Katie Fiore is the founder of Her Future Work, a social impact organization dedicated to using the future of work to create positive change and opportunity for women.
During her successful career in digital marketing and advertising, Katie saw firsthand how advances in technology and automation were impacting jobs and how women were at great risk of being left behind. Channeling her frustration into action, Katie created Her Future Work to help create a future that works for all women.
Katie is also the founder and force behind Brooklyn to the Catskills, a lifestyle blog dedicated to using the Catskills lifestyle to inspire tourism and entrepreneurship throughout NY.
We recently sat down with Katie to talk about Her Future Work, Brooklyn to the Catskills, and how she uses Logic to create and communicate with stakeholders.
Can you tell us about your background and what got you here today?
I’ve been professionally working in advertising and digital marketing for my entire career, and I think it was three years ago that I noticed how much of our work was being automated. We started using algorithms and models more and more to do the media planning and buying. I noticed a lot of our clients were talking about implementing technology for quote-on-quote “human-less” transactions. Our clients were needing less and less of our work, and our livelihood was starting to be threatened. This got me really concerned about technology and the future of work in general. I started doing a bit of research and saw that a lot of people were publishing articles on the impact of technology and the future of work for certain industries or skill sets, but at the time nobody was really talking about the impact this would have on women.
Is this where the idea for Her Future Work came from?
Yes. I started Her Future Work because no one else was really having that conversation. Women already face gender, race, and age bias on a daily basis. On top of all that, they now have to worry about technology taking away their jobs. My whole hypothesis is that this is a time of great change and with great change comes tremendous opportunity. From my point of view, rather than try and optimize our current ways of working, I think we should blow them up and reinvent what it means to work and it should be designed around women and their needs. I believe if we solve this for women we solve this for everyone. So that’s what I’m making happen. I’m using Her Future Work as a platform for positive change. To create opportunity to achieve gender and financial equity for women. I’m doing whatever I can to make that happen.
How easy was it for you to put together a team of people to get Her Future Work off the ground?
Well, most of it I’ve been doing by myself, and with the support of Cyber-NY and the Logic platform. I’m self-funded, I pretty much do everything at this point. I have had a tremendous amount of help from volunteers when I’ve done various events. That’s been really fantastic. But when it comes to the technology part it’s been myself, Cyber-NY, and the Logic platform.
You also run a lifestyle blog called Brooklyn to the Catskills. How did this come to life?
My family and I go to the Catskills almost every weekend. We really enjoy it. I also love to entertain and bake and several of my friends have encouraged me to blog about it for a long time. I always kind of poo-pooed the idea, but I have these two friends who are writers and they were like, “Look, people are really interested in this stuff. They want to see it!” So, I decided to give it a try.
I started producing content. My focus at first was mostly on entertaining and baking and recipes. However, the more I went to the Catskills the more I became aware that there is a ton of entrepreneurship in the area. Something I noticed was that a lot of these entrepreneurs were couples. I thought that was really cool. Many of them moved from somewhere else, often Brooklyn or Manhattan. They moved to the Catskills and are now living out their dreams.
What’s your mission for Brooklyn to the Catskills?
So, my mission with Brooklyn to the Catskills has really sort of evolved into using the Catskills lifestyle to inspire economic development and entrepreneurship in the Catskills area. I started interviewing, writing, and profiling all the different local entrepreneurs that I was coming across. It’s been a really creative platform for me. I get to bake and take pictures and write about it and I get to interview people, and the people are fascinating. A lot of them started off splitting their time between Brooklyn and the Catskills and have been going back and forth for years. Eventually, they moved to the Catskills fulltime and turned their idea or passion into something real.
What’s one of your favorite recipes to bake?
There is a recipe for a Spanish almond torte that’s my absolute favorite. It’s simple and easy to make and I think it’s so incredibly delicious, it’s not too sweet. It’s really satisfying. That’s my favorite one. Otherwise, it’s hard to say. I love to bake new and different things all the time. To me, part of the fun is giving myself the challenge of baking something I’ve never baked before.
Where do you get your baking inspiration?
I like watching the Great British Bake-Off. Around the holidays last year I started binge watching the show to get ideas. I noticed a lot of the contestants would make a cake, and then make macarons to put on top as decoration. I thought, “If they are whipping these out so fast, how hard can it be?” So, one weekend I decided to give macarons a shot and they were so easy! Now I’m making them frequently and experimenting with different flavorings. I like the challenge part of baking. I want to make new and different things rather than repeat my favorites. Except for the holidays. That’s when I have to pull out the favorites that people demand from me.
