Shaunna Thomas, Co-Founder of We Are Ultraviolet
This visionary says two key observations led to the founding of We Are Ultraviolet. First, “When people join together to take collective action, change can happen;” second, “Not enough opportunities exist for women to take action to improve their lives.” Shaunna and partner Nita Chaudhary created We Are Ultraviolet to give women’s rights a voice. Since their launch in February, they’ve built a community of 325,000 men and women in every state who fight for women’s equality.
Hands down, best professional advice you ever got:
“You are responsible for your own communication. It’s on you to make sure that people hear and understand what you are telling them.”
What skill or habit do you think is vital for success?
“Maintain a high-level and low level ‘to-do’ list. High-level points keep you grounded in why you’re doing the work (one of mine is, ‘Create a cost for sexism in our society’); low-level stuff is what you need to do to accomplish your goals. If you’re diligent about keeping up with your lists and stay focused, you’ll get it done.”
What moments on the job do you find most rewarding?
“When we make progress we can actually see in the world. Recently, we ran a campaign asking Facebook to add women to their board of directors. After 53,000 petition signatures, 150 news stories, and a protest at their headquarters, Facebook added the first woman to their board — and that’s a great start. When we make progress, we know we’re accomplishing something real and getting closer to achieving full equality for women in all areas of our lives.”
Photographed by Sunny Shokrae