I love my husband and my family, but the women in my life (pictured above) breathe energy into me in a way that only a girlfriend can. With a quick laugh, a heavy cry, fun on the town, deep introspective thoughts about life, science, politics and social injustices, or light and airy banter about something funny, weird, uplifting or crazy that just happened to us.
I always know when I haven’t spent enough time with my girls. I feel heavy, tired, empty and lonely. It’s easy to make excuses about being too busy or too tired to go out for a ‘girls’ night,’ but the truth is, our girlfriends need us as much as we need them. Research shows that there are measurable health benefits to spending time with your girlfriends. According to a UCLA study, women have a biological need to maintain close connections. In times of stress, women experience a survival response called “tend and befriend” that compels them to protect their kids and connect with other women.
In a University of Michigan study, scientists found that women produce mood-boosting and stress-relieving hormones when they feel emotionally close to other women. Finding a group of women that will encourage you to be exactly who you are is essential to your happiness and your health. We need to prioritize spending time with our close girlfriends, especially when we feel overwhelmed or lonely. Take some time to reach out to your closest friends today. Schedule a lunch or a night out – doctor’s orders!
Looking for a fun way to spend time with your girlfriends?
The Rock What You Got: Women’s Summit will take place this September 13th and 14th at the Earle Brown Heritage Center (the same venue where we held our January event). This time around we have a few new ideas to make the Rock What You Got experience even better! The weekend will be full of interactive experiences, workshops, and demonstrations that span 2 days and 3 separate events. Events will include the Friday Leadership Symposium, Friday night’s Concert, and Saturday’s Expo. Tickets are sold separately for each event, but all access passes are available, and we encourage everyone to join us for the full weekend! Click here to learn more.
Tickets are on sale now! Get yours now to take advantage of the EARLY BIRD discount. Hurry! Prices increase August 7th!
Last December we officially changed our name from the Twin Cities Women’s Expo to Rock What You Got. We did this because we felt like the old name and event didn’t fully represent the women of today. For us, Rock What You Got is an anthem call for everyone to embrace their uniqueness and encourage others to do the same – without apology and without guilt. Our mission is to elevate Minnesota’s most essential female voices in music, business, theater, and community. We got our start this past January with our first two-day Rock What You Got event, and we’re continuing to move onwards and upwards with our second two-day event, the Rock What You Got: Women’s Summit!
The Women’s Summit will take place this September 13th and 14th at the Earle Brown Heritage Center (the same venue where we held our January event). This time around we have a few new ideas to make the Rock What You Got experience even better! The weekend will be full of interactive experiences, workshops, and demonstrations that span 2 days and 3 separate events. Events will include the Friday Leadership Symposium, Friday night’s Concert, and Saturday’s Expo. Tickets are sold separately for each event, but all access passes are available, and we encourage everyone to join us for the full weekend!
Here’s a closer look at our 3 summit events:
THE LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM – Friday, September 13th // 9:00am – 7:00pm A full-day professional development conference, designed to elevate your “game” and give you the tools to develop stronger leadership, business, and career skills. Plus, become a fierce supporter of other women. This year, our theme for The Symposium will be “Women Empowering Women.” At this event you will experience workshops, demonstrations, and networking. We’ll tackle tough subjects on diversity, negotiation, mentorship and more.
There will be 3 educational tracks available to you throughout the day:
THE CONCERT – Friday, September 13th // 7:00pm – 10:00pm Friday evening will be a time to unwind at our second Rock What You Got Concert. This event is a continuation of our ongoing entertainment series that strives to showcase some of the most talented local female performers in the Twin Cities. Our headliners include Tina Schlieske of Tina & the B-Sides and Jearlyn Steele. They will be joined by the Steele band plus other special comedy and theater guests. Bring your friends and relax with a night of music and fun!
