Photo collage of the Active Voice logo and 3 photos of Sara leading workshops and interacting with attendees.
Leading a workshop at Confab Intensive (photo: Sean Tubridy / Brain Traffic), the Design & Content Conference (photo: Republic of Quality), and a January 2020 Collective Strength event.

Hi. I’m Sara. You may know me as a content strategist and UX consultant, or a speaker, or an author. But today I’m introducing my newest adventure: Active Voice — a coaching and professional development company focused on helping tech and design teams build radical, courageous leadership practices.

Over the past 9 years, I’ve worked with a wide range of tech and design orgs as a consultant — and I’ve seen just how much of work isn’t, well, : Hustle culture has worn people out. Meetings mostly suck. The wage gap persists. The annual diversity report looks almost the same…

This is the article format of the 2020 Intentions Workshop I led at Collective Strength, a feminist leadership event series I cohost in Philadelphia. Set aside an hour or two, grab a few friends if you can, and get to work (there are even handy worksheets).

The Collective Strength 2020 Intentions Workshop in action at Indy Hall in Philadelphia.

We’re just over two weeks into 2020, and already half the people I talk to are already frazzled by their New Year’s resolutions. They’re not having fun. They’re not feeling good about themselves. Instead, they’re obsessed with tracking all the things they “should” be doing: reading a book a week and networking with 10 new people a month and going to the gym every morning and quitting sugar and quitting coffee and meditating every night and cooking at home every day (and yet if they’re women, also always, somehow, eating less).

And then they’re beating themselves up when they can’t…

You’ve got lots to teach others, even if you sometimes feel like an imposter

Photo: WOC in Tech Chat via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Too many of the most interesting voices in tech and design talk themselves out of writing or speaking about their work because they don’t think they have enough experience. But you don’t have to wait for “enough” (whatever that means). Here’s how to find what’s special about your perspective right now — wherever you are in your career.

Last fall, Katel LeDu and I asked more than 200 people about their experiences with professional visibility in the tech and design communities, including what was hard about it. …

These nine lessons from women entrepreneurs, authors, and activists will get you hyped for 2019—and keep you feeling steady, no matter what the year throws at you.

Left to right, top row: Eileen Webb, Nadya Okamoto, Emily Best, Saron Yitbarek, Adda Birnir. Bottom row: Laura Kalbag, Elizabeth Fiedler, me and Katel, Jenn Taylor-Skinner, and Cindy Gallop.

Two years ago, I was finishing the first draft of my first mainstream book. I was terrified: Would anyone read it? Would it get me doxxed? Would people realize I was a fake, a know-nothing, an imposter who somehow scammed her way into a book contract?

One year ago, I was sitting with Katel and Jenn recording the first episode of our podcast. I was terrified of , too: Would anyone listen? Would anyone care? Would we get 10,000 emails complaining about upspeak or vocal fry?

This year, I’m working with Katel on building a business. I have no…

No, You Go is now Strong Feelings: a weekly podcast about work, friendship, and feminism hosted by Katel LeDu and Sara Wachter-Boettcher—the best friends you didn’t know you were missing.

Too sensitive. Emotional. . Women’s emotions are treated as if they’re problems or weaknesses way too often—by shitty bosses and bad boyfriends, sure, but also by advice columns claiming to help women succeed at work and thinkpieces attempting to explain away the wage gap.

But feelings aren’t weak. Whether we’re admitting our deepest fears and insecurities () or expressing the burning rage we feel at a world where abusive men still hold so much power (), opening up about our feelings is actually incredibly powerful.


Friendship is what brought our podcast together. Now I’m learning to sustain that friendship, after the mics are off.

A couple weekends ago, I went out to dinner with Jenn Lukas and Katel LeDu, my friends and collaborators on No, You Go. It was glorious: hours of cheese boards and oysters and fancy cocktails and laughter. We even stopped for dessert…. The whole night was perfect — decadent, intimate, just plain fun.

Three days later, I still couldn’t stop thinking about it. And at first, I couldn’t figure out why. Sure, it was a lovely evening. But why had it seemed so magical?

I mean, I love these women. But I also see them all the time. Since…

Have a love-hate relationship with social media? So do we. In Episode 7 of No, You Go, we explore the joys and perils of visibility, and talk with Sydette Harry, an expert in online communities.

NYG Website / ►Apple Podcasts / ►Stitcher / ►Overcast / ►Player FM / ►PocketCasts / ►Breaker / ►acast

Trolls, randos, and straight-up neo-Nazis: being a woman online can be tough. This week, we’re exploring how we make choices about what and whether to share online.

Our guest this week is the inimitable writer, editor, and tech/media critic, Sydette Harry, also known as @blackamazon. She’s an editor at Mozilla and part of the Coral Project, which is working to create healthier communities and comments sections. …

The transcript from Episode 7 of No, You Go — a podcast by Jenn Lukas, Katel LeDu, and Sara Wachter-Boettcher.

NYG Website / ►Apple Podcasts / ►Stitcher / ►Overcast / ►Player FM / ►PocketCasts / ►Breaker / ►acast

Katel LeDû [Ad spot] This episode of No, You Go is brought to you by our friends at Shopify, the leading global commerce platform for entrepreneurs like me! And A Book Apart. Are you looking to join forces with a diverse, intelligent, and motivated team? Well Shopify has great news: they’re hiring more awesome people to join them and they don’t just want you to apply to them, they want to apply you. Visit …

In Episode 6 of No, You Go, we talk about doing great work in rough times—even if you’re a climate scientist working in Washington, DC.

NYG Website / ►Apple Podcasts / ►Stitcher / ►Overcast / ►Player FM / ►PocketCasts / ►Breaker / ►acast

It’s no secret that 2017 was a trash year, and 2018 hasn’t been…easy. But somehow, we’re still here, making it work — and even finding inspiration, joy, and success. We want to talk about how we’re coping during even the most trying political and cultural times. To help us, we sit down with none other than Katel’s friend Allison Crimmins, a climate scientist working in government, to find out how keeping her head up in rough times.

I try as much…

The transcript from Episode 6 of No, You Go — a podcast by Jenn Lukas, Katel LeDu, and Sara Wachter-Boettcher.

NYG Website / ►Apple Podcasts / ►Stitcher / ►Overcast / ►Player FM / ►PocketCasts / ►Breaker / ►acast

Katel LeDû [Ad spot] This episode of No, You Go is brought to you by our friends at Shopify, the leading global commerce platform for entrepreneurs. In fact, my company, A Book Apart, runs on Shopify … and great news: they’re hiring more awesome people to join their team. And they don’t just want you to apply to them, they want to apply to you. Join a diverse, intelligent, and motivated team, and work on the leading global commerce platform for entrepreneurs…

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Tech + UX + feminism + racial justice. Coach, strategist, author, speaker. Founder of Active Voice. She/her. More: +

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store