Win Friends and Influence People — and Drink Wine!

What’s not to love about an event that lets you meet great new people, share cool ideas, win fun prizes, and have a discounted glass of delicious wine? Personally, I think that sounds like a great way to unwind after work, and it’s why I have attended each of the three Washington, D.C., Cocktails and Convos events sponsored by AAUW to date. (OK, so it didn’t hurt that I won an awesome prize the first time!)

Cocktails and Convos

Because I was the featured guest and speaker of the evening for January’s event, you might think that it would be stressful and somehow less fun for me to attend. But it turns out to be exactly the opposite! Sure, I was a bit intimidated to be speaking to some of the most powerful feminists in the country about my fledgling company and my background. This group, however, was engaged, asked excellent questions, and I could feel that they were rooting for my success and hoping for my eloquence while I was speaking. Following my brief speech and a question-and-answer session, I got to talk to even more members of the gathering, trade business cards, and enjoy their company and kindness.

The company I spoke about is my own new endeavor, Female Equality Matters, of which I am the founder and CEO. What is it? It’s an independent certification that allows consumers to know that a company or part of a company, nonprofit, or college or university has an exceptional percentage of top leadership roles filled by women. It’s a way to “vote with your dollars” for those entities that value women not just for the money they spend, but also for their talent at the top levels of the organization. The easiest way to know which entities are Female Equality Matters certified is to look for the logo on the products themselves, but there is also an ever-growing list available on our website at

When women band their 85 percent of all consumer spending together to give preference to the products and services of those entities that value our talent, the changes that can be made to advance the number of women in top leadership — as well as the speed at which they can be made — will astound all of us.

If you’re in the D.C. area, be sure to join us at the next Cocktails and Convos event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 8 at Firefly.

“They [women] are the best index of the coming hour … any remarkable opinion or movement shared by women will be the first sign of revolution.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

This post was written by guest blogger Kathlene Mullens, founder and CEO of Female Equality Matters. It has been cross-posted from AAUW Dialog. Join AAUW tomorrow, Feb. 8, for our next batch of Cocktails & Convos! There's no cost to register here.