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Podcast - Finding Fearless Podcast

The Finding Fearless Podcast exists to share the stories of empowered women as they navigate and innovate in the working world.

 

FINDING FEARLESS PODCAST


Episode 19 - Lizzy Cook

If there is one thing I love most, it’s a woman that isn’t afraid to speak her mind. A rule breaker, a no shit taker, a woman that has found her voice and encourages other women to do the same. Looking back now, it's not surprising that I instantly felt a kindred connection to Lizzy Cook. She was simply my kind of gal.

Lizzy and I first met in the world of tech and would connect at conferences where we were representing for our respective companies, both of us figuring out how to navigate on minimal sleep, social interaction overload, and often dealing with some not so subtle sexism. Whether it was men referring to us as “booth babes” or planning an escape from a bro-heavy happy hour, Lizzy was one of the women in my world that really understood what it is like being a #womanintech. And just like me, she isn’t content to sit tight with the status quo, she’s ready to change it.

On the latest episode of the podcast, Lizzy and I sat down and dug deep into the issues that face both women in tech and women in the broader working work. From breaking the glass ceiling, to addressing the gender pay gap, to talking through real-life tactics that women can use to elevate each other in the workplace, the conversation was all about our own experiences and how they have inspired us to speak up and drive tangible change for ourselves and the women around us. Tune in for this episode to hear our take on how to advocate for yourself in the current corporate climate, get advice on negotiating your next salary, and the lessons we’ve learned from bringing our values to the forefront in our work.

To connect further with Lizzy, you can find & follow her at @lzzycook.

Madeline Reeves
Episode 18 - Special Episode: IWD Panel Discussion

If you are connected to the online accounting community, you probably have noticed that there has been a plethora of noteworthy industry-related conversation emerging recently within the Twittersphere. From the future of bookkeeping to debunking whether certain apps are truly powered by AI, these conversations have sparked lively back and forths, and a variety of subsequent content pieces. As each hot button topic has unfolded, so have a number of carefully crafted responses of so from practitioners & “industry experts” alike. Even though their individual responses & opinions have varied, the ones that have gotten the most airtime have all been connected by a common thread: they were all produced by men. I’m not knocking the content that these guys wrote, but the cacophony reached a point where some of us started to wonder, where are the women in all of this? Are we somehow getting lost in the noise or do we need have to still shout to be heard in the first place?

Women’s voices are still dramatically underrepresented in the world of accounting, despite the fact that women make up the majority of the profession. 61.3% of the profession at large is female, and yet we still see a predominate number of men highlighted online & at conferences as “authorities” on topics related to the profession. It’s clear that there is a disconnect that goes deeper than the surface because more women than ever before are graduating accounting expertise, yet the top positions of the profession are still overwhelmingly male-dominated and the wide gender pay gap within the profession isn’t showing any signs of closing. As one might guess, the statistics for representation & pay for women of color within the profession are even more abysmal. These inequalities are hardly unique to the accounting profession, but the issues are pressing all the same, so it’s time for us to set aside some time to start addressing them head-on.

With International Women’s Day on the horizon, and with it the release of Practice Ignition’s list of Top 50 Women in Accounting, it seemed like the perfect time to spark a conversation with women in accounting and provide a place for them to share their stories and opinions around the status of women in the profession. Rather than sitting around waiting for someone else to pass the mic, I collaborated with Practice Ignition to host a virtual panel discussion featuring some of the incredible & inspiring women in the accounting space. The goal of the moment was simple: to shed some light on the experiences, opinions, and triumphs of women in accounting.

The panel discussion happened live Practice Ignition’s Facebook page the morning of March 8th, and featured some of their Top 50 Women In Accounting finalists, as well as a diverse array of other female voices from across the profession. For those who couldn’t make it live, I captured the conversation in this special episode of the Finding Fearless Podcast. The conversation covered a variety of questions about their entrepreneurial ambitions and the current position of women in the accounting profession, along with talking about the ways that we can elevate more women to within the profession to share their voices & be heard. Although there were only so many questions we could tackle in a since hour, it is my sincere hope that this first discussion sparks many more conversations & opportunities to highlight women from all corners of the accounting community.  

Madeline Reeves
Episode 17 - Alexandra Sirocky

One of the most common misconceptions I see in the world of entrepreneurship is the idea that the path of a founder is linear. We often times hear these tales, particularly about male founders, where they get an idea, go out and get a bunch of funding, and BOOM! They make it. Instant success.

As a female entrepreneur myself, I know there are other equally important stories out there worth sharing. Tales of long term ideas turned side hustle where you bust your ass for YEARS before it can become your full time gig. I also know that “making it” means something different to everyone, and that it feels a whole lot different if you had to overcome hurdles and hardship along the way.

