Reboot Podcast Episode #111 – Standing in the Gap – with Amy Nelson (re-release)

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.

Episode 111 // August 29, 2019


Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson

CEO and founder of The Riveter

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Episode Description

Although the challenges women leaders face today have been well documented and highly publicized and most of us recognize that women are often forced to tackle unique and disproportionate challenges from their male counterparts, it can be hard to fully empathize with the biases with which we ourselves may not be called to face. On this week’s podcast, you’ll meet one female founder who generously shares her story and the singular obstacles she’s been summoned to encounter.

A former corporate litigator, Amy Nelson is now the CEO and founder the Riveter, a workspace which provides support and equal opportunities for women leaders and changemakers. Born in Seattle in 2017, The Riveter has experienced explosive expansion – with five locations being built in the first 16 months. As a result, Amy is now facing down the many hurdles that emerge during a period of rapid scaling. In this conversation with Jerry, Amy expounds on a few of the barriers she’s come up against when raising capital and what it means to take her seat as a leader.

Jerry introduces Amy to Parker Palmer’s image of, “The Tragic Gap,” recognizing that Amy has been called to stand in the space between the world that is, and the world that is possible. Carrying the burden for all female entrepreneurs to forge a future where women not only have equal opportunity but a true place of belonging as leaders, forging a system where all individuals are worthy of the freedom to actualize in the fullness of who they are.

Amy Nelson on Twitter | The Myth of CEO Work-Life Balance | The Three Unspoken Challenges of Women in Tech Reboot Recommends: An Unconventional List of 15 Books for Women Entrepreneurs

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Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“I think we’ve hit a moment and time where thinking about women and how we amplify women’s voices is incredibly important and meaningful. I don’t think it’s a trend. I think it’s a change we’re seeing in society.” – Amy Nelson

“Women received in the past two years less than 3% of venture capital dollars.” – Amy Nelson

“I know I stand on a shoulder of giants, of people who did this when there was no chance.” – Amy Nelson

“You have to get through the system to change the system.” – Amy Nelson

“I am often asked about my ability to be a parent and be a founder. And I am pretty sure that no man is ever asked that.” – Amy Nelson

“I think there’s something really powerful about motherhood. Mothers are warriors.” – Amy Nelson

“I think we teach boys to be brave and take risks, and we teach girls to be good.” – Amy Nelson

“How do we do that and support each of them in manifesting the work that they’re meant to do in the world?” – Jerry Colonna

“I want a future where women at least have a quality of opportunity and that’s what The Riveter is built for. That’s how we’re calibrated and what we’re working toward.” – Amy Nelson

“You wanna be surrounded by people who have common experiences and common goals, or recognize who you are.” – Amy Nelson

“When you feel like you don’t have the same opportunity, you don’t feel like you belong. You don’t feel like you’re supposed to be in the room.” – Amy Nelson

“I think that we were allowed into the room, but we were never given a seat at the table.” – Amy Nelson

“I hate the word empowerment…Women don’t need to be given power. Women have power.” – Amy Nelson

“It’s trendy to support women entrepreneurs in some ways.” – Amy Nelson

“I’m not gonna stand behind you and push you, because that implies again that I have more power than you do. And I do not. I have a vantage point that is different. That is it. And so standing shoulder to shoulder with you looking forward, I see the challenge that you have. It’s subtle and it’s important.” – Jerry Colonna

“The world will not change unless we all change it together unless we all give our children the same messages.” – Amy Nelson

“If you want change, you have to fight and claw, and demand for it, and share your worst stories.” – Amy Nelson

“Women tell one another how to survive the patriarchy not how to change it. We are conditioned to this point to do that.” – Amy Nelson

“I don’t want to live in a world where men and women, however they identify, are handcuffed by patriarchy.” – Jerry Colonna

“Studies show that the likelihood that you’ll get better results is if you have diverse teams, why wouldn’t you take that bet.” – Amy Nelson

“You have one life to live. You have one bat to swing, and you might as well take the hardest swing you can.” – Amy Nelson

“If we’re gonna get closer to that world that we know is possible, then we all have to stand in the tragic gap.” – Jerry Colonna

“The opportunity to alleviate our suffering is to stand together in that gap and to create that place of belonging in our suffering. So that we’re not divided by that suffering, but we’re actually united by the fact that yup, we’re gonna roll up our sleeves and human development continues and we have work to do as a species.” – Jerry Colonna