Both motherhood and technology shaped Winegar’s 20-year marketing and communications career. She identified her own space online to raise the profile of mothers around the world. “This digital revolution and motherhood hit, and I fell in love with digital communications as the next iteration,” Winegar said. “In my career, I have been very lucky to have the progression of digital media map the growth of my career. When I started having my children, at the same time I was discovering all these women out there talking about their lives online.”
She not only professionally witnessed a revolution in ways to approach digital communications, but she also personally observed how mothers share stories online. Winegar’s blog, When You Wake Up a Mother…You Wake up the World, uses motherhood to connect with women around the world. She tackles issues diverse topics like pregnancy, race in America, family, and travel to Mozambique. Those early mom bloggers inspired her to take part in the conversation online.
“They didn’t know each other and would build these relationships that seem so normal now, but back then, it was really radical and in many ways quite a feminist act to dialogue about contemporary motherhood in such an open and transparent way.” She finds motherhood to be an experience that connects communities 10,000 miles apart. “This one experience that is pretty universal across cultures and socioeconomics, but you find that some of those cultural and socioeconomic factors make it that much harder for many women around the world, and so your heart and your head are really switched on to this idea of global motherhood and what it’s like to be a mother in different parts of the world,” Winegar said.
But Above All She Was a Communicator
Growing up in Australia, one of Winegar’s early inspirations was her aunt, a teacher in immigrant communities who was the first person in the family to receive a college degree. Winegar’s aunt taught English as a second language to the children of Vietnamese families migrating by boat to Australia in the 1980s. “I got to watch her with these communities and how she formed relationships with the children who had trauma or difficult experiences and were processing those experiences while they were trying to go to school after moving to a new country,” Winegar said.
This aunt taught Winegar the importance of using communication to engage with communities, especially mothers and children. “The entire Vietnamese community in Brisbane just fell in love with her and wrapped her up as she just loved on their kids and embraced their culture and learned to love their food,” Winegar said. “She was a teacher by profession, but above all she was a communicator.”
Using lessons learned from her aunt, Winegar landed her first communications job at a headhunting agency in Sydney and London. “That began my love for figuring out how to take a message and get it out there,” Winegar said. “But then I also have always been really interested in how the message resonates, how to tweak it, how to make it better, how to make it more compelling.”
The United Nation’s Best Friend
In July 2016, Winegar became the Senior Director for Communications & Special Initiatives and the Community Manager for Global Moms Challenge at the UN Foundation, which she calls “a private organization that operates like the UN’s best friend.” Her day-to-day activities are diverse: she interacts with partners including UN agencies, watches social media channels, works on the communications strategy, manages an editorial calendar, writes, makes phone calls, and meets colleagues at other UN agencies.
“Every day, I think about how the stories I tell lift up the work of the UN,” Winegar said. Her favorite part of the job is the people she works with at the UN Foundation and partners like UNICEF, UNFPA, Save the Children, 1,000 Days, and UNHCR. She sees how every colleague is motivated to make the world a better place. She also enjoys the opportunity to moderate panels and interview impressive people, such as Connie Britton, Dr. Nina Ansary, and Lonny Ali at the Social Good Summit 2016 (as seen in the featured image).
“I am incredibly excited to be living in a time where something like the Sustainable Development Goals exists,” Winegar said. “The fact that the United Nations has the wherewithal and energy and excitement to rally all 193 countries around a list of 17 goals that will solve for poverty and mitigate climate change and really, truly leave no one behind: that to me is why I get up every day and what gives me enormous joy and hope and excitement.”