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What I Learned from Emily Pilloton-Lam at TED Women

Back in December of 2021, I had the unique opportunity to go to a TED Women’s conference in California. It was three days of sharing space with and hearing from incredible men and women creating change in their own lives and the world around them.

To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed upon arrival and unsure about confronting my introverted side sans a sidekick. And yet, I met some beautiful people and was inspired by a myriad of talks. As these talks are released, I’d love to highlight some of my favorites along with the notes and thoughts I had while listening/watching/experiencing their passion and experience.

Emily Pilloton-Lam is the first to be released and I’m SO excited to share her talk with you. She literally used power tools, on stage, to build a wood tool box. I was impressed. Seriously. A chop saw, circular saw, carpenter’s square, drill, it was awesome.

Emily is the founder of “Girls Garage”- a non-profit to teach design and construction skills to middle and high school students. There, they teach girls and “gender expansive youth how to use power tools, weld, draft construction documents and work on job sites.”

Here are some of my favorite moments from Emily’s talk:

”When young women (youth) walk into Girl’s Garage they are acknowledged as capable and whole.” 

If we all believed we are “capable and whole” – just think about how our walk through life would be different.

“…Our students will enter the trades knowing what it feels like to be respected and valued and know how to demand it when they’re not.”

If we could all learn and know our value and if we knew how to expect respect…what change would come about in the humanity around us? You mirror the action you expect to receive. Value yourself and treat yourself with respect. When others see this behavior they treat you accordingly. 

You can not expect something from others which you do not give to yourself first. 

Love. Permission. Strength. Passion. Respect. Foster these in yourself and those around you. Encourage ownership and growth.

And then…maybe go build something.


                                         with love,


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