Women Supporting Women: Seeing Your Value in the Mirror Others Hold for You

WP Motivate
WP Motivate
Women Supporting Women: Seeing Your Value in the Mirror Others Hold for You

Both Kathy and Michelle have had recent experiences where other women have held up a mirror to show them how they’re seen by others. During Women’s History Month, we’ve been blessed by other women showing where our value really lies. We also talk about our goals in our work in the WordPress community: to empower others to share their voices and to make all technology more accessible and easier to use.

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Start your week smiling with your friends, Kathy’s aunt and Michelle Frette. It’s time to get ready for some weekly motivation with WP Motivate.
Speaker 1 00:00:13 Happy International Women’s Day Week. Kathy .
Speaker 2 00:00:19 That’s a mouthful. Yes. Let’s celebrate all the double XX Chromosomes.
Speaker 1 00:00:24 . That’s right. Didn’t exactly roll off my tongue, but the sentiment is there. Celebrating women. Yeah. Celebrating women this week, this month is Women’s History Month. Um, and I had, I had heard somebody the other day say, um, we have Ben’s Day. Like, um, 365 days a year is Men’s Day cut the crap . It’s, it’s time to celebrate some other people in the world. Um, but yeah, it’s women. It’s Women’s History Month. International Women’s Day was I think yesterday or the day before I kind of lost track. Um, I’ve been doing a lot with social through it for post status and the different companies that I, um, work with, stellar, et cetera, and, and myself promoting women. And I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if you and I talked about not only what it is to be a woman in technology, but let’s, you know, let’s praise some of our, um, our fellow sisters in, I don’t know.
Speaker 1 00:01:14 I don’t know what the right words are. Our sisters in tech Yes. And the people who ha have made a difference. And I always feel bad when I start tagging people, but because there’s always so many more I could tag. So if we don’t mention your name today, please know that we still love you. . We can’t pos we would be here for three hours if we started to name every single person who we admire and who’s made a difference in our lives. But yeah. So one of the things you and I were talking about before we get started is we never see ourselves as fully as other people see us.
Speaker 2 00:01:44 And Right.
Speaker 1 00:01:45 You made that statement
Speaker 2 00:01:47 When you made Right. Well, it, yeah. Well, I think a lot of times we have, we’re so hard on ourselves, you know, I mean, I’m, I’ve got a just a little bit of neurotic perfectionism in there, where I want things to be. I want things, you know, if I’m gonna do something, I want it to be the best, which is why I have such high standards and try to keep, and try to keep my teenager from texting me in the middle of podcasts, Next to Impossible. Um,
Speaker 1 00:02:13 . I understand. Um, yes, I get ,
Speaker 2 00:02:16 But we have standards, right. And we hold ourselves to really high standards. But it’s really helpful to have a re somebody to hold up the mirror and saying, you know, I, I see this. Mm-hmm. , I see that. You’re like, you’re there. You’re, you’re doing just fine. And, um, I had somebody do that for me this week. So it was, uh, it was kind of nice. And I, I know other people have been doing, because you’ve been so vocal on social with, um, international Women’s Day and Celebration of Women this month, um, I’ve seen a lot of people holding up a mirror for you too, and saying, I see something really beautiful. Look at all you’ve done for me. Right. It’s been really cool to
Speaker 1 00:02:59 See. Yeah. Um, I will say there have been a lot of happy tears in what people not only are, um, saying on Twitter, but also just messaging me personally to say how I’ve made a difference. And, um, my purpose of shouting on other women was not so that that would happen. But certainly it was a lovely byproduct to help me remind me who I am and what I do. Which is, which is pretty awesome to, to have that feeling and have people reflect that back. For sure.
Speaker 2 00:03:22 Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:03:23 Absolutely.
