Yes Queen - The Origin and our Mission
Launch article by Founder, Sarah Fritz
Reading time: 4 minutes
Hello Yes Queen tribe,
With over 18 years in the workforce, I have worked for some amazing companies and with some incredibly inspiring people. Nothing felt better than the jobs that made me feel ambitious, excited and supported.
And nothing felt worse than the companies and people that made me feel insecure, unsafe and uninspired.
I have been a subject and witness of bullying and poor cultures in different shapes and forms over my career – within organisations and via external partners. When a co-worker was having life threatening thoughts due to negative behaviour I made it my mission in this life to shine a light on and help end this serious issue. As a person who is fiercely passionate about people and culture, I identified the opportunity in front me – to lead a kindness revolution and future-proof wellbeing at work.
And so, the Yes Queen project was born. Our name embodies a person - an ambitious trailblazer who is kind, compassionate and supportive of others.
Why Yes Queen? Born in 1980’s Ball Culture, the term “Yas Queen” was coined and called out to anyone who was being extra, whether in costume or attitude. It is the greatest compliment for performers. This empowering phrase has evolved and gone viral in pop culture (largely via a Lady Gaga fan) and is now used to encourage anyone doing something amazing. We picked it up at work and would often use it as a powerful and positive way to support a co-worker, two fundamental attributes of our initiative. For our project, the ‘Yas’ is tweaked to ‘Yes’, a reminder that saying YES might change your life, or someone else’s.
I hand on heart get so much happiness out of being kind to people. In a work setting, I don’t think there is any other option than being a great human being to everyone, or at the very least, being professional. I’m not here to say we are going to gel with everyone, this isn’t Pleasantville – but it is work, where respect and kindness should be mandatory, not a nice to have. Witnessing division at workplaces through cliques, reports of nasty language, gossip, eye-rolls in meetings and purposeful exclusion are just some of the reasons Yes Queen exists. The lack of human compassion and ego’s flying about made work the complete opposite of what I expect from a workplace, and something I want to see changed.
Whilst I bring work experience and expertise (and a whole lot of love) to this project, I knew I needed a lot more than this to truly shift the dial and make an impact on the future of work. Kicking off with the @the.yesqueen Instagram and LinkedIn pages, I had overwhelming support pouring in to contribute to the movement. From here, I garnered the interest and people-power of 64 experienced, respected and brilliant individuals who share my vision of workplaces that are safe, positive and inclusive.
With a team of advisors across HR, Psychology, Wellness and PR, 16 contributors and a growing list of YQ Ambassadors, we have spent the last year creating and building our project with one goal, to empower employee’s to be their most fearless selves. ‘We spend so much of our lives working; let's make it an empowering and soul-nourishing experience’. (Evelyn Diamond, Yes Queen Ambassador).
Whilst Yes Queen is a humanist project, we are unashamedly targeting female led industries with women making up 48.5% of the global workforce and the rising issue of female on female bullying. We’re also passionate about supporting women in male-orientated fields like Technology and Finance. In an era of female-empowerment “women should not be smashing through glass ceilings only to pull the ladder up behind them." (Unknown)
theyesqueen.com is a resource for employers and employees to understand bullying, culture and wellness at work. There are two extensions of our platform:
a blog that will cover a range of topics – from how to be your best self, understanding and communicating with others, discovering your passion and purpose to essential ways of promoting balance in and out of 9-5; and
a workplace tool-kit to help interested businesses spearhead the kindness revolution.
Whilst an anti-bullying initiative, our focus is on culture and wellness as we believe a positive and open-heart approach creates the best outcomes.
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Founder – Yes Queen