THE EXPO – Saturday, September 14th // 10:00am – 6:00pm Remember the Twin Cities Women’s Expo? This is it! Except we’ve reimagined it to do more for the women of today, with plenty of interactive experiences, workshops, demonstrations and fitness classes. We’re using this expo to place an emphasis on women owned businesses and locally made products and services. Come and learn something new, meet Minnesota entrepreneurs, buy local, and enjoy this day for you!
Currently, we are looking for exhibitors and offering scholarships to women and minority owned businesses. If you know someone that might be a great fit for this event, let us know! For more exhibitor information and to apply, click here.
We are all SO busy…all the time. It seems like there’s hardly a spare moment to spend with friends let alone organize a girls night out. The good news is, today is National Best Friends Day, and if that isn’t the perfect excuse to call up your besties, we don’t know what is. After all, it’s no secret that our schedules will always be busy. So, it’s up to us to make time for the people and things we care about the most, right?
Here’s the plan: you gather the girls, we’ve got the “Night Out” part covered. On June 28th, bring your entourage to the Pay Gap Comedy Tourat the Parkway Theater. We’ll start with dinner and a drinks at El Burrito Minneapolis– plus a few surprise goodies, special guests, & priority seating for the main event (all of which comes included in the $40 VIP ticketadd-on). Next, everyone will meet at the Parkway Theater for music and comedy performed by an all-woman lineup!
This is a night to celebrate and lift up ourselves and each other with positivity, laughter, and Woman-Power.
You’ll also be helping us do a little good; a portion of the evenings proceeds will go to support Breaking Freeto fight sex trafficking in Minnesota, and Casa de Esperanza to help victims of domestic abuse.
If you look at the list of top 10 highest paid comedians in 2018, you will notice that they all have one big thing in common – they’re all male. So why aren’t any female comedians making the big bucks? Do they simply have less creativity or talent? We don’t think so. If you saw our blog last week about why we named our upcoming comedy event the Pay Gap Comedy Tour, you’ll already know that we think women are missing from lists like this because they don’t have the same access to the opportunities, leadership roles, or success that could land them there.
Here’s the thing, it’s not just comedy. This story repeats itself to women across all artistic fields and beyond. According to the Strategic National Arts Alumni project, the difference in men and women’s annual income across all arts jobs is $20,000. For a long time, art created by women was seen as less valuable, and the effects of that are still felt today. Luckily, we can help re-write that story by supporting our women artists – and here are a few great reasons for doing so:
Attending female performances helps lend value and importance to women-made art. It has the power to show others that this art is worthwhile.
It gives female artists more access to resources that could lead to more opportunities and success in their field.
When we celebrate female performers, we legitimize them and challenge the way we and others think about women in creative spaces.
We want more women to feel empowered to own their stage and express who they are. Supporting female artists is one way to help show the world the value of all things created by women, whether it’s a stand-up comedy set, a small business, or a community initiative.
Here’s a question: how is the gender pay gap still a thing? How are women still facing this in 2019? As much as we wish it wasn’t true, the pay gap is alive and well and that’s a hard pill to swallow – which makes it easy to ignore instead. It’s easy to think it doesn’t affect us much on our home soil, but according to U.S. census data analyzed by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Minnesota women only make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. That gap is even wider for women of color. When the AAUW analyzed the national statistics by race, they found African American women come in at 61 cents, Latina women at 53 cents, and American Indian women at 58 cents for every dollar a white man makes. As an organization that strives to elevate the powerful female voices of our community, this is an issue we can’t ignore.
In fact, we found ourselves face-to-face with the gender gap just a few months ago when we saw a big announcement about a new comedy tour promoting an entirely male line-up. We couldn’t help but wonder, “where are the women?” So, we gathered some of the most talented female comedians we know from around the Twin Cities and created our own event: The Pay Gap Comedy Tour.
You might be wondering, “what does the pay gap have to do with comedy?” The pay gap isn’t funny, but we choose to use laughter, positivity, and some bad-ass local comedians to take a stand against inequality. To us, it’s not just about money, the pay gap is a systemic reflection of gender disparity on many levels. It’s a measure of our access to opportunities, leadership roles, and success. These gaps become even more apparent in traditionally “male dominated fields” – like comedy. The numbers show that women don’t feel encouraged to step into the limelight; and in some cases, they might feel actively discouraged from doing so. We’re here to say, it’s ok to be LOUD, take up s p a c e, step into center stage and shine!
