Women of Duet

March 15, 2021

Happy Women’s History Month! This is truly one of my favorite times of year being reminded of all the amazing things that women have accomplished. In previous years, Duet has managed to celebrate this month to honor the women we work with, the women that help us achieve our goals, and the amazing women far away in Greece. Women are strong, encouraging, and diligent in all aspects of life, so it is important to stop and take a look at some of our incredible women at a closer glance. So, this week I will be highlighting some of the badass women that I get to work with almost every day. 

It is often seen that a lot of hardships with gender equality and equity are found in the workplace. Despite the constant struggle to close the gender-biased wage gap or the microaggressions that form from inappropriate comments or behaviors, there has been great progress in the workplace for women. Remote work has made me specifically more conscious of this. The word choice and tone I use in emails or the way I present myself in a zoom call are two specific examples of where I see myself second guessing my behavior and appearance as a woman. I naturally put a lot of emotion into an email and I never want to change that. Many women have experienced the moment of typing an email and reading through to find areas where they can make it sound ‘less feminine’. Exclamation points are fun! And exciting! I have been so thoroughly encouraged to be myself in this role at Duet, and I owe it to the genuine connections I have made with the strong women of this organization. On the marketing team I am valued for the creativity and good energy I put into the blogs and the campaigns we run and I am grateful to have that in this workplace.

As I reflected on myself, I wondered if some of the other women of Duet felt the same. Rhys, our incredible co-founder shared with me what it means to be bold in her work environment. “I am consistently driven to be bold in my work environment by reflecting on past successes - I know standing up for my ideas leads to better outcomes for my professional career and for the organizations I’m a part of.” Rhys is involved in many incredible organizations here at USC as well as off campus and still focuses so much time and energy here at Duet. Her passion and commitment to what we do as an organization is contagious!

“Observing and learning from the empowered women I was lucky enough to be around as I grew up and found my calling”

Stephanie Van Sickel is our Head of Business Development and had some amazing insights on how her past experiences have made her the working woman she is today, “I am very much the woman I am today thanks to the many women role models, leaders and mentors that I have had the privilege of having in my life. They taught me the importance of not just pulling yourself up to the next step in your career or life but how vital it is to reach back and make sure to extend a hand to bring other women with you. Building up those around you is just as important as focusing on building yourself up.” Stephanie has increased our awareness and outreach on so many different levels and we are so lucky to have her!

Stephanie also gave us a look into her past work experience coming out of college, "While there were certainly moments when I felt like I had "failed", looking back I am grateful to the younger version of me for being so stubborn and refusing to compromise on my dreams, ambition, or social impact focus- without that experience, I would not be who I am/where I am today!"

Our final look into the Women of Duet is Alani Calip. Alani is a part of both our design and marketing team where she creates and collaborates on almost all of our content output. Alani and I spoke about the importance of professionalism in the workplace and what professionalism means as a woman. As a woman, professionalism means to bring your own values, strengths and confidence to any space. It’s also very important to be respectful and mindful of any opportunity to learn and grow.” All of us women have experienced the overwhelming support of each other in the workplace. We encourage one another to be the best and truest versions of ourselves and form that bond that lifts each other up. Women everywhere are powerful, and we strive to make this count here at Duet.

"In times of doubt and low self-esteem, other women have brought me up by seeing potential in me that I had not yet seen for myself, and gave me the support I needed to know that I am worthy and I don’t need to please anyone but myself. " -Alani Calip