening but when you go to speak absolutely nothing comes out? You try and try and try to say the words you want but your voice is nonexistent.

I hope I am not alone in this REM experience.

The momentary thought that I could be the only individual who has experienced this led me to google the meaning of said dream.

I found a few different explanations for this totally common (exhale) phenomenon. One is that it is the result of sleep paralysis. Hmm, for me, not so much.

While I do not pretend to be Fraud by any stretch,  I feel like the correct interpretation of  my “silent dream” is that it is the nighttime expression of my daily battle to be heard. That I had to strive find my voice.

So I did.

I have had, and occasionally still experience, trouble with the first step in a difficult conversation.

That first step being actually saying the words OUT LOUD.

I believe that happens because saying things out load makes them REAL.

Like really REAL.

Conversations in my head do not come with a shaky tenor or even tears of pain/frustration.

But even when I rallied ahead of these tough talks, something was vastly different when I said the words aloud.

Perhaps this is why women have remained silent on transgressions in their workplace for so long. Maybe it goes deeper than the fear of retribution (which is a huge deterrent as well as a regular consequence) in that can be paralyzing to find the strength to verbalize what happened.

While still endeavoring to analyze my dream, I found the following statement regarding inability to vocalize,

“Occasionally a non-speaking dream can mean that one has silenced a part of the self that wishes to express things that push our boundaries, or make us uncomfortable to think about. Pick up a pen immediately after waking and let the words flow.  See what comes up”


This is exactly why elevenTEN was born.

Our premise is that if women find a safe place to share their stories, they will become empowered. And writing it down is a therapeutic first point of action.

Let elevenTEN be your sounding board.

If we have learned anything in the last few months, it is that we are not alone in our experiences.

Whether it be sexual harassment, gender pay discrimination, sexism, or marginalization- Sister, you are not alone.

Sadly, this is an epidemic.

KUDOS to the many women who have finally found their voice.

They aren’t speaking out now as some sort copycat phenomenon, they are sharing their stories because someone else did it before them and bravely paved the way.

And if anonymity is paramount to your being able to share your story, well, we have that covered too.

I encourage you to SHARE YOUR STORY. Share this blog. Encourage others to do so as well.

It is only when we can fully articulate our truth with others that we effect change.

Plus, you can get yourself a bad ass elevenTEN tee.



Time for a TKO of the Old Boys Club

wrecking ball home page edit#MyEyesAreUpHere

The last few weeks have been marked by an onslaught of accounts of sexism and sexual harassment in Hollywood, D.C. and many other places. Ever since Ronan Farrow exposed Harvey Weinstein for the gross pig that he is, women and men from all walks of life have found the courage to voice their own stories of harassment, assault and just plain disgusting behavior.

What also came to light was proof that the Old Boys Club (OBC) was still alive and kicking in 2017.

Let’s get one thing straight right now, knowing about the bad behavior and doing nothing about it makes one COMPLICIT.

And trying to blame it on having “come of age” in a different culture, one where the rules of behavior were misogynistic, and such behavior acceptable, doesn’t fly.

Nope. I’m calling BS on that.

I grew up in a culture that found it acceptable to lie in the sun covered in baby oil tanning my skin to a crisp. When I found out that wasn’t a good idea and was, in fact, hazardous, I gave it up.

Many also “came of age” in a culture that didn’t acknowledge the dangers of second hand smoke and were able to partake of their ciggies wherever and whenever they wanted.

Before that there was a culture that mandated that people of color couldn’t use the same restrooms, water fountains, etc. as Caucasians.

You see where I am going with this. Frankly, using the “way of life as I knew it” excuse for excusing bad behavior just doesn’t hold water with me.

Culture changes. People must as well.

It’s called evolving.

And the ability to evolve is an actual requirement to becoming a fully formed human being.

In a perfect world we would blow up the OBC entirely. Since that does not seem likely to happen anytime soon, the time has come to FORCE evolution on the OBC and  provide them with new Rules of Conduct. An ethos they can post in the ‘ole clubhouse or even carry around in their wallets if need be.

