Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn’t always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.
Who: Wendy Diamond
What: Founder & CEO of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO), LDP Ventures, #ChooseWOMEN, and Animal Fair Media Inc.
Where: New York, New York
I am an early bird and love it! Every morning I wake up at 6 a.m. on the dot with no alarm needed, but during the month of November in preparation for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day around the world, I open my eyes at 5 a.m. Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is recognized annually on November 19th, and the U.S. House of Representatives celebrates the WEDO movement on this day as “A Day in Honor of Women Entrepreneurs” under the leadership of Congresswoman Grace Meng.
First thing when I wake up, I stretch with a big smile on my face ready to take on the world — literally! Happy, my funny lil’ rescue pup, jumps on me and we play. Most importantly, he reminds me to HAVE FUN! We start every day this way. Every single morning, before any communication or anything, I must have two cups of French roast in a French press with steamed oat milk (yep, been a vegetarian since I was 7 years old)! Then I shower and soak for 20 minutes in a magnesium flake hot Rituals Bubble bath.
This morning I am speaking with our WEDO Pakistan team, led by two true rock star women entrepreneurs, Anum Kamran and Aisha Mahmood Butt. They are updating me on officially partnering with the Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry Lahore Pakistan Division and the Chief Minster of Punjab. Our movements ignite women leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to initiate startups, drive economic expansion and advance communities worldwide. It is so inspiring to hear the impact these women have on other women’s life. This is the reason why I started this movement in the first place!
Our mission is to accelerate and educate the world on the importance of why it is pivotal to empower women in business globally. Our WEDO summits around the world convene business leaders, change makers, government officials and civil society to collaborate and find solutions in critical areas of entrepreneurship ecosystems, education and policy creation to empower women in business. WED is celebrated at the United Nations, in 144 countries, and across 65 universities and colleges internationally. When women are elevated financially, that allows communities, states and countries to prosper. This builds a global blueprint to alleviate and eradicate poverty. It is super exciting and humbling to see the impact of a lil’ dream I had while volunteering in Honduras for the Adelante foundation; now, it is all over the world!
Call with Joan M. Indart-Etienne, Master Ambassador Principal of Restart Academy. We sponsor 24 students to attend #WED2019 at the United Nations, and we support Restart Academy, which provides educational services for 13- to 21-year-old students in transitional settings. This includes juvenile justice, substance use treatment, mental/behavioral health treatment, hospitals, social services agencies, and other temporary or involuntary settings. Truly, we make their dreams come true by giving these enthused young girls the exposure and opportunity to be inspired and network with successful women leaders and game changers, such as Grammy Award Winner Missy Elliott and Falon Fatemi. Falon was the youngest girl ever to be hired by Google and has now raised $36 million for her new company NODE.IO! My favorite aspect of this relationship is that one of our best interns, Bianca Salvador, introduced us to her Aunt Joan.
Meeting with my dear friend Andy Goldman and his NYU film class, which is editing our foundation’s 2019 Impact Video. They’ve been streaming through hundreds of videos that our WED team has submitted, and we have to literally cut this into 3 minutes! WEDO’s ambassador team has made a huge impact this year. Achievements include funding 500 Syrian refugee girls to attend high school in Jordan. The Saudi Arabia WED team hosted a nation-wide entrepreneurship training program for 60,000 female college students and early-stage entrepreneurs. Twenty-five young women received funding to launch their own businesses. In New York City at the United Nations, WEDO donated 1,000 micro-loans to impoverished women so they can start their own businesses. In Oman, the WED ambassador announced an initiative to empower women and girls by using their vote against arranged marriage. In Uruguay, a partnership with a local university offered 20 scholarships to the girls present at the WED summit. The WED Philippines team educated 1,000 rural women with financial literacy – truly the greatest team!
My fabulous friend Carolyn Vaeth comes over to help, as I have decided this year I will make a more proper speech. LOL! I am beyond embarrassed to speak about myself because sometimes I don’t know how I have done what I have done. She is great at getting me to focus on some of the important stuff which sometimes I don’t think is important! I am not one to boast about myself, nor do I really think I am successful yet. I am a survivor of a stalker-bully who completely ruined my life in 2011. It’s taken me a little while to realize the experience was a blessing. I truly just love working to help the world. You can do anything in this world when you don’t care who gets the credit!
Meditate in the car as I drive down to celebrate the opening of Lekka. I can meditate anywhere, thanks to the two-week trial of Headspace. Yes, even in crazy New York City traffic! My life is quite hectic, so any second when I can stop, breathe and close my eyes is heaven. Sometimes the drivers have to wake me up!
It’s the Friends and Family Opening of LEKKA in Tribeca! My dear friend and entrepreneur extraordinaire Andrea Kerzner partnered with famed #ChooseWOMEN chef Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen to create one of the best veggie burgers ever! Andrea is a rock star. She’s the Founder and CEO of Lalela Project, Co-creator of themoreweshare.com, and Director of the Board of Kerzner International Holdings Limited. WEDO partnered with her organization Lalela Project to help make the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer awards impactful. They provide educational arts for impoverished at-risk youth in the poorest communities to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit. Girls in this program create the original pieces of art specifically designed for each of our Pioneer Awards!
Time for some emails and follow up. GlamGlow’s Founder (who was last year’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day beauty Pioneer Award recipient) had a baby girl! Ramona and Dorinda from Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York are emailing me about logistics. A speaker cancelled — rallied another speaker. There’s an email with a video of the Oklahoma City Mayor announcing Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, thanks to WEDO Ambassador Erika Lucas! The inventor of the USB, Dov Moran, is joining WED Israel. A volunteer cancelled, and a friend is stepping up to support. My sister loved her birthday gift. I edit the bios of our WEDO Pioneer Awards to send to Congresswoman Grace Meng. They will officially be placed in the congressional record! LOL. Truly, all of this is fabulous. The ups and downs are worth everything knowing the impact we have had since launching in 2013!
My pet project, LDP Ventures, is where I invest in social impact! The founder of one of my companies I advise and invested in, IPWE — which is disrupting the IP/patent ecosystem — is in town from Paris with his wife. They are taking us for pizza: B Side Pizza, the best kale pizza on earth! I absolutely love technology and the innovative positive social impact this will have on the world, especially in supporting the underdog. I’m excited to collaborate on this to make the world a better place.
I’m done with the day and feeling grateful! It’s time to head to my couch.