Do you ever find yourself struggling with what to post?
I definitely experience writer’s block. There is always a reason why I am writing a particular article.Sometimes I’ll know what I want to write about, but I need a bit of set up to get started. Sometimes it’s only a paragraph about what I want to say. It definitely can be hard to get going, but starting with a short paragraph really helps me. Sometimes it can take me more time to come up with that one paragraph than the taking photos and posting part. People tend to really like what I put on social media. Which is usually just a picture and a caption. But I’m usually spending 90 percent of my time writing something more long form.
What would you say is the key to overcoming writer’s block?
Keeping things simple helps immensely. I find when I take the pressure off it becomes much easier. I don’t need to write this whole big thing. I think in the past I’ve overcomplicated it. Sometimes it feels like there are so many things I could be writing about, it’s so hard to choose just one. Sometimes you just got to do it. The possibilities are endless and it can be very overwhelming to figure out where to go next. I always just try and take a step back and think, “How can I keep this really simple?”
Back to Her Future Work. Can you tell us more about it and how it is helping women?
Her Future Work is a platform and a networking hub. I produce events and provide content and programming for women who work. I have a vision for where I want to take it. I want to move from where I am now, which is more informational and networking based, to getting into the solution space. One of the key differences in what I’m trying to do is that I really want to work with an intersectionality of women. No one else is really doing that. There are people helping professional women and people working with underserved women. I think true innovation comes when you bring both of those groups of women together. It’s interesting because I’ve been told by people, by smart people in the business world, that there is no intersectionality of women, that you can’t do that. There’s nothing that brings women together where you could have the corporate executive sitting next to a cashier at Target with the female farmer and educator. There’s nothing that’s going to bring them together in a way that they’ll want to be together. I think that’s profoundly untrue. I think just being a Mom. That’s something. If you are a mom no matter where you live or what you do for a living you have that in common. I think there are many things like that that connect women, and that’s what I’m trying to get to, because that’s where true insight and innovation comes from. That’s where I’m headed next.
What something about Her Future Work that makes you proud?
I think what I’m most proud of, are the women I’ve connected through Her Future Work that have found ways to create opportunity together. I’m proud that I’ve connected these women in ways that have resulted in opportunity. That’s really cool because I could never do something like that at my day job. The women I’m connecting are women that come from segments that have challenges because of their age or because they’ve left the workplace for a while or because they are a person of color in an industry where there aren’t a lot of people of color. I’m so proud that just by putting something out there, I’ve been able to bring together women who wouldn’t have connected otherwise.
What role has the Logic platform played in the process of getting Her Future Work online?
So, I used Logic to build Her Future Work. In the past I’ve used WordPress, and that was my only experience. I’m not a super creative person or technical person. I’m the kind of person who would use a platform like WordPress. So, my knowledge and ability, I guess could be considered below average? I’m not the type of person that really does this stuff, but Logic was able to do everything that I wanted it to do. It was easy for me to use and that’s important because, like I said, I’m not a designer or a tech person. I just need something really user friendly, and I actually found Logic to be better and easier than WordPress. Whenever I had questions or problems there was always someone there who was able to help me out and tell me what to do. It also gave me more capabilities to have my platform look more sophisticated than what I had been doing before. It was just all very straightforward, which I really appreciate. I don’t want to have to become an expert on a platform to get something done. It really gave me a lot of flexibility to do a lot of different things, easily.
Her Future Work, built on Logic™
Where can we learn more about Her Future Work and Brooklyn to the Catskills?
So, Her Future work is www.herfuturework.com and I’m always looking to collaborate with people on any sort of level so definitely feel free to reach out and connect either as an individual or a business. Brooklyn to the Catskills is www.brooklyntothecatskills.com. You can find us on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter. I sell merch on the website, as well. Feel free to follow me on social media, or if you have a business of interest and would like me to interview you for my blog, I’d be happy to do that.
Thank you for join us today and sharing your story. We look forward to seeing the next chapters for your projects!
Likewise. Thanks for inviting me to talk and share my work. Looking forward to seeing Logic evolve and grow over the next year.
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