Speaker 2 00:03:23 And, and you’re, when you’re in the middle of like, living your life, cuz I bet you don’t, from my perspective, everything that you went through at Word Camp Asia, the selfies with Michelle Challenge and everything you did there, from my perspective, sitting at home, it was like, we’re Camp Asia slash you know, Michelle , you were everywhere. And it was really, first of all, a brilliant marketing strategy. Thank you. But also, you raised money. You had people who came up to you saying, I would like to match that money. You got mm-hmm. all these donations for Big Orange Heart. You did some amazing work just by being you. You didn’t even really have to do that much. You just had to be Michelle and there’s your, your value
Speaker 1 00:04:04 Tell you. So I have always been somebody and, and I’m not breaking my arm, patting myself on the back, but I’ve always been somebody who values people around the world. Right. So when I started, um, WP Coffee Talk, it was anybody who’s working in WordPress beyond my show. And I reached out and invited Nitty Janey to be on my show because she was somebody who had won, um, the, I can’t remember the name of the award for, um, attending Word camp us, uh, women attending Word camp us. And I can’t, I just can’t remember the name of the woman’s, the name of the woman who was awards named after, I’m sorry,
Speaker 2 00:04:36 It’s Kim, right? Kim? Yes.
Speaker 1 00:04:38 Kim. Kim Purcell begins
Speaker 2 00:04:41 With the P Yes, yes. Kim Ohio.
Speaker 1 00:04:43 Yes. People’s name. I’m sorry that I forgot her name because it’s just one of those things. It’s a fibromyalgia thing by the way, where I can’t remember things that I want to. Um, anyway, so she had just recently won the Kim Purcell Award and this was like, she couldn’t actually go to Word Camp US 2020. Cuz guess what? There wasn’t one. Right. So like it got delayed, whatever. But, um, I reached out to her and as a result of people seeing an Indian woman on my podcast, other people in Asia started like filling out the form to be on the podcast. And I was like, great, let’s do it. Right. So I’ve had a lot of people from India, Pakistan, uh, Bangladesh, um, I think, uh, Russia, Romania, like I’ve had, I’ve had like, I don’t know, 27 different countries people have been on my podcast.
Speaker 1 00:05:26 And I didn’t think that was anything special cuz I’m just like, whatever. And un until on the one year anniversary of my podcast, I had somebody that has having a Zoom party, somebody joined and said, um, really want you to come to work Camp India, Michelle. And I said, oh, that would be so expensive, I could never do that. They’re like, well what, how is, how is it expensive? I said, because like the flight, the flight alone’s gonna be at least a grand if not more. I said, and then there’s room and board. And they said, you wouldn’t have to pay for room and board. I said, where am I supposed to stay? And he said, people would be competing to have you stay in their homes. It would be such an honor because of what you’ve done for the Indian WordPress community. And I was like,
Speaker 2 00:06:07 Oh my gosh.
Speaker 1 00:06:08 Didn’t do anything. Right. So to me that was a lesson not in like, Hey, I’m so awesome, but in like, why is that? Why aren’t other people doing this? Why aren’t other people including everybody in WordPress, not just the Americas, and let’s be, let’s be real North America and Western Europe if we’re being honest, right? Um, cuz those are the demographics people target all the time. But that’s not where WordPress is. WordPress is everywhere, right? So, right. So those kinds of things. And so if we endeavor to inclu be inclusive of others, we end up being part of that community as well. So all that to say that I showed up at Word Camp Asia, nobody knew nobody, I shouldn’t say nobody knew very few people until I, it really started going around, knew about the selfie challenge, but I had people running up to me in the street on the way there Wow.
Speaker 1 00:07:02 To take a selfie with people. Cause they follow me on Twitter. And I was like, I was joking that I was gonna start hashtag WP Beyonce. But that’s a joke because I am, I am not fiance Beyonce, but I was having a lot of fun with it is my, is my point. And I was just tickled that so many people wanted to meet me. And the fact that, can I be really a hundred percent honest with you? So the selfie challenge. Yes. The first and foremost thing was raising money for Big Orange Heart. The secondary thing was I get all these selfies and I didn’t have to take any of them. I just go to Twitter and download them. And I’ve got a, I’ve got an album, which is so fun. Everything I got tagged in. But it was a lot of fun and it was really about just being present and talking to people and you know, hugging people, shaking hands, waving, like whatever people are comfortable with that whole thing. But it was just definitely a mountaintop experience for me. A hundred percent.
