I remember when Megan Park realized her life’s mission. As her sister and life-long fan, I was lucky enough to hear about it fairly early on, as it formulated into the living, breathing PWITP that it is today. “It was in January of 2017, after the women’s march, that the seed sprouted,” she says. “After the presidential election and inauguration, I was feeling at sea, like so many of us, and without realizing it was finding nuggets of inspiration in odd, unexpected places.”
Walking her dog daily that winter, she listened to a series of podcasts about starting a business. It was by a man, and about men. Occasionally he’d mention women entrepreneurs, but he referred to them as “girls.” Still, he asked a good question, this unconscious misogynist. One was, “What do you know how to do?”
“I knew I wasn’t an activist or a politician. That’s not me. I’m not going to show up on Capitol Hill every day. But I care so deeply, and wanted to do as much good as I possibly could. Well, what I know how to do is network and make videos.”
An “aha” moment. Putting that together with her lifelong feminism and a desire to empower women (and get men to stop calling them girls), she also noted the almost immediate upswelling of women running for office after that fateful 2016 election. She’d meet women in the Cincinnati area who’d tell her they were running for local office. There was nothing about them on the internet. None of them had any budget, but still… they were running. “Talk about guts,” Megan comments.
In short order, as the pieces came together, the name, Putting Women in Their Place, came to her. The idea for the Trickle Up Theory, and a glorious dream of reaching women across the nation to help them with videos so they could be elected to represent issues vital to women and families.
She put her team together the way she does best—intuitively. She meets people and knows she needs to work with them… somehow. She finds their superpower and figures out where they fit in the overall picture. And that precise skill is, aside from making videos and networking, Megan’s superpower. The master of the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle (I know, I’ve done many with her at holidays through the years), she has a sixth sense about both the big picture and the little picture. She can look at a squiggly shape, peruse the puzzle terrain, and hone in on the exact spot where it fits. She does that with people, too, and her team, full of people doing just what they excel at, is testament to Megan’s puzzle-piece superpower.
Almost two years in and two election cycles under her belt, what does Megan think now? “PWITP has taken on a life of its own. There are countless media professionals, candidates, and supporters in this country joining in the PWITP movement. My team here in Cincinnati is passionately committed to our mission. I love the momentum because it pushes me through my periods of self-doubt. I’m swept away by gratitude and awe every day and inspired to keep going.”
Megan is not only the founder of Putting Women in Their Place but also co-owner of Little Sprig Production Company with Michelle Gardner, her business partner since 2013. They built that business—which creates videos for clients and also produces documentaries—with two cameras and their combined talents for storytelling, editing, cinematography (Michelle) and storytelling, big picture ideas, people skills (Megan).
When she started PWITP, Megan did so with an $800 camera and a really good idea. “It’s all about making it affordable. How can I help women with virtually no budget and a dream make the difference they are meant to make? That’s all I think about.”