Bossed Up CEO: How women can have healthier careers

Emilie Aries, CEO and founder of Bossed Up, discusses how women can close gender gaps in leadership by having healthier, sustainable careers.

Emilie Aries
Emilie Aries

What is Bossed Up?
Our mission is to help close gender gaps in leadership by empowering women to live happy, healthy, and sustainable careers. Women are much more likely to ascend the ranks if they feel supported along the way.

I started Bossed Up last July. Our bootcamp development program also offers women the chance to have a professional headshot taken, deals on business cards, a workout class, and a happy hour night.

Why is this important for women?
Before investing in myself, I focused entirely on work as though it was a sprint, and it took complete burnout and a near crisis for me to recognize I should be training for life like a marathon instead.

Women are less likely than men to invest in their personal well-being. Men are 35% more likely to take breaks just to relax, according to the Captivate Network. Women are much more likely to juggle social goals that involve caring for others, in addition to their own workload, than men, leading to inefficient multitasking, feelings of guilt, role overload, and burnout.

Is your approach resonating with women?
Within one month, we had 100 women apply and about 250 women have signed up in total.

Washington, DC, is such a dichotomy of a city: It’s equally filled with hopeful altruists who want to change the world for the better, and their burnt-out counterparts who are exhausted from trying to do so. With so many of us focused on the changes we wish to see in the world, we sometimes need a reminder to start with ourselves. We have also done bootcamps in Texas and Massachusetts.

How do you promote the bootcamps?
It’s a combination of personal relationships and online organizing. We reach out to like-minded groups and offer them the opportunity to join us.

We maintain a robust online presence – communicating with members through email or on social media.

What have women taken away from bootcamp?
Women who have never discussed a salary offer are now negotiating raises and our graduates are becoming entrepreneurs and "intrapreneurs," leading change and initiatives within their organizations.

One woman who attended a bootcamp dumped a legal career she had known was wrong for her to open a dessert catering business.   

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