“I’ve always grown up in spaces that were male-dominated,” says Kelly Davis ’23 (Whitman and Newhouse), a native of Boston majoring in television, radio, and film, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Before she was targeting social media posts as head of communications for the LaunchPad, she was literally aiming at targets as an archer in high school.
Archery, being a very male-dominated sport, meant that Davis was subject to a lot of insensitive comments. “I was always told that I couldn’t do as well as my male counterparts.” She explains that, “People wouldn’t take me seriously or thought that I didn’t know much about the sport.” Despite gender bias, Davis persevered to become a member of the Renee Crown Honors Program, a Whitman Leadership scholar, and hold multiple internship positions, a small sample of her many great achievements. As she’s transitioned to her time at Syracuse University, she wants to provide women with a network that she never had growing up.
Davis has always dreamt of becoming an impactful entrepreneur, and, after joining the LaunchPad she looked to her coworkers as motivation to start her own business. She says, “I’m truly amazed at the work ethic and intelligence of the entrepreneurs in the LaunchPad.” Using her past experiences as fuel, she’s excited to unveil a company that provides support for driven women just like herself.
Women around the country have been deprived of safe community spaces to participate in male-dominated hobbies and interests. Wo-manly strives to fix this by building an online platform by women for women. Despite progress toward equality and inclusiveness, there is still a gender imbalance in our society. Women don’t feel welcome or empowered in male-dominated sectors such as athletics, stem, and entrepreneurship.
That has personal significance to Davis. She explains, “There’s currently not a lot of female founders so I felt a little intimidated coming in.” Davis continues, “I didn’t know if I had the confidence to start my own business, but luckily I was able to push through that.”
She found inspiration in fellow LaunchPad entrepreneurs like Kelsey Davis, founder of CLLCTVE, and her ability to build such a large and interconnected network of young people.
In her communications role at the LaunchPad, Davis is excited to take the valuable social media skills she’s learned and translate that into her new company. “As I got more comfortable with how to properly build a social media presence, I knew I could create a platform around it.”
Davis currently runs the LaunchPad’s LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts so she’s confident in her ability to create an online community for Wo-manly. She credits Linda Hartsock, executive director of the LaunchPad, as one of the people to push her to go through with her business and use the skills that she was hired for.
Davis hopes that she can help at least one woman “try something new and feel comfortable knowing that there’s a community of support behind her
If you want to be a part of a community that empowers women, follow Wo-manly on Instagram
If you’re inspired by Kelly’s work and would like to help out and join the Wo-manly team, email Kelly at email@example.com.
Story by Jack Lyons ‘22, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photos and graphics supplied