We had the good fortune of connecting with Abigail Gibbons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abigail, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
My business, The WOW Series, is a diverse speaker and interview series that works to advance women and underrepresented profressionals by giving them a platform to be heard on our podcast, YouTube channel, virtual panel discussions and intimate in-peson experiences.
Whether they are an established CEO or a budding entrepreneur, The WOW Series helps to amplifies the voices of thought-leaders from across the globe to discuss topics like entrepreneurship, representation, social impact, and sport & wellness. This speaker series has been such an important piece in organically growing our community and global connections to make it really easy for the next generation to learn and receive on the spot mentorship. Often in these conversations, attendees and guests not only exchange ideas and tips but leave with motivation to start or scale a passion project or side hustle with impact. Not only are we advancing gender equality by giving voice to profressionals who deserve a platform to be heard , but in my opinion, it is also the idea of pursuing your purpose and passion that has true positive impact. I believe that if we can empower women, and everyone, to step into their purpose, that the world becomes a better place because When we are happy in our careers and fulfilled, and are serving others, we can begin to connect and heal our greater societies.
We also host weekly interviews on our Youtube, Instagram, and podcast called “The WOW Series” which makes mentorship from our WOW professionals (the speakers and interviewees) really easy for anyone to access and gain insight on how to navigate your career or aspiring business. I am all about making mentorship accessible and being really thoughtful about who speaks and joins our community. It really has become a global network of true changemakers.
When I began The WOW Series, I had no formal business plan. What I did know was who I wanted to help and how I wanted to help them. Our mission of advancing equality by giving women a platform to be heard has evolved into so much more. By sharing the expertise of deserving females and profressionals from around the world, each coming from different cultures and professional backgrounds, we contribute to furthering the representation of women on a global scale and inspire profressionals to be more than their career title.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was born and raised in the midwest and spent my childhood and young-adult life in the world of sports. I was fortunate enough to take my athletic career through the collegiate level as a swimmer for the Big East Conference. After my athletic career ended, I took my first professional job working in sports – a dream role of mine. I was working in public relations for professional racecar drivers and unfortunately experienced firsthand the inequalities women have in the industry. It was a disheartening realiziation after working so hard to find this role, and I remember I was so excited to start. Early on, I found that my worth and opinions were seen as less than, with my work often being thrown out with no feedback or direction. And my appearance (my outfit, my hair color, or my relationship status) was often the most talked about topic when on the racetrack. After having to report my experience to Title IX and with a lack of female mentorship to turn to in the space, I felt anxious and defeated. So, I relocated to New York City where I began my career in corporate America working for a luxury financial magazine. This time around, I did gain incredible networking and invaluable career experience, however, I was disheartened to again see and experience firsthand gender inequality in the workplace. My most memorable example being when I secured a quarter of a million dollar partnership, but was denied any comission.
After a couple of years, I had enough and wanted to start an organization that gave women the resources needed to navigate challenging work situations and provide the personal guidance that I wish I had. I began to find these mentors for myself and as a result, The WOW Series was born. This platform is my way to say thank you to all of the women who have helped me along my journey and give them the space to help others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Let’s go on a NYC adventure! NYC may be different than it used to be as we recover from the pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped us from finding the new and innovative places to explore.
For a drink, check out these places….
Be the first to know: Visit Talea Beer Co. in Williamsburg that just opened in March. This is the first female-owned brewery that is making beer approachable, and delicious. Visit their outdoor space to enjoy coffee and “work from TALEA” or have a flight of beers with friends.
My favorite local watering hole: The Dead Poet located on the Upper West Side
For sunset views on the water and the wine lover: City Vineyard
Something hidden: The Garret in the West Village
Across the water: Don’t let anyone fool you, Jersey City is an upcoming hot spot that I have grown to love! Have a day of bar hopping and visit Grove street and its local rooftops. Then, take a walk along the river and take in the NYC views from the other side of the water. Perfect if you are looking to take some photos and content as well.
For the foodie, my top 5 favorite places to eat in the city are…
Sathi in Gramercy
Tacombi in multiple locations! My favorite is the West Village
Prince Street Pizza in Soho
The Smith in multiple locations! I enjoy the one right across from Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side.
For my fellow adventurer, visit…
Breakneck Ridge: an awesome hike with city views and local breweries nearby, just outside the city
Visit Hudson Yards for shopping and hang on the edge of NYC by visiting their new Observation Deck
Central Park: Grab a pie of pizza from a local joint, a couple bottles of wine, and head over to the park and spend the day people watching, socializing, and taking in the views. I recommend the entrance at 59th street on the west side to capture all the views and be close to other local spots!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people I would like to shout out, but I will make an effort to keep it concise! I have to thank first and foremost, my awesome WOW team who makes this all possible, and my family and friends who continuously support us.
I also want to dedicate my shoutout to every single WOW Series panelist, interviewee, and speaker who has been featured on our platform. This community and series that we have built would not be possible without the many women who have trusted me, and our platform, to share their stories. I believe that my success stands on their shoulders as we lift each other up.
I would like to personally shout out a couple of very close mentors of mine, who I feel deserve the recognition as they have been with me from the very beginning! Thank you Sandra Moerch, the co-founder of The Feminist Portfolio and Tekisha Harvey, the founder of Cannacurious magazine, for your endless support. Check them out!
Other: email: email@example.com
Credit: Apto Media, Anneliese Gartner; Constance Hosannah; Sean Velasco-Dodge