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April 11, 2023

All Up In: Dismantling Patriarchal Norms in Business

All Up In: Dismantling Patriarchal Norms in Business
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Welcome back, friends! I’ve got another solo episode for you all about how women are expected to do business the same way as men, and why it may not be the best way forward.

I also share a piece of badass history about Francis Perkins, a woman who completely changed the way we work here in the U.S.

Don’t forget to smash that subscribe button so you never miss an episode, then come hang with us on Instagram & Twitter!



Music. Welcome to All Up In My Lady Business. I am your host, Mary Nesey. On this podcast, I'll explore the fine line between having it together and losing your shit. Here I share my journey as an entrepreneur, a mom, a wife, a DJ, and randomly a beekeeper. I have no shame and no filter except the ones I use on Instagram. My stories of resilience, a little structure, and a lot of resourcefulness can show you how to take those same things and live your life with your whole ass. Thanks for listening. Music. Alright folks, welcome to All Up in my lady business. Thanks so much for tuning in today. I am doing pretty good, which is weird for me to say out loud. I feel like I am gonna jinx my happiness if I say that I'm feeling happy, which is so dumb. If I say I'm doing okay, I want to like knock on all the wood. Even though so much of what we feel is a mindset and it's a choice. Which is something... It's taken me a really long time to recognize that I can just choose to be happy. Even though I've been getting the message since the early days of MTV, when George Michael, in the video for Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, is wearing a shirt that says, Choose Life, I think he meant choose to be happiness in this life. I don't think it was a pro-choice or a pro-life or actually an anti-choice message. But anyway, I've been. Really realizing that so much of happiness is a choice. And I have been on this weird spiritual journey, feeling like the universe has my back. And I've been trying to pay attention to the patterns and people and things are being put in front of me. I feel like a lot of the times, it's all been happening when I really need to see these things. And I was told about this intuitive healer lady I should talk to. And like, you know, like, why not? I made an appointment, you know, whatever. It's over Zoom. And we have this meeting and I don't really know what I'm going there for. She's like, what are we here to talk about today? And I'm like, I don't know, you tell me. She's like, I'm not a psychic. And I'm like, touche. That's French. Anyway, we start talking and she's telling me like, oh, you know, she said I seem very chaotic, which is not wrong. But then she made me feel great. She cleared my energy, whatever that means. She also cleared John's from a distance, again, whatever that means. And we had a great talk and I felt really good afterwards. She taught me this weird meditation thing that involves, a thing called a Dan Chen, which is like this source in your pelvis that connects to the center of the earth, whatever. It's a long story. But anyway, it's been something that's been kind of nice and I kind of like plug into it and it's fun and it's nice and it makes me feel better. And I made another appointment with her because, you know, why not? So. We had it the other day and again it was great and she gave me like a mantra like apparently when you get a mantra someone has to give it to you and you can't tell anyone what it is. And so she said she could give me one and I was excited to get it. She taught me another way to meditate. I did a lovely talk. And then she like spent the last 15 minutes of the talk about how COVID was manufactured in a lab and Anthony Fauci is the mastermind behind COVID and anyone who got the vaccine is going to die a horrible death and that there was a drug that cost $10 that could have have ended COVID, but since no one can make money on it, they made an experimental mRNA vaccine that's changing everybody's makeup, and the trials killed everybody who tried it. The animals died, and I'm like, well, what was that $10 medication? And she said, ivermectin, and my soul died a little. I was like, stop talking. This is ruining everything. I had never met one of those anti-vaxxer, pro-ivermectin people in the wild before, But I'm just going to take what works and leave the rest now. But while there is such a fine line between woo-woo and that break insanity, hopefully I will always be on the right side of that line. So let's see. In exciting news at Toast & Jam, we got a new head of operations. And I cannot stress enough how important it is to have the right people on the right jobs. And figuring out how to offload the shit you are not good at when you own a business can be very difficult, especially when you start the business, you think you're the only one who can do everything because you've had to kind of make up everything as you go along. And it's a big step for an entrepreneur and a business owner to get to the point where they can start offloading some of those DDs. And it can be a massive fucking win or a crippling. Ego blow when you hire people to take these things on. And sometimes they're maybe better than you ever were at it. And