Speaker 2 00:07:53 That is so cool. Well, I loved watching it, so it was, um, it was cool cuz it’s like, yeah, there’s no way I was gonna be able to go, first of all I was like, oh my god, did Michelle land yet? No, she hasn’t landed. Oh my gosh. This is the longest flight ever. . Like, just watching your entire
Speaker 1 00:08:08 Experience. Oh my gosh, there,
Speaker 2 00:08:09 Gosh, so such a long time to get there. But then just being able to kind of live vicariously through you and everybody else that was there. But it was like the Michelle Show, but it was like that at us too. I felt like, you know, on, on the, well, on the socials it was, I was seeing a lot of, um, a lot of you there. So it was, uh, yeah’s
Speaker 1 00:08:30 Kinda a lot of fun with it. Yeah. It’s kind of cool. And, and yet as, as as out there, as I put myself sometimes, I was saying to you before and, and I was actually talking to Jeff A. Little bit earlier, people don’t know how much you and I do behind the scenes still, right? Like, people are constantly telling me, you do too much. You do too much. Like well define too much cuz too much what I do might be too much for you, but it’s what I enjoy doing and it’s what I have the capacity for, et cetera. But, um, yeah, you know, he’s saying people don’t know all the stuff that you do behind the scenes. And you were telling me that you got asked to do a, a special project where it’s not a public project, but you got Yeah. Thanks. So I dunno if you could talk about that a little bit, but I thought that was wonderful.
Speaker 2 00:09:08 Yeah, well it was just, um, you know, I have a certain reputation as a security person and somebody reached out and said, Hey, can you, uh, we’ve got this important project and here’s the ramifications and here’s how, why it’s so important and we just really need it to be incredibly secure. And I was like, I don’t know mu it’s been a while, you know, cuz I’m really focused on cadence right now and not doing mm-hmm. as much in the security space though, you know, the brain is still there, so watch a lot of the stuff. And, uh, so I did an, I did a security audit, you know, I mean I developed the whole process of doing security audits previously. And so I just had to kind of like blow the dust the old notes, the digital dust and uh, and went through the process and I’m like, oh, and well here’s a problem and oh, here.
Speaker 2 00:09:56 Well I, it was so easy for me, it was just like, I’ve done it, I guess maybe cuz I’ve done it so many times, but, um, I was of service, I felt like the things that I did really helped this project become more secure and become, um, it’s just gonna help the project as a whole to be able to have the recommendations that I made implemented. And the person wrote me back, and I haven’t even had a chance to respond, I will this weekend, but I actually just like, I was in the car, I read a little bit of it and I, I gave it to my daughter and had her read it and she’s like, before she even read it to me, she read it herself and she’s like, you know, mom, you really are good at what you do. And I’m like, thank you.
Speaker 2 00:10:38 What’s it say , she read it to me. I was just like, I was so blessed by that email just, you know, thank you. This is gonna help us so much and we would like to do these other things. Like it was just a really mm-hmm. , I, I felt honored and seen and, um, yeah, it was, it was good and I kind of needed it because, um, yeah, cuz just lots going on and mm-hmm. , I don’t, um, you know, the cool thing when I, I was reporting to, um, when I first started at, at Stellar, I start, I was reporting, uh, cadence was still kind of under Ithe. Ooma Danner was my, was my boss, the general manager mm-hmm. for Ithe for like, what a decade or something. And, um, he knew, you know, my life was kind of crazy and, and I was feeling bad that, you know, I couldn’t focus a hundred percent.
Speaker 2 00:11:29 I had, I had my husband who really needed me and he’s like, you know, Kathy, you’re 50% is everybody else’s a hundred percent. So just do what you’re doing. You’re doing amazing work. And everybody was like, so happy with my 50%, you know, it was great. And I felt so honored, protected, and, um, just in such a great space. And I just, I don’t know, Matt Danner really blessed me during a very hard time in my life and gave me that respite I needed too. Mm-hmm. and work ended. He actually made it so that my work became a place where I could feel okay. Where mm-hmm. and I, I don’t wanna identify myself. Like, I don’t think it’s real healthy for us to always identify ourselves with the work that we do, but for me personally, my work is where I give mm-hmm. . It’s not like , this is like, how do I help people use Word Pro better? Yeah. How do I help people feel more comfortable about security? How do I help people see things that they might not see otherwise? How do I be of service? And, you know, I mean, I’m having to be of service with the husband in, in some harder ways where it’s like, okay, if that whole thing about Jewels in the Crown is
Speaker 1 00:12:39 ,
Speaker 2 00:12:40 I’m popping them in. You know, I just like tell myself, hold my nose and tell myself, but I need feel, you’re
Speaker 1 00:12:46 Gonna feel you’re gonna need a neck brace to hold up that crown . It’s gonna be so heavy.