Here is a start.

Clubhouse rules to live by:

  1. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS assume we don’t want to see “it.” Because we don’t.  Never have, never will. Anyone who believes otherwise is delusional. And 100% pervy. Keep it in your pants at all times.  (I’m looking at you Louis C.K.)

2.  Traveling does not mean all rules fly out the window. Just because two colleagues are traveling to the same out-of-town work function doesn’t mean it is open season for sleazebags. NEWSFLASH: we don’t want your room key. Chances are if your coworker was married when you left, said coworker is still married when you get to your location, or in a relationship, or I don’t know… someone who values professionalism.

3. We don’t think your sexual innuendo’s, sexist comments or politically incorrect “jokes” are funny.

4. We don’t appreciate comments on our body parts or reproductive capabilities. We don’t have birthing hips or a commodious vagina just because we have had multiple children. Also, it is always good to remember- MY EYES ARE UP HERE.

  1. We don’t want to put in extra hours completing tasks while you and your OBC are out golfing.
  1. We don’t want to be referred to as “the girls in the office.” We are women, colleagues and even SUPERIORS.
  1. Don’t try to paint us as “emotional” or “hormonal.” Just because we may not process the exact same way you do does not make us inferior. We are not. We are just women. ROAR!
  1. Don’t refer to a woman with strong voice, opinions and high work standards as a bitch. The proper term is LEADER.

And finally…

  1. Do not retaliate by lying. I have experienced this in my office ever since I started talking about the discrimination I and others around me have experienced. My giving voice to such behaviors does not make me “the bad egg” or a “negative influence.” It just makes me honest.  And brave. Lying to cover your own bad behavior and sexism is repugnant…and transparent…and litigious.






elevenTEN Matters

erinSmaller.jpgBecause Free Isn’t Always Good

Today marks the day that I start working for free for the rest of the year. No, I’m not heading out on a mission, or using the remainder of 2017 executing pro-bono work.

I am, simply, a woman.

Which means when comparing the current compensation rate of women to men, I’m maxed out till we ring in a new year.

I have the gender pay gap to thank for that.

“Gender pay gap means women will in effect work for nothing from November 10 until the new year” -Fawcett Society  

Look at this excerpt from the “Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap” published by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Did you know that in 2016, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent? The gap has narrowed since the 1970s, due largely to women’s progress in education and workforce participation and to men’s wages rising at a slower rate. Still, the pay gap does not appear likely to go away on its own. At the rate of change between 1960 and 2016, women are expected to reach pay equity with men in 2059. But even that slow progress has stalled in recent years. If change continues at the slower rate seen since 2001, women will not reach pay equity with men until 2119.

Wait, what?

Isn’t that illegal?

Yes, it is illegal, and has been since June 10, 1963 when the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President Kennedy as part of the New Frontier Program. But here we are in 2017 still fighting the same battle.

And from where I sit, Monday through Friday, the fight is real.

I work in an office where the women outnumber the men three to one. The majority of the work falls on the women of the staff. By that I mean the men have their specific job duties and the women theirs. But that gray area called “other duties as assigned,” well, that behemoth lands on the females. If you are not familiar with “other duties as assigned” the best I can figure is that it is code for, “ALL new initiatives, events and projects.”

Sound familiar?

Oh, but there’s more…

The men in my office make two and three times more than the women. In fact, the lowest paid male employee makes 75% more than the highest paid female employee. She has a higher title, more employees to supervise and more responsibilities. He is a new employee, she a veteran.


The time has come for women to DEMAND MORE, EXPECT BETTER, CHANGE THE CULTURE.

Think about this as you sit in your office today…can we afford to wait till 2119 to catch up? Don’t we want better for our daughters?


Great granddaughters?

Great-great granddaughters?

For ourselves?

elevenTEN matters.

We need to tackle this and all gender discrimination, bias, violations and disgusting assaults TOGETHER!

Let’s start today.