creative juice / personalities

allovus’ stories: “a day without a woman”

Allovus recently participated in A Day Without a Woman event planned by the Women’s March organization. It was a day to honor and recognize the women in both our work lives and our home lives. 28 Allovus employees took part in the day; 16 women took the day off from work—and 12 men donated some PTO time and covered for the women while they were away.

We thought it would be nice to share some of the participants’ stories of what they did on A Day Without a Woman.

Stories about “A Day Without a Woman”

“I decided to do some random acts of kindness for some women very dear to my heart. Enjoyed lunch at a women-owned minority business, indulged in a facial from a friend’s business (woman-owned, minority, I might add). I was still was on the hook for carpool, so I had to go to Silverdale for 4 hours, but decided to indulge and saw a chick flick all by myself.”  —Allovus employee

“For the day I went to the International Women’s Day: Equality in Tech conference sponsored by General Assembly. The discussion panel was really interesting and all of them were designers sharing really good insights on how to manage difficult situations in the industry as a woman. They were really open in sharing their experiences within different companies around Seattle. Allovus employee

“I didn’t do anything earth shattering, but I was able to pick up all the supplies for my community dinner I put on each month, so it was a big help to have that time back. I also was able to pick my son up from school and go to his bookfair with him!” Allovus employee

I went to lunch and got a pedicure while drinking Champagne with a hardworking mom, and fellow Allovus employee, who never gets a chance to do things like that cuz of her two little ones.”

Allovus employee

“I took my son out of school and dressed him in red. We played several games together, picked up my mom and went to lunch. It was great, as she was not quite sure what I was doing until we started talking about the differences that have happened since she was a full-time worker. She was told that she could not take the promotion she was offered as her physical examination showed she was pregnant. This was in 1973. We have come a long way in many areas, and the day was spent recognizing that and making plans to close all the other gaps in the future.” Allovus employee

Photo credit: Chieu Van

“I usually end up eating late on weekdays due to the time it takes to prepare meals from scratch. On International Women’s Day, I was able to make a special dinner paying homage to my mom and my Vietnamese heritage. I made crispy spring rolls (chả giò) and pork patties (nem nướng) on rice vermicelli. Eating this meal was a reminder of my family’s humble beginnings. In 1979, we arrived as immigrants who survived the long journey on a boat and six months in a refugee camp. Instead of bombs falling from the sky of a war-torn country, my  mom saw snow for the first time, and she thought it was the most beautiful thing in her life. She had no possessions other than a bundle of clothes and the hope of building a better life in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Determined to provide for her three children, she opened a small family restaurant from the savings she made working two jobs cleaning offices. As a family, we all pitched in the kitchen, rolling hundreds of spring rolls each day. Sharing this recipe is, in a way, sharing my mother’s story.

Chả Giò Ingredients

2 ounces dried bean thread noodles
1 ounce dried wood ear mushrooms
1 pound ground pork
1 egg beaten
1 handful beansprouts
1 large carrot, grated
½ onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce
15-20 rice paper wrappers (depends on how much filling you use)

Directions:
Soak the noodles and mushroom separately in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain. Cut the noodles into 1½-inch-long pieces, then combine with all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Fill a large bowl with warm water and dip 1 whole sheet of rice paper in the water and lay on a clean damp tea towel. You can place a few across as long as they don’t touch each other to prevent sticking. As the wrappers soften, spoon a couple tablespoons of mixture onto the middle of the bottom edge of the wrapper and fold the two adjacent sides toward the center. Roll the bottom toward the top and repeat until mixture is all gone.

Preheat oil to 350 degrees F and fry until golden brown (5-7 minutes). Alternatively, you can freeze and cook when needed. Just carefully slide frozen spring rolls (do not defrost) in the oil and cook an additional minute.

Serve with nước chấm dipping sauce, lettuce and herbs (can be mint, Thai basil, cilantro).

 Nước Chấm Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
½ cup water
3 tablespoons lime juice or white vinegar
1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce

Allovus employee

Photo credit: Kristie Smith

I donated a day’s pay, split between 2 local women’s groups-

    1. YWCA housing in Redmond
    2. API Chaya

I also worked on my personal art projects. I’m currently designing a Baby Sasquatch to go with my 6-foot tall light-up pieces “Sassy, the friendly neighborhood Sasquatch.” Coincidentally, a female sasquatch. She is on display at the VALA Art Center at Redmond Town Center. I hope to have the mama and the baby together at this year’s Redmond Lights Festival in December. Allovus employee

Read more about “A Day Without a Woman” and the Women’s March

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