Failure Sucks but It Probably Won’t Kill You: Advice From the Ladies @ Launch Event

More than a year ago, the unofficial Ladies@Contently was created to address the hot topic of gender-based bathrooms in our office. As Contently grew, we realized that we had hit a fork in the road and we had a decision to make:

  • Option A: Strive to make Contently an excellent and equitable workplace for all female employees.
  • Option B: Strive to make technology, startup, marketing, and media industries (historically misrepresented industries and the ones that Contently is a part of) excellent and equitable industries for all female employees, by reaching out to women and men to raise the bar across the board.

As you may have guessed, we picked Option B. We shortened Ladies@Contently to Ladies@ and we started planning. Recently, we took what felt like a significant step toward our lofty goal with the official Ladies@ launch event. Three excellent speakers joined us to give advice on the theme “3 Things I Wish I Could Tell Myself 10 Years Ago.”

Stephanie Rule, anchor and managing editor for BloombergTV and Bloomberg News, kicked things off to a packed house at Meet on Chrystie.

Stephanie spoke in an intimate and conversational tone, sharing personal stories and words of wisdom about the challenges of balancing work, family, and friends when you set ambitious career goals for yourself.

Dave Zwieback, VP of engineering at Next Big Sound, gave insights on how to take risks to find a career that you’re passionate about, advising the crowd to “choose the things that energize you and don’t apologize for not doing the things that drain you.”

Georgene Huang, founder of, spoke about how to advocate for yourself in the workplace, particularly when it comes to tough issues like maternity leave, negotiating a higher salary, and finding a schedule that works for your family.

In addition to learning from women and men with experience under their belt, an important part of Ladies@ is fostering relationships between people across companies. Attendees from companies like ZocDoc, Namely, eRevalue, and Spotify ate, drank, and networked.

We already have another Ladies@ event in the works for October, and we’d love to see you there. Even though it’s called Ladies@, this isn’t a women-only club. Men are more than welcome to come. In fact, guys, we need you thereā€”to make sure the workplace is welcoming to women, we all need to work together. We’ll be launching an official Ladies@ website that will include great tips from leading women and men who want to reach out to others in our industries and collectively raise the bar.

Image by Alessandro Mella