“Being an organiser is being an entrepreneur of social change.”
The story begins with a daughter whose father’s mobile job selling antiques made for a mobile family. Seeing her father succeed outside a 9-5 job inspires the young woman to seek a life on her own terms, always on the move and looking for a career built on purpose, not necessity. This isn’t everyone’s story: but it is Gloria Steinem’s. Looking back on her childhood decades later, Steinem doesn’t hesitate to attribute her legendary career to the path her father paved. “It took me a while to realise that he had really done me a favour. He really made it possible for me to be a freelance writer, be part of the social justice movement, and never have a job either,” she reflects.
Now in her 80’s, Steinem is a world-renowned author, speaker and organiser who’s been active in the political space since the late 1960’s—and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Joined onstage at the Create & Cultivate conference in NYC by Amy Richards, a longtime friend and collaborator, Steinem spoke to a rapt crowd of hundreds about everything from her beginnings as a writer to her entrepreneurial tips for young women who are just getting started.
On being an entrepreneur:
She’s known as a feminist, writer and producer, but not everyone may consider Steinem an entrepreneur in the traditional regard. When asked what emails are sitting in her inbox currently, Steinem mentions the multitude of introductions she makes on a regular basis—something she refers to as organizing 101. After all, she insists, “being an organizer is being an entrepreneur of social change.”
Storytelling plays a more important role in entrepreneurship than is often highlighted, but as a prolific communicator, Steinem emphasized the importance of sharing your entrepreneurial journey with those around you. “The more you tell your stories, your dreams, your entrepreneurial hopes… the more you’ll see you’re not alone.”