What was your inspiration for writing your book Skirt! Rules for the Workplace?
Kelly Love Johnson: The idea for Skirt! Rules for the Workplace came from an essay I wrote for Skirt!’s March 2006 issue the month after Betty Friedan died. It was called "Being Betty" and tried to answer the question "who will step up to fill her shoes?" Meaning, who will be our next Betty? Who will fight for our workplace rights? Who will help us close the wage gap? Break the glass ceiling? Change the fact that there are only seven female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list? My answer was that we should ALL step up — at the very least, work to close our own personal wage gap. After the essay ran in Skirt!, the director of The Center for Women in Charleston, Jennet Robinson Alterman, asked me if I would put a workshop together for young women to help prepare them for the working world, focusing on things like negotiating salary, picking your battles, not baking for the office (because we don’t have to act like men to get ahead at work, we just have to stop acting like their mothers), etc. I loved doing the workshops and my boss Nikki Hardin (Skirt!’s founder and publisher) encouraged me to use the energy and passion I was getting from being on my soapbox and channel it into a book proposal.
I just posted the original essay from March of 2006 here. And that’s how it all started!