This past week, I had the chance to sit down with Alexandra Sirocky, and I was honored to hear her share so candidly about the struggles that arose along her path both in her personal life and her life as an entrepreneur. For those of you that are not familiar with Alexandra’s work, she is a yoga teacher, writer, and the force behind NOMaste, a business she launched to help others live a more integrated yogic lifestyle through movement medicine, self care practices, and establishing intuitive eating habits.

Alexandra first became interested in exploring yoga after an accident derailed her dreams of becoming a dancer. Along her path of discovering yoga, her life shifted dramatically, and her personal strength was seriously tested as a series of hardships cascaded into her life. What Alexandra found throughout this experience was that the practice of yoga could carry her through the hardest of times & connect her to the powerful personal strength she held within.

Join Alexandra and I as we talk about the power of being positive & in the present, our own struggles with authenticity & social media, her new e-book, and much more.

Use the audio player above to listen to my interview with Alexandra Sirocky.

You can also can connect further with Alexandra by following her on Instagram and by visiting her website.


Madeline Reeves
Episode 16 - Chloe Mason

When you’re young, chances are, you’re figuring life out. You are trying to make sense of who you are as a person, what you believe in, who you are attracted to, and what you want to make of your life. Teenagers typically do not of these elements fully fleshed out, and yet, every so often one of them does, and it makes them a force to be reckoned with.

I first met Chloe Mason when we were both 15, and we formed a mutual connection over fashion and boys. I liked the fact that she didn’t take shit from anyone, and I was blown away with her own determination and sense of self. When anyone asked about her life goals, Chloe would look them dead in the eye, and say: “I’m going to be a model.” She was so resolute in her conviction, I was not the least bit surprised that in such a difficult industry, Chloe went on to become exactly the model she convinced us as teenagers she would become.

These days, Chloe is still a straight shooter, which means that she will be the first to dispel any notion that modeling is easy or glamorous. She’s also a lot more than a model, and she is quick to share her other passions and her long term vision for her personal platforms. Chloe is someone that fully to embraces her identity, and will just as casually open up about why she identifies as a Queer Femme, as tell you about her adorable son, Ezra. I think that she can do it with ease because she has put in the work to assimilate all of the seemingly disparate pieces of herself into the dynamite package she is today.


Use the audio player above to listen to the latest podcast episode where Chloe & I talk about determination, sexuality, building your tribe, and learning to put on your own oxygen mask first. It’s a one-of-a-kind conversation that should not be missed. You can also keep up with Chloe’s adventures by following her on Instagram.


Madeline Reeves
Episode 15 - Jessica Blasingame

Starting at a very young age we begin to cultivate ideas of who we want to become when we “grow up”. We want to be an astronaut. A doctor. A painter. A scientist. A rockstar. As we get older, adults and other influences often push us to further refine these ideas of who we want to be. Typically well-intentioned, they want us to have something we are working towards, a single path to stay on.

As I reflected upon this recently, I was struck by one thing in particular: we’re conditioned to think we can only focus fully on being one thing. One career path. One goal in mind. Yet in my adult experiences, I’ve come across many friends and acquaintances that have managed to apply themselves fully to multiple pursuits. They are scientists AND poets. Politicians AND artists. CEOs AND writers. Or in the case of Jessica Blasingame, an accountant AND a wellness expert.

Jessica first began her career in the world of corporate accounting. Early inklings told her that entrepreneurship might be a part of her future path, and she chose to pursue accounting because she knew that the skill set would come in handy if those ideas ever came to fruition. However, the more time Jessica spent in the corporate environment, the less happy she became with her work. Around this same time, her health began to decline. Battling chronic fatigue and pain, she started to seek out solutions of any kind to ease her condition. It was then she realized she needed to make a critical challenge both in her life and in her work. Inspired by everything she was learning about health and nutrition, and encouraged by friends and family, she struck out on her own as an entrepreneur working in the world of wellness

Since that point in time, her entrepreneurial path has continued to evolve. Working as a yoga instructor and wellness coach, she was consistently interfacing with other small business owners in the space that needed help with their finances. When they learned about Jessica’s background, they would approach her for help, which is how she came to realize she could marry both of her passions into a single business. It was at this point she decided to start Beam Financial Group, a business coaching & bookkeeping firm that specializes in working with companies in the health and wellness space. By allowing her business to change over time she has created a company that allows her to bring all of her interests and expertise to her work every day.

Listening to Jessica’s story was an important personal reminder for me that we do not need to separate our passions. We don’t have to only bring part of ourselves into our work and fit all of our other interests into small sporadic blocks of free time. We can be a business owner AND a mother. A consultant AND a gym junkie. An accountant AND a yoga teacher. It is these seemly different pieces that make up who we are, give us a dynamic perspective, and help us be fully invested in our lives and in our work. We can be it all and in fact, we can be better for it.

Use the audio player above to listen to my conversation with Jessica Blasingame.

Additionally, if you want to connect further with Jessica, make sure to visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


Madeline Reeves