Tiffany Pham, Founder of female-oriented social platform Mogul, is hoping to continue the momentum from the Women's March, by uniting millions of young women in protest across college campuses.
“It's a campaign that emerged organically and took off like wildfire across college campuses," said Pham, the Founder and CEO of women-focused media network, Mogul, of her #ReadMyLips campaign. “It's a campaign of women sending messages directly to the White House [voicing concern for Trump's administration]."
The #ReadMyLips campaign, which now includes students from thousands of schools, began with 24 universities including Harvard, Yale, NYU, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, and Wellesley. According to Pham, participant statements are printed and placed inside statues- incidentally designed by Saturday Night Live veterans-and delivered to the White House.
“We want to ensure women's voices are heard," says Pham, whose life focus has been and continues to be empowering women through access to communication and content.
Pham's platform, Mogul, which she describes as a “social platform enabling women to connect and get opportunities from each other," now has 18 million readers (aged 18 to 34 years old) per week across 196 countries and 30,470 cities, according to Pham.
“Our community is made up of upwardly mobile rising stars," says Pham. We are aspiring to inspire incredible women who are doing incredible things."
“Essentially my vision for Mogul was inspired by my family," says Pham. “I had grown up in a family that had been for many generations in media and I wanted to follow their footsteps. From early age made my mind up I would provide information access to the world."
Pham, who grew up in Plano, Texas, and learned how to master English through television shows and movies, says she saw from a young age how important access to information was.
“I saw how media was such a powerful tool especially for learning and education and I never forgot that experience," says Pham.
It was during her time at Yale University that Pham decided she would create a company for women, with the goal of empowering them through access to information. Pham then attended Harvard Business School she worked for four years in media for various executives at BBC, HBO and CBS, across television and radio.
“I got to see a lot of different types of media," said Pham, who worked with the Mayor of Beijing on a new venture; an international screenwriting competition. “It was one of the first attempts to reach through cultural gaps between the US and Beijing at that time. I found top talent in the US and had them submit screenplays oriented around Beijing."
Through her project in China, Pham, who was working three jobs and producing films on the side, began to see through her goal of providing access to information across the world. A few months later Pham found herself listed in Forbes 30 Under 30.
“The final catalyst towards launching Mogul was one day I woke up and all these young women around the world started to write me hundreds and thousands of letters," says Pham, regarding the reaction to her feature. “I started writing back to every single letter and started to realize they were telling me my messages were changing their lives. I thought 'what if we could exchange information and share our journeys'?"
“Where were the women's voices?"
After a couple of weeks, Pham taught herself programming and built the first iteration of Mogul on a simple platform, which she launched in 2014. Pham's goal was to offer women that chance to upload-content in real time and see what's trending in terms of women's conversations around the world. According to Pham, Mogul had 1 million users in the first month, a number she attributes to a core database of passionate women who all shared it with their respective networks. Another impressive feat? According to Pham, the site became immediately profitable, and thus self-supporting and sustainable, thanks to its large reach.
“I ultimately knew that what I was creating, as a Millennial myself, would be supremely helpful," says Pham. “It would be for my own personal usage; for me, for my friends, for the young women writing to me. Ultimately I realize all these young women in my life were sharing it, and I saw how much it was resonating and realized how much it was needed. Reddit and Wikipedia (whose authors are 91 percent men) are similar platforms plats yet they are catering to mostly men."
Mogul currently includes two arms in its business model; Mogul Studios, which supports the creation of content with brand partners like IBM, Estée Lauder, and Samsung; as well as Mogul At Work, an employee platform where women can share information about their workplace, and where jobs are posted.
According to Pham, Mogul was commissioned by the NYC Department of education to train 100,00 teachers in gender equality training.
According to Pham, for each dollar generated by Mogul At Work, Mogul provides free access to 62 million girls in need of education, in partnership with the United Nations, beginning with India, Pakistan, Canada, Kenya, Myanmar, and Egypt.
“With world-changing partnerships such as with UN Women, we will be distributing free educational resources to over 62 million women across 93 countries, beginning with Kenya, Sierra Leone, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and the Caribbean," says Pham. “With the launch of our partnership, Mogul and UN Women will now be accelerating educational and economic opportunities for women worldwide. We are proud to make this global impact together."