Speaker 2 00:12:51 Exactly. But yeah, I, I wanna be able to give back and to, to empower people and help them feel like, you know, like they got this. Mm-hmm. And I get to do that through my work and, um, Matt Danner and then again, this email, like I needed, it reflects, I need it reflected back to me. I need people to tell me like, what you did mm-hmm. Helped me. It’s all I need.
Speaker 1 00:13:13 Absolutely. Absolutely.
Speaker 2 00:13:15 I wish I could take that to the bank and, you know, pay a mortgage with it, but
Speaker 1 00:13:18 you know what?
Speaker 2 00:13:19 My heart
Speaker 1 00:13:20 my, my heart is full, but if my bank account isn’t
Speaker 2 00:13:25 Yeah,
Speaker 1 00:13:26 I know what you mean. . Absolutely. Well, I for one, absolutely appreciate everything that you do in the community. I don’t think I’ve ever told you mean, I, I know that, you know, our paths crossed and there’s pictures of us in the same picture before we actually really knew each other, which is so funny to me. Yeah. But you were like my first woman WordPress celebrity that I got to meet. So like, I know , if you’re only listening and not watching this, the face she just made could cur milk. It was like what that you were,
Speaker 2 00:13:56 I’m the word word Pres Kardashian.
Speaker 1 00:13:58 That’s right.
Speaker 2 00:14:00 Why I have to like, drive in my uber black, and I can’t go to Word camps without
Speaker 1 00:14:04 You. You need to plump your lips up a little bit if you’re gonna claim to be Kardashian. Seriously. But, but there are people who are, you know, celebrity status in any community, right? Like, I walk into the local grocery store and nobody’s like, oh, you are in WordPress. Like, I know your name. Right? Like, I mean that it carries no cache locally. But there are people that who are celebrity status within any community, and some of them are just assholes. Like, they get to be there because of whatever, whoever they knew or whoever’s butt they kissed or whatever. I don’t know. Those people are not fun to spend time with. Like, and people just count out to them all the time. And then there are true wonderful human beings who want others to succeed and be, and, and, and honestly, they’re not all women, right? So I, we like to think women are nurturers, but the truth is that there are a lot of women who are not as kind either, but you are somebody who I’ve always seen as kind and, um, wanting the best for everybody else in their lives and just, so yes. You’re the, you’re the epitome of celebrity for me in WordPress.
Speaker 2 00:15:11 Wow. I don’t feel like I am, but I am so honored that you would say that. I just, honestly, I just sh there’s an opportunity to share. I honestly, I’ve been using WordPress way before I ever went to a Word camp. Right? Like I used to tear it apart back in the early days. I would tear it apart and put it back together the way I wanted to. Cause I was a dev and I was doing a lot of dev work and I had my own content management system that I had built for myself and was never in a place where I was like, oh, let me go sell this, or let me open source this. It was like, eh, somebody’s gonna look at my code. It works . That was about it. But WordPress was like super interesting to me. And then I like migrated all my clients onto it.
Speaker 2 00:15:52 And I, I kind of felt like just this, I see an opportunity here to give back, you know? Mm-hmm. other Exactly. Because it was like, not everybody grew up, like being able to like really teach themselves everything that goes into publishing, JavaScripts, css Sure. Database, SQL Server, FTP, security, like all of these things. But I’ve been given a gift to have come into it super early and to learn like, okay, here’s c s s, it’s a new thing. All right, I guess I better learn it. And it just like was like that mm-hmm. . So what a gift I’ve had. How do I give that back? And so Word camps have always been about giving that back and empowering others. Yep. To be able to have the same privileges that I did, you know, it’s hundred percent. It’s all it’s been. So if it means
Speaker 1 00:16:39 That I feel the same way.
