In modern society what we do for a living is often seen something that defines us, an integral part of our identity. We evaluate ourselves and others based on profession and work life status. This creates prejudice and feeds negative feelings of competition or, in worst-case scenarios, inadequacy. The truth is, that we are all so much more, above and beyond what do we do for a living, and our profession alone is not a well-rounded representation of our personalities.

In recent years, reporting female success has become a big hit in the media. In the age of #bosslady, portrayals of successful women are being celebrated, and characteristics such as ambition, drive and determination have become most revered. The success of women is measured with the same parameters as male success: being a boss, a manager or renowned expert in a specific field. All three examples can of course be seen as metrics of success but the term is much more multi-faceted than that. I believe that success, in its core should be something that you yourself determine, not something that is externally evaluated.

I started this interview series as I feel there is a lack of open and honest conversations between women about how we view work and career and what these two concepts mean to each of us personally. With these interviews I want to showcase the wide variety of roads that we, as females, are on. I believe that there’s no universal concept of “making it”, but that the ways our work and personal life are intertwined are delicately balance. This balance is in constant movement and is often an ongoing process of development.

The women that I interview are on average between 20 and 45 years old, which is an age bracket that represents a time of self development and major transitions. This marks a time when societal pressure of building a clear career trajectory as well as determining if you want to have children is at its highest point.

For every interview a different female designer/creative has created a beautiful illustrations to represent how they visualized the episode. Rather than using photos of the interviewees, I wanted to encourage people to listen to episodes of women from all walks of life, instead of picking the ones that are for them relatable or represent aspirational career goals.

I want to portray that even with women that work in fields far removed from yours, we are all dealing with the same questions, joys, insecurities, decision-making stress and moments of pride. With each episode I hope to spread inspiration, compassion and the feeling of community.

The series will be on the road throughout 2019. One episode will be published every month. Next up: Mexico City!

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Selja

 

Now That I'm Here is fully produced by women. Credits of illustrations can be found on the Episodes pages.

Content, interviews & website: Selja Susiluoto, editing: Katrin Hiss, logo: Silvia Montanari, theme song: Maria Kamutzki.