for me, it was a massive win. Because it's steeped in trust and respect, and I am so excited to see where this year goes. Now I've got three full-time employees, and one of the jokes we have in the office is that we're like this three-legged stool. Now that Toast & Jam needs a three-legged stool to keep it solid and running, we are equal parts of it. And right now, I feel like my stool of leadership at Toast & Jam is very fucking solid. And it's a big relief off of my mind. So as anybody who's listened to me knows, I don't drink anymore. And I stopped drinking because of a program called Dynamics that my friend Katie Tomaszewski runs. And she asked me, you know, because I graduated from a year and a half ago and I've gotten a lot of stuff done since I did it, she's like, I would love for you to be running like the goal setting side of the program. And I was like, Oh, like I'm not only a customer, I'm also a brand or whatever. What was the men's warehouse guy? Maybe that round of four doesn't work. What is it? It's like, not only do I own the company, but I'm also a customer. But I don't own Katie's company. I am also a customer, but I'm helping her run it. So anyway, Katie asked me to join this 90-day session to talk about goal setting when you stop drinking. Because when you stop drinking, you've got all this time, and you can use the new brain cells that you are no longer killing to do something with it. And so the first one that I did was about what you wanted to be when you were a kid and what you wanted to be once you got a bit older in college, and then kind of thinking about some goals. Like maybe you weren't doing the job you want to be doing, or maybe you want to buy a house, or maybe you want to be a more plugged-in parent, which I could definitely use my own advice on that. Yeah, so that was the first one. But then the second one we talked about failure. Like when you do try things, you know, like, and you think you didn't do well, like what that means to you and how you react to it. And it got me thinking about all the mistakes I've made in my business. And I've made so. Many mistakes throughout the years. Everyone does. But when I started Toast & Jam, a lot of my decisions were made through the lens of not being a shitty boss. Because I always thought that when decisions were made that I thought were shitty, it was because of non-business reasons. The manager was generally power tripping or just being cruel because they could. Or maybe some of these weren't exactly made well in the first place and should be changed. And I wanted to make sure that I wasn't making rash decisions. And this is one of my power as a business owner is not reacting in the moment and taking the time to get the facts and trying to see things from all perspectives. But I also just wanted to make sure that I wasn't doing anything that seemed just patently uncool or unfair. And I tried not to make decisions that were financially uncool. I wasn't making a whole lot of decisions based on real math. I was making a lot of decisions on what felt right. And that worked out for a while. When I first started the company, my DJs were 10.99s. I would just split the cost. So we charged. You know, $800. They got $400. I got $400. And you know, that was really easy for me to do because I was running the business out of my house and the DJs were $10.99. They were independent contractors. I didn't have to deal with taxes or benefits or any of that stuff. And when you run a business out of your house, the days become the night and you're... It's 4 o'clock in the afternoon and you're still in your pajamas and you're on your fourth meal of the day. And you... And I would stay up working until like 1 o'clock in the morning. It was not a good work-life balance, especially when I started dating John because he'd get home from work and be like, let's do stuff. And I'd be like, oh but I've got all this work to do. So it really made me want to like turn my life into something a bit more organized. And so I decided I had to get an office. And it was great for everybody because it gave the DJs a place to have meetings and it gave me a place to go so I could get there at nine o'clock or ten o'clock in the morning and I could work until six. And I would oftentimes have client meetings at night. But everything was more organized. It was really great for the business on a whole getting a place to go to. But that means that expenses and overhead begins to grow. Rent and the software to make everything happen. Lawyers, accountants. As the wise sage Diddy said, mo' money, mo' problems. And it is really expensive to run a business. And the other side of it is just... In addition to just the money and the amount of time and labor I'm putting into things. Like, I'm taking all the risk, I'm taking all the calls, I'm dealing with all the messes. If there's a bad review at the end of the day, it's the company that is getting the diss, not really the DJ. The DJ might be named in the in the review, but at the end of the day, it all comes back on me. And that's a hard thing to wrap your head around, like what you deserve as a business owner. And I don't think that comes naturally to women, and I don't think it comes naturally to others to give credit to women business owners. And and I had a lot of guilt about. Wanting more money, but there's something like the worth the stress of running the