The Well 52: Nicole Armstrong, Founder and CEO of Ellequate
Nicole Armstrong is the Founder and CEO of Ellequate, an award-winning employer certification and cohort-based leadership program for intersectional workplace equity.
What is the most important thing you do for your wellness?
It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of my business. Taking time to do the things I enjoy has been so important in maintaining my physical and mental health. In the warmer months you'll find me in the garden. Other days you might find me baking or working on a home improvement project. I love to be outside, so most days I take walks to clear my head and get some fresh air. And of course, spending time with my girls—mommy-daughter dates are the best!
What advice would you give to other women?
Too often women, especially mothers, are hesitant to put themselves first (I hear the term "mommy guilt" all of the time, but I rarely hear the term "daddy guilt"). Give yourself permission to pursue your goals. Know your blind spots and surround yourself with people that will broaden your perspective.
What's the mantra you live by?
Give yourself permission to pursue your goals. Know your blind spots and surround yourself with people that will broaden your perspective.
Take (calculated) risks. Trust the process. Have faith it will all work out.
What are you most proud of?
I'm incredibly proud of my company, Ellequate. I started this journey after being laid off and with a young daughter at home. Since 2018, I’ve raised over $150,000 in funding, certified over 30 employers as Leaders In Workplace Equity, and brought together an inspiring community of leaders that are raising the bar when it comes to designing fair and inclusive workplaces. In 2019, Ellequate (formerly Queen City Certified) received a CLIMB Award for Advancing Gender Equity. In 2020, I became a member of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40 class. In 2021, I secured investments from Main Street Ventures and Miami University’s Social Impact Fund to expand our impact nationwide.
To be sure, the past few years have been filled with highs and lows (and everything in between). I now have two little ones at home (it’s not uncommon to be nursing my 5-month-old during our team meetings!). I’m incredibly grateful for the love, support, and encouragement that I’ve received over the years—and I'm proud to show my girls what's possible when you have an idea, ask for what you need, and persevere despite setbacks.
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