According to Pham she is currently focused on continuing to grow her platform, with no plans to slow down.
“Our aim to take this to new heights," says Pham. “We built a strong foundations to make a big impact on women globally and that model is one that has enabled Mogul to become a highly sustainable, highly profitable social enterprise. We want to take it to next level, continuing to fortify and scale internationally, and through mobile expansion to new women abroad."
When it comes to the future of media, as a whole, Pham believes the democratization of content will continue.
“I believe that in the future everyone will be creating content in some way," says Pham. “In the end what will differentiate that content is authenticity. Brands are creating content, so are influencers, consumers, and businesses. That's why the Mogul platform has positioned itself to become a daily destination for all these corresponding parties. Mogul will enable them to reach women."
Sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you! There I was, rewatching the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Which I do for inspiration from time to time. (No, seriously!) There is something about seeing women on stage, in full-on glam mode, and speaking with confident assuredness that really lights my fire!
I have seen this Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa win this crown so many times before, but something about this particular viewing, her delivery or her words, touched something inside me a little differently. At that moment, I truly believed, with complete conviction, that she lives what she speaks.
The announcement was made, the audience cheered, and the crown was awarded. The light was dazzling,, she looked stunning, almost blessed. The judges made the right call with 2019's queen.
Reflecting On Myself
Suddenly, the YouTube video ended. And I was left looking at a black screen. In the darkness of that screen, I saw my reflection and I began assessing what I saw, asking myself, "What have I been doing with my life?" It may seem like an overly dramatic question, but at that moment, I had to ask myself seriously… What have you done? The fact that I couldn't come up with a solid, confident answer gave my inner-cynic license to quickly spiral into self-criticism.
This went on for quite some time, until I got up. I stood up and walked to my mirror to have some serious one-on-one "Queen Talk." I needed to get out of that self-critical mindset, and I know that physical movement is something that help disrupt a way of thinking. I needed to remind myself of who I really was. The negative feelings I was experiencing at that moment were not reality.
Here are a few reminders for whenever you need some Queen Talk!
1.) Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
This saying feels like a cliché. That is, until it's applicable to you. At that moment, this "cliché, becomes self-evident. Comparing myself to someone on a stage with years of experience in an area I know nothing about is not only unfair but straight-up mean. A part of my comparison comes from me wondering, "Would I have the ability, if put in that position, to perform at such a level?" The answer is totally and without question, yes. I excel in the field I work in now, and I know that if I put that same energy towards something else, with practice, I could do just as well. No joy can come from comparing yourself to someone in a completely different field!
2.) Never forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Every single day, I am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up with all ten fingers and toes and choose to create the kind of life I want to live. There is so much power in that alone, but sometimes it's easy to take it for granted. Let us not forget those who are unable to make that same decision every day of their lives.
3.) Appreciate how far you have come!
I've been very intentional for some time to be kinder and gentler to myself. I need to realize that I am human. Being human means that I will not know everything, and I will continue to make mistakes.But I must let go of the need to always be right. I feel empowered when I can see the growth that I've made, regardless of the mistakes that may come in the future. I don't react to every little thing that bothers me, because I have learned boundaries when it comes to dealing with others and myself. I truly value my time and my energy, and, for that, I am proud.
4.) You Can Be Who You Want To Be
If you can see it in your mind, you can achieve it in reality. I saw myself when I looked at the women on stage, when she smiled, the way she talked, her elegant walk. For a moment, in my self-criticism spiral, I forgot that we are all connected. Debasish Mridha has said "I may not know you, but I don't see any difference between you and me. I see myself in you; we are one." I will not sit in the mentality of lack, there is more than enough opportunity and good fortune to go around for everyone. Her win was not a loss for me, but it can be a nudge from the universe for me to go ahead and dream big!
This Queen Talk was not easy. There may have been some tissues and tears involved but giving myself an honest yet compassionate talk is sometimes what I need to bring myself out of some bad head space. In these moments of doubt, you truly need to be your own best friend.When times get rough, criticism won't always come from outside sources. How you speak about yourself internally is crucial to how you see and feel about yourself. As Beyoncé once sang, "I've got Me, Myself, and I." We must put forth every effort to be there for ourselves. I look forward to more Queen Talks when some negative emotions arise. I am grateful for the person I am today, but I am excited to see the women I become.