business in the first place. Did I start a business just to be stressed out all the time and always wondering when the other shoe was going to drop, hoping that we wouldn't do anything that someone would sue me into bankruptcy? I remember a few years into the business, it was all working out. We never really had, other than COVID, it was just working. And when there were problems, I had some people around me that really helped me out. And I could bounce ideas off of. My best friend was helping me out with some law stuff because she was a lawyer. And she could advise me lightly here and there. So I had a good scene going. And I remember a few years into the business, it was all working out. And because almost everything in my life ended badly or just burning out, boyfriends or bad jobs. I had done improv and I was successful at that for a while, but then I got kind of fired unceremoniously from that. And my parents were dead and I had friendships that had kind of come and gone. And I just assumed that everything does have an end. Like there's no way that anything can just kind of just continue to be good. Is this how you feel too? Or is that just me? I don't know. And I was just sitting there and wondering when this was all going to implode and I was going to have to find something else because there wasn't a universe where this was just gonna work out just. In general for the rest of my life. And Nancy, my therapist that I've had since 2005, 2004? Longest relationship in my life. I was telling her, I'm like, I just am so worried about when the other shoe's going to drop. And she was like, well, what if it doesn't fall? Like. What if it doesn't fail? What if this is just the right path and you're just good at it, and you figured it all out, and you're going to be fine? And that concept blew my mind. Like, I couldn't believe that this was all just going to work out. And part of it was, if I thought that way, then it was going to fall apart. Like, I almost think I needed the success to sneak up on me and just, like, trick me into realizing it was going to be okay. But the concept just kind of blew my mind that maybe it was all going to work out. And that was like 15 years ago. So it just kind of kept working. There's ups and downs, of course. But it was all just kind of coming along. And then once I got pregnant with Sebastian, I was DJing way less. And at that point, I had a full-time office manager basically running the business, Dina, who was great. And so I was able to finally, for the first time, kind of working on the business, not just in it. Because I had been grinding as a DJ for years and running the business. And if you're just kind of just keeping everything going and not really looking at it, your systems will stay afloat. You won't necessarily grow. And the scaling becomes hard. You're not really going to happen when you're not doing that. But I felt very comfortable with where I was doing things because I was doing everything above board, like paying my taxes and writing things off. I had a really draconian accountant who wouldn't just let me write anything off. Other people I hear write things off and I'm like, my accountant would never let me do that. And I'm wondering if because I don't do anything. Shady, that will be the protection that I will get from an audit because I never do anything wrong. Whatever. That's a different point. Anyway, so I get pregnant with Sebastian, and I'm DJing way less. And so I'm able to look inside the books. And I just start peeking inside of things. I don't really know what I'm looking at. I don't I don't really understand what a P&L is. I don't really understand my balance sheets. I don't understand. And there were some serious issues with my books. I'm not going to lie. Nothing illegal, but just very badly organized. And we were bleeding money all over the place when I started looking into things. We weren't charging enough. And I wasn't accounting for things like what credit card fees were doing, like how much I was paying out in credit card fees, and just not really considering the actual labor that was going into making all this happen. And this is where I had no instincts, and I hated it. So I ignored it until I couldn't. Almost like when I started trying to act like a business person, that was when I had to start making some very uncool business decisions. And. There are probably good ways to make those changes. And I did them the opposite way, like in like an absolute amateur hour. It's because I didn't have instincts for it. And I'm trying to like act like a business person and like make decisions. And like, wow, did the DJs not like it? And there was like almost a coup. We actually refer to that time and time as the coup. They were they were so mad at me. And I didn't know how to deal. And I'm like a hormonal mess because I'd had Sebastian and, you know, and I'm trying to like prove to the world that I can still be a business bitch while having an infant. So like, it was like in beginning of 2015 was when I started like trying to make these changes. And around the time I started weaning Sebastian from breastfeeding a little bit, I was a hormonal mess. I wasn't sleeping very well. Wasn't eating very well. My hormones were so fucked up. Like man, hormones are like, you don't have to, I don't know if you guys understand how much hormones rule your life, but they rule your life. And