We are also taking this opportunity to support a few organizations dedicated to stopping violence against women. Portions of the proceeds from the evening will go to Breaking Free to fight sex trafficking in Minnesota, and Casa de Esperanza to help victims of domestic abuse.
Women’s History Month is winding to a close and we are spending this final week highlighting some of most powerful voices in our community. This past January, we had the pleasure to include the following list of incredible women’s organizations at our Rock What You Got event. These organizations are helping the women of Minnesota rock what they have through philanthropy, entrepreneurship, activism, and more!
Do something for yourself today and check out these amazing organizations. After all, whether it’s women’s history month or not, anytime is a good time to join an organization that focuses on supporting women. Click on any of the names below to learn more – and if there are any others we absolutely need to include in our September event, let us know in the comments!
The Ann Bancroft Foundation inspires and encourages girls to imagine something bigger. We strive to build confidence and offer tools that will allow a girl to go after her dreams and feel supported along the way. Through grants, mentorship, and ongoing development opportunities, the Ann Bancroft Foundation is giving Minnesota girls strength to achieve their full potential.
We are a Black Woman owned Minnesota Specific Public Benefit Corporation. We provide cultural wealth and financial education to foster skills, capacity, and needed social capital to build generational wealth among Historical Black Women.
GRW’s programming is tailored to realize a vision of a world in which women are guaranteed their human rights to equality and freedom from violence. It is vital that the implementation of VAWG laws is victim-centered and holds offenders accountable. GRW’s programming incorporates an understanding that multiple forms and systems of oppression affect women and girls ability to be free from violence.
Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Jeremiah prepares determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school, and reduces generational dependence on public assistance.
MAIA is a free searchable national guide to women-owned products and services for your home and business.
Think of her as your personal assistant helping you find a co-working space, a cup of coffee, a website development firm, a building company, a professional development association, plus thousands more! With equality as our baseline, every business listed in the directory is at least 50% women-owned.
The National Association of Women Business Owners – Minnesota Chapter (NAWBO-MN) provides a local avenue for women entrepreneurs to connect with their peers. Women business owners, large and small, join together for regular networking, educational programs, mentorship and support. Nationally, NAWBO was founded in 1975 to open doors for women entrepreneurs by transforming public policy and leveling the playing field. Representing the issues and concerns of women-owned businesses at the national, state and local levels, NAWBO is in the forefront of advocating on behalf of women business owners and the issues that impact their companies.
She Rock She Rock (SR2) is a Minnesota nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls, women, trans and nonbinary folks through the art of music. We provide an inclusive environment that values collaboration and diversity, develops leadership skills and fosters self-confidence. Through our music education programs and events, we believe that creative expression can evoke social change, challenge gender stereotypes and encourage support within, to positively impact individuals and the community.
We have a clear sense of purpose, values, and integrity of our organization. We are a Team. We value relationships, community, life-long learning, mentoring and an atmosphere of shared empowerment. We support all women who work or live in Minnesota, providing opportunities both personally and professionally. We believe in leadership development, from entry level up to the C-suite. We give back to the community and inspire others to do the same.
The WBDC-MN provides WBE Certification to majority-owned women’s businesses in Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota. The WBE Certification is national in scope and issued by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). It is accepted by over a thousand major corporations and public agencies in the country. In addition, the WBDC-MN offers training, mentoring, networking and business development opportunities to WBEs.
Women in Networking (WIN) is a Twin Cities based organization in which women in business encourage one another’s professional growth and business success. Our members are a mix of female entrepreneurs, business owners and key players in business to business services.
The WIN experience is designed to be motivating and rewarding for women who value and actively practice the principles and process of networking and lifting up other women in business.