Speaker 2 00:16:40 Yeah. Yeah. So if it means that we’re celebrities for doing that, for giving back, Hey, I think
Speaker 1 00:16:48 That I’m ready for my closeup Mr. Deville. Right. ready for selfie at the next Word. Camp. I You’ve
Speaker 2 00:16:56 Got your tiara, I’ve got my Crown . I’ll just like show up at a Word camp ready to roll.
Speaker 1 00:17:01 That would be so funny. I’ll, I’ll bring us tiaras for Word Camp Phoenix. Um, . But, but one of the things, so I had actually tossed this idea at you for a show, and then I actually used it yesterday, I got published today on Underrepresented in Tech, is the idea of luck versus hard work. Right? So what you just said also pays back dividends. Right? So like people say to me all the time, oh, you’re so lucky to have 13,000 followers on Twitter. Oh, you’re so lucky. You got to go to Bangkok. Or, or you’re so lucky this, that or the other, whatever the luck is that they say, I’m like, honey, it wasn’t luck. I have worked my ass off to be where I am.
Speaker 2 00:17:38 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:17:39 And part of that wasn’t even, I mean, it wasn’t on purpose, right? So like, did I work to be here because I wanted to achieve a certain level of anything? No, I worked to help the community, help others because I have the ability and I have the resources and I had less ability and less resources and I used them, which gave me more ability and more resources and I used them. And so I just, you know, I couldn’t continue to build that. And the more you give back to other people, at least for me, the more I have received. And it was not the intention, but it was the blessing. And so when people tell me, you know, how do you get, how did you get to do, do what you do? I’m like, by giving away so much of myself Yeah. But without intention of climbing a ladder, it literally was, oh, by the way, you’re gonna be blessed because you do these things.
Speaker 2 00:18:27 It honestly, those blessings are almost a symptom of what you’ve given, you know? Mm-hmm. , they’re just like a side effect of it. Yeah. It’s like you give and it’s like the, like I don’t even look at Twitter. Have you seen Twitter lately? , it’s kinda a mess right now. I don’t even really look at the
Speaker 1 00:18:44 Follow,
Speaker 2 00:18:45 Don’t really like whatever people follow me. Whatever. It’s just like, I’m just, I’m here to just do the work. Whatever happens with followers or a speaking gig or whatever comes of that is a symptom. And it’s almost just I’m not chasing that. I’m chasing who’s the next person I can lift up. Like I’m really interested right now, my motivation is, um, is people who are starting like, like their side gigs becoming their primary gig. Mm-hmm. , like there’s a few people in the, in the cadence community that I know that are like doing some interesting neat stuff and they’re not the movers and shakers. They have less followers than me. But you know what? Here’s my spotlight. My, we started
Speaker 1 00:19:27 On somebody else. Oh, I love stroke
Speaker 2 00:19:29 Myro. Mm-hmm. , let’s just shine it on him for a while because the man’s got it going on. He’s got personality, he’s got vision, and he’s got humility. I wanna see that person succeed. Um, and a great,
Speaker 1 00:19:40 By
Speaker 2 00:19:40 The way, and a great, he’s just so great.
Speaker 1 00:19:43 He’s, he’s so great.
Speaker 2 00:19:44 He’s gonna be on, on this week in WordPress with me. I went and logged in for the note show notes and I’m like, Maestro sign . How cool is that? It’s like the Cadence community take care of. I
Speaker 1 00:19:54 Might have invited him. .
Speaker 2 00:19:57 I love it. Thank
Speaker 1 00:19:58 You. I invite people all the time cuz I don’t wanna see this. I mean, we’re on there as co-host, right? Yeah. But I don’t wanna see the same four guests over and over and I wanna see lots of people. I wanna see different ideas and different inputs and, you know. Yeah. It’s just wonderful.
Speaker 2 00:20:11 I have some people for you. I’ll, I’ll send you something. There’s some really interesting up and comers in the word press space that I think have, uh, in the cadence amplify event we’re doing next week, which I need to talk to you about after this. .