it was very emotional, and I felt nuts. And I was still trying to be this business person. And all these factors were impacting me in a way that a man's never going to have to experience. And I was mostly making financial decisions without help. I had a bookkeeper and an accountant, but it's almost like you don't know what you don't know. And so you don't know what you should be asking. You don't know what to look up. And there's not a whole lot of books like, so you started a business and don't really know what you're doing, you know, here's how to do it. Like it's, it's sort of like when you have a baby and there's just no consensus on anything. Like I just want consensus. I just want somebody to tell me what to do. Don't you? Don't you just kind of want someone to tell you what to do? So anyway, I'm trying to make decisions that are good for both my employees, for the DJs and for the business, and that can be really hard to pull off. And I had to make decisions that didn't seem fair to my employees. And at the time, they were 1099 contractors, so I actually could be making all these decisions, but I was trying to treat them like employees. It made me realize that all those bad bosses that I had, and some were definitely assholes. I definitely had some shitheads that were my... And it was always management. It was never the owners. It was always the management. We're rewatching Parks and Rec right now with Sebastian, which still, that show is amazing. But it's not as clean as you... I'm hoping a lot of these jokes are going over Sebastian's head, but we're just watching the episodes when Ben Wyatt and Rob Lowe's character, whose name is escaping me, but just came in and they're from the state government and they're there to cut costs and make things more financially stable within the Pawnee Department of Parks and Rec. And Rob Lowe is the good guy who's like, you know, introduces the concept and then Ben Wyatt has to come in and say, like, harsh it. So as Ben Wyatt said, what was his name? Rob Lowe's character. Rob Lowe's character never got anything done, and I was always getting death threats. They put us together so that we could get something done and I could not get killed. So Rob Lowe would be like, Hey guys, we're having a meeting. And then Ben Wyatt would be like, You're all getting fired. And that was whatever. Anyway, I needed to be both Rob Lowe and Ben Wyatt in that situation. And it is hard to pull off. But at any point, all I was saying, all of this is to say is that I had to make some decisions that were best for the business. And I couldn't be the cool boss. And do stuff for all of them with the business. But the problem is that I think my biggest problem is that I wanted to be transparent and tell them why I had to do some of the things I did. Some got it and some didn't. The ones who didn't were super loud about it. I realized that I really am the man, and there is a new wall here, and it's probably never going to go away. My problem, I was trying to be like, hey guys, this is the reason why I have to do these things. All they could see was less money for them or whatever. And I get that 100%. But I realize this is why businesses can be so opaque sometimes. Because when you try to do the right thing and be transparent, some people will get it. And they'll understand, OK, this is, they're the owner of the business and they get to deal with things. All they see are the things that the business is getting and that they aren't versus seeing that the business has to make decisions to make everybody happy. Is this making sense? I don't know. But the problem is the transparency. when you want to tell people why, some people are just not going to get it. They're not going to care. Like, this is the reason why I have to do this shitty thing. All they care about is the shitty thing you're doing, not the reason why. And so this is why some, a lot of decisions get made and they don't seem like they bring the group into the decision because you can't make everybody happy. and. You can do everything for some people and it won't be enough. And that was a really hard lesson to learn. It feels like every time I try to do something good, someone finds a way to shit on it. And I love a stress test. I like figuring out if something is a good idea and squeaky wheels get the grease. And squeaky wheels sometimes point out injustices that you didn't recognize. And I want to always fix those things. But the worst is that this is my company, my business. And so So obviously, no one is going to care about things like I do. And I wanted everyone to know that if you go out there and do a bad job, it's me, my family, all our clients that are going to go down with them, not some faceless corporation. When all this was happening, when I was making all these decisions not based really on math and just trying to force my way through it, and when I was trying to make the business more solid, around the time I'm doing this, I remember talking to some friends about it. I wanted to let them know, I'm making all these decisions based around on my hormones and that really did feel manic and nuts and I'm trying some things out and sometimes I won't be perfect and you know I wouldn't have gone in some of these directions otherwise and I was told not to be honest. If I use like my gender as a reason why things were not going as well or that I made some kind