At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
It was a very specific event. I grew up thinking if I worked really hard and did everything I could, then I would reap the benefits and the world was all merit-based. When I started my first job out of college, I remember going to a networking meeting where there were some partners of the firm. I had worked my butt off and was up for early promotion, so I wanted to chat with one of the partners about potentially moving into his business vertical. I remember walking up to him, stepping in front of him just as a (male) colleague of mine walked in beside me, and I saw his eyes slide away from me and him begin to immediately talk to my male colleague about the same. exact. thing I wanted to talk to him about. My male colleague is a nice guy and we wanted the same thing, so I can't fault him for trying too - but I realized then inherent bias exists (it's real!) and I better 1) get used to it and 2) start fighting it.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
Hard to say a specific person, but there were a few women I worked with who were female champions. I worked in the fashion & luxury department of a consulting firm and it was a terrible, catty environment to be in. These women helped pick me up and I realized that feminism doesn't always have to be loud - it's about everyday kindness to one another and it is strongest from another female!
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
Being a strong female role model is about showing other females you can live YOUR life, just as they can live theirs. I've become more open, more passionate, more vocal about who I am and who I CHOOSE to be and encouraging to those who want to follow their own road.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
I run my own culinary consulting firm and receive a lot of inbound inquiries about 1) changing careers into food 2) leaving corporate America 3) entrepreneurship so I try to spend time with the women I feel who are ready to make a big change in their life - either as a career coach or just as an advisor.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
It is pretty simple: the world is merit-based and view each other's differences as unique and important. We accept one another for our shortcomings. We seek to bring out the best in every human.
How I Define Feminism:
Being a feminist means that you live your live by your own rules. You aren't trying to be a man, be tough and rise above if that's not who you are. Being a feminist means you have strength in the belief that You. Are. Enough.
I'm a 26-yr-old professional chef, business & culinary strategist, and entrepreneur based in NYC. I run my own culinary consulting firm, Jenny Dorsey Culinary Consulting (jennydorseyconsulting.com) specializing in menu R&D and business strategy for all types of culinary businesses. I've worked with all types of foodservice -- from standalone restaurants to upscale hotels to worldwide chains -- to develop and implement menus. I've also worked with a variety of culinary businesses - food products, media/publishing, hardwares, non-profits, etc. - on everything from concept development & strategy to product launches & market expansion .
I am also the Co-Founder and Executive Chef of a popular dinner tasting restaurant in NYC named I Forgot It's Wednesday (iforgotitswednesday.com). I Forgot It's Wednesday has been named as one of the best NYC dining experiences by Business Insider and UrbanDaddy and featured in publications such as Epoch Times, 7x7, The Huffington Post, Village Voice, Eater, Thrillist, etc. as well as on Oxygen Network and Food Network. I hold a B.A. in Finance from the University of Washington, a Diploma of Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and was an MBA Candidate at Columbia Business School.
(photo credit: Hannah Burton and Bustle)