“When vegan women thrive in their careers, it’s a win for animals, and when they thrive in advocacy, it’s a win for animals,” said Liz Dee, co-president of Smarties and founder of Vegan Ladyboss, an all-vegan, all-female, trans-inclusive community.
Liz wanted to create a space where vegans who self-identify as women would support one another to change the world.
“I want to see women prosper and have a sense of community to combat burnout and feelings of loneliness that we see happen with so many individuals,” Liz added.
It started when Liz invited five friends over for dinner in 2016. She told them about the concept for her collective, and everything took off from there. Vegan Ladyboss meetings materialized, and attendance grew quickly by word of mouth.
Meetings start with introductions where everyone shares their going-vegan stories. Attendees move into a discussion topic related to professional development or animal advocacy. And the meetings end with an “ask.”
Asks might be for a resume review, a freelance opportunity, graphic design help, or even a lead on a new apartment. Those who can help raise their hands and connect with the women making the requests.
Women started traveling from Washington, DC; California; and even Germany to attend the gatherings in New York City.
As interest skyrocketed, Liz realized Vegan Ladyboss would be bigger than she ever imagined.
With a waiting list of women aspiring to launch their own groups, Vegan Ladyboss officially went global in March 2018. So far the collective has drawn interest from women in more than 10 countries, and meetings have already connected and inspired them in Canada, Singapore, and England.
Liz designed Vegan Ladyboss to be easily replicated anywhere. Any woman interested in organizing a group in her area can request an organizer starter kit, an out-of-the-box system that includes all the resources needed to start hosting meetings.
“When people hear boss, they think they have to be the boss of people or a CEO or founder,” said Liz. “But the word refers to being the boss of one’s life, which I believe everyone is or can be. Vegan Ladyboss is for women who want to live a life of their own design, want to excel in their careers or advocacy, or are interested in self-actualization and living their best lives.”