of crazy decisions like based on my gender or my hormones etc it would always make me look weak and stupid like you can't say you know sorry I made those weird decisions or I didn't think it all the through I was a hormonal mess. And but the thing is, is I was, I was a hormonal mess. And I and while these decisions that I was making the thought behind making them was good, my, my way of doing them wasn't great. And, and part of it is that, like, I didn't even know, like, no one really tells you how much the hormones are going to fuck with your head. And so I didn't even realize how I was making some of these decisions with weird hormonal shit involved. And, you know, It's like when you're told that you have to make decisions like a man, no one really cares the reason why you do things. They just care what you did. And that to me doesn't seem cool. Like in retrospect, it was my truth. You know, like I was going through some fucked up times. And if Brene Brown had been in my life then giving me the permission to let it all out and say exactly what was happening, as we have all learned that vulnerability is the way, that maybe would have gone differently, but that isn't what happened. And eventually, I realized that you have to raise prices to be able to cover higher expenses. Something I was very loath to do, because charging what I'm worth, Are you kidding me? Asking people for money? It's hard. And I also needed help from trusted advisors, not just like random people in my life. And I hired my first business coach around that time. And around that time, we made the insane decision to convert all the DJs from 1099 to W2. And that was a wild ride that perhaps I will save for another time. So anyway, the world and especially the business world was built for men. And that doesn't exactly make room for women to be exactly what we are and it needs to change. Support for this podcast is brought to you by Toast & Jam DJs, my very super cool DJ company located here in Chicago, Illinois. If you are having any kind of party, a wedding, a birthday, a jamboree, maybe an office party, a gala, shrimp boil, store opening, we've done some 5Ks. If you need music for anything, you probably need us. We have also added to our things that we do, photo booths. And our photo booths are super cute. They're pink and they've got a sequined backdrop and they can make gifts and boomerangs that can be texted out from the booth at the party. They're very cool. So if that is something that you want, in theory, this ad is for local to the Chicagoland area, but you know, money's the same color everywhere. So if you want to fly us to wherever you are. Especially if you are in the general Hawaii vicinity, perhaps. We have done a lot of destination events and we will make it very awesome indeed. Go to, check out our website and give us a hire. I got a lot to talk about in this episode. Geez Louise. So I watch a lot of Jeopardy! And one time I was watching it and there was a woman, I maybe even talked about this before, But it just stuck with me. She was like when they were doing a little interview, like the first half of the first round, and they come back and they do little interviews. The funny story that the woman was telling was that she was studying for the bar exam while she was in active labor. And she was like sitting on like a labor ball, like bouncing, trying to get herself to like go into labor while like reading law journals and trying to absorb the information. And she gave birth and she took the bar exam like three days after her kid was born. And that just blew my fucking mind. I was like, how did you do that? I mean, women are capable of crazy things. Some people go back to work after two weeks after giving birth. But when that woman was talking about giving birth and then taking the bar exam three days later, and she passed it. That's the crazy thing is that she passed it. I was thinking to myself, I know in the world we can't give different things to everyone. We can't take into consideration every single person's situation when deciding the systems that we are working within. Like, it is an example of how our systems are created for men. Like, shown in this example of becoming a lawyer, the whole system of how you become a lawyer is based on someone who has no other things going on in their lives. Like, my. Best friend's a lawyer and she was, like, I didn't see her for three years while she was in school. That's all she did was went to law school and studied for law school. She didn't have a job. She just was in law school. And that was how her life was set up. And you know, men are set up to run this way. Like they can step away from anything at any point. They're never gonna have a baby hanging off of their boob. You know, they can say, don't bother me and do what they want to do. And women are expected to drop whatever they're doing to take care of their kids or life stuff and then cram in the outside world and work and all those other things and then feel guilty because we can't 100% do either of those. Things. And during the pandemic, John's job just went from being in an office to home. And he just worked from home, and he was expected to be, quote unquote, like on the clock, like at work for eight hours. And it was like, sorry, I can't do these things. I have to work. And because my job, I'm the boss, and I can technically make my own time, John