Speaker 1 00:20:24 Um,
Speaker 2 00:20:26 There’s a lot of people on there who names you might recognize, but maybe you never saw them speak or people you don’t even know mm-hmm. or people that you know are complete experts and you’ve heard their name and you know what they’re about and they’re gonna bring you new stuff. Mm-hmm. . But I just, I’ve, I just love the opportunities that you and I have to like, run into these like maybe fresher voices and bring them and put our, you know, just like step step aside and see what we found see this great person, we want them to be successful. And that’s such a gift too. It’s like, I’m not here for my, have you met me? I don’t really know that I have an ego and if I do, I’ll I’ll just make jokes about it.
Speaker 1 00:21:06 , you know, that, that, that phrase I put my pants on one leg at a time. Well, if you know me, I almost never wear pants. I wear skirts all the time and I put them on over my head. So I don’t do anything like anybody else does. ,
Speaker 2 00:21:20 I love it.
Speaker 1 00:21:24 Too funny, I’ve said this before, I don’t I’ve ever said this to you, but if you idolize somebody, if you know, for some people it’s, it’s Beyonce or it’s whomever, right? If you remember that at, at some point in time, everybody has ate something that disagreed with them, which meant that they spent time in the la in the restroom. Yes. At the worst point of our existence is that need to run to the restroom. Like every single human has had that experience. We’re we’re all the same. . Yeah, we’re all the same. We all get dysentery. That’s all I’m gonna say.
Speaker 2 00:21:59 . Yeah. Completely. We’re all just human. Yeah. Mm-hmm. and my husband’s business, I got to run into a lot of famous people, you know, he just kind of ran in some interesting circles and, um, yeah, they’re all just very human and the ones that are, are real, they want you to just be, treat them like a human. It’s um mm-hmm. . It’s so funny that people get like, so starstruck. The guy that I knew in Chasta, he used to like clean houses for celebrities when he lived in southern California. And, and he was kind of older, like older gentleman who was retired up in Shasta, but he was so funny. It had so many funny stories. And so we’d walk our dogs around our loop and he’s like, oh, and Bancroft was such a bitch, all of these stories.
Speaker 1 00:22:48 And he was just like, I love it.
Speaker 2 00:22:51 Like, apparently Anne would show up with white gloves at a party and she would just like run her her finger, her white glove on things. And so like, she would clean a house and it’s like, Anne Bancroft’s gonna be here, so make sure it’s good. Right.
Speaker 1 00:23:05 Oh my gosh, that’s tell me this person, he,
Speaker 2 00:23:07 He would know all these like really famous people and he’s like, you just treat them like a human and they respect you so much more just like, they’re just like you and me. So funny stories. Exactly. I love celebrity stories. They’re hilarious.
Speaker 1 00:23:19 Me too. Me too. And, and no, no. WordPress celebrity is as big as any of those like Hollywood type celebrities. So if you consider yourself on get off your high horse
Speaker 2 00:23:29 . Yeah, exactly. We we’re in a fishbowl, not a pond
Speaker 1 00:23:33 . We’re all, we’re all a bunch of nerds. . Exactly. Do you even code bro? Right? Like . Right. Well I for one want to continue to lift up all the other women and, and non-binary folks in the community. Yeah. So, um, you know, absolutely. We celebrate you and we wanna see you succeed. And I speak for myself and I think I speak for Kathy too. If there’s anything we can do to help give you a boost here and there, just reach out If it’s within our ability and if it’s within our bandwidth at this particular time, then um, we’re both kind of people who will at least give you some advice if, if not more.
Speaker 2 00:24:12 Yeah. If we, and if we can’t help, we’ll put you in touch with someone who can.
Speaker 1 00:24:16 Exactly. Exactly. So, all right, well I don’t know what next week’s gonna bring, but we’re back. It’s been a few weeks. Uh, last week I was sick the two weeks before that we were tra I was traveling. And so it’s really nice to, um, to be back in, in the motivational mindset with Kathy. So thanks for being here with me almost every week. And, uh, we’ll see y’all next week.
Speaker 2 00:24:39 Bye.
Speaker 0 00:24:40 This has been WP Motivate with Kathy’s aunt and Michelle Fette. To learn more or to sponsor us, go to wp motivate.com.