wasn't able to help in some ways. He really did. I mean, I'm not saying this to be critical of John. It's more just the system. It was like, John's job couldn't become more of the hybrid-y, like, walking away to like take care of Sebastian or whatever. And I had to take care of Sebastian and get him through class, like online school and all the daytime stuff. While my business was cratering, every bride in Chicago was cursing my name. And I was trying to get all my shit together for the very complicated PPP loans and SBA loans and trying to find money and dealing with how to navigate. Like when I got the PPP loans, how to get the money to the D, it was insane. And I ended up. You know, staying up really late and working because I had to deal with my business here. And I was doing it all like sort of half in the bag because I was drinking like crazy during that time. But we eventually had to get like a full-time, you know, tutor nanny to come in and be with Sebastian during the day because I couldn't deal and John couldn't deal. And you know, it's a lot. So I guess my point is... Most women start businesses not because they went to business school. They almost always when I meet women who start their own businesses It's born from necessity like oh my god. I need money. How can I get more money? Oh, I did something once that someone liked and someone paid me to do it So I started a business like I very rarely. Meet someone because they went to school for something and they started a business right out of school for that men do that They're rarely making businesses out of desperation Sometimes they're taking over family companies or they got an entry-level job at a firm and then they worked their way up and then decided to hang out their own shingle because they didn't want to work for somebody else. They already come into it with like a ton of experience. Women always have a story. Often out of necessity or desperation. They're rarely taking over family companies or like started a company and thought they could do it better. Like I had to make my own opportunity. No one was handing out DJ companies at the bus station. Like you know, so how women work is that we hold up white male dominated and created systems by trying to seem manly or fit into that male role. So as women business owners, you do what you need to do for you in your life, in your business, not because you have to. I mean, we're all kind of existing within this like white male dominated, you know, patriarchal capitalist created systems. And we have to act like white guys to fit into that role. And, you know, when you're a woman and you're own a business, you do what you have to do for you in your life and your business, you know, because you have to. You know, and honestly, men don't benefit from it either. The only real benefit that men actually benefit from in the patriarchy is wearing suits to work, because they are so warm. So they are okay in the Arctic blast of AC that is in most office buildings, which have to be set to Antarctic level because they wear suits and they're too hot. And women are not wearing suits and work cold all the time. It's very much a chicken and egg situation. So we have to push against the norms, push against what women are supposed to do or things won't change. And really analyze your failures or what you thought were failures or what you, did or didn't do. Things that didn't go the way you expected. The answer is in there. It might be because you weren't vulnerable enough, but it also might be that the world is just, stacked against you. And you've got to be honest and true to yourself. Trust your gut and your feelings and your decisions and your business. I hate the statement that it's not personal, it's business. When you own the business, it is personal. I don't know how to take my person out of it. Who will be enacting it all? You can't separate it. But what you can do is be real and truthful about it. And sometimes you have to make decisions for the business because if you don't, it's going to be bad for me personally. And I do feel that when people say that it's not personalist business. They're making shitty decisions that are bad in general, and the only gain is more money. And if making more money is the decision, that's not a good reason to make a decision. It should be making to make things more solid. You take a grocery store doing self-checkout. I know that decision was made because corporate looked at a P&L and was like, wow, our labor costs are like 40% of our expenses. And heaven forbid, we spend our money paying people. So they're like, I bet everyone wishes they could scan their own boxes of Triscuits and look up the price of a bell pepper, and then have the scream at them when an unknown object appears in the bagging area. And if we do that, it will erase 20 jobs and then we can give that money to our shareholders. They're real MVPs of how to run a grocery store. But no one likes self checkout. And that savings is not passed on to us. These decisions are all made just to make more money not to make the. Business run better, not to make more people more solid in their jobs. Every shitty business decision I have ever made has been personal. Like, I would love to know your thoughts on this. Have you ever had to make a shitty business decision or were you the victim of a shitty business decision? Did you have to take the bar exam while in active labor? Let me know. So, one more thing. I am recording this on the 112th anniversary of the Triangle Shear Waste Factory disaster of 1911, where the owner of that said factory had locked all the doors and trapped the workers inside because he was worried that the workers who were mostly really young women might steal something. He was concerned that they were going to steal blouses that they were making in the factory. So he locked all the doors and then would look for their bags when they left. And a fire breaks out and everybody was either burned alive or died trying to jump out of the windows and they were on like the 11th floor. Like they were up pretty high. And so every, like 147 people died that day. And one of the people that witnessed that fire was a woman named Frances Perkins, who at the time was the head of the National Consumers League, which urged people to use their buying power to demand better conditions and wages for workers. And she organized a committee in the wake of this fire to make sure that there's some kind of victory from this tragedy. So she started out making a committee for fire safety in factories. She was running it four years later. And one of the things they did, I think I should have looked this up before coming on and talking about it, but one of the safety practices that they put in was that all doors have to open out. Instead of in because one of the things that trapped the people in the office was the door opened in and everyone was pushing against it and a bunch of people got crushed. And I mean, it's like it's one of the biggest labor tragedies that this country has ever experienced. And so she worked in fire safety and then she went on to tackle sanitation conditions and then investigations into long hours and low wages and child labor and overworking of women. And then like some places we give homework by the factories, we take it home by the women to do. So she was working to get rid of that and much of what they recommended in this Commission became the state law in New York. And then she wound up over much objection from the other men in office. She was named to the New York State Industrial Commission to help weed out corruption that was weakening all of these new laws. And then in 1933 she became the first woman appointed to a presidential cabinet. And she was named the Secretary of Labor under FDR. And she became the driving force of the WPA, the. Works Progress Administration, and got the government to spend billions on public works that employed almost a million people and helped end the Depression, like all those awesome murals in post offices, and they helped build fences. I mean, it was like this huge public work to give work to people. And it helped end of the Depression, it ended the Depression. And then In 1935, FDR signed underneath her tutelage as being the Secretary of Labor, he signed the Social Security Act. In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was established, which established a minimum wage, maximum hours, and banned child labor. And all of this because she happened to be standing there when the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire broke out. She created our nation's basic social safety net. And this is why, as I've said 85 million times, representation matters. A lot of people saw that fire and most were like, oh, well, that's terrible. If only there was something we could do about it. And she felt like she could, and she did. And she went on to make some of the most positive and consequential legislation in this country that is all being chipped away right now. And this is why we need to make sure that it's not only white guys in charge, so that anyone who isn't a white guy is actually considered. You know, like, this is why you need women in there, because they're the ones who are going to say, you can't make children work just to make extra money. Like, that doesn't make the child's life any better. It barely makes the family the child works for any better. Like, how about we just pay the adults more so the kids don't have to work? Like, it's all of this sort of common sense shit. And when left to their own devices, most business owners won't necessarily make the right choices or think about their workers when they're making their decisions. Anyway, drop me a voicemail. There's a link to the voicemail page in the show notes. And you can also just go to and click on the green tab on the right side that says, leave me a voicemail. I said a lot of things in this episode. Maybe you've got something to say about it. Thanks for listening to All Up in My Lady Business, a podcast from a Mary Nisi production. It is written by me, Mary Nisi. It is edited by Amelia Ruby with Softer Sounds. It is recorded at the Toast & Jam offices in Logan Square in Chicago, Illinois. And it is also sometimes recorded in the attic of my house in Evanston. You can find resources and links from this episode in the show notes at all up in And if you enjoyed this episode, and you did, smash that subscribe button and send it to somebody who's asked. Could be a whole lot wholer. Oh, and also if you're the kind of person that reviews things on the internet, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. It really does help people find the show. And don't forget, whatever you do this week, do it with your whole ass. Thanks for listening. Music.