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Activator Update: Amy Vaughan of Together Digital


Amy Vaughan

Owner & CEO, Together Digital - A collective of influential women in digital. 

Amy Vaughan had a well-paying job working on accounts involving major Fortune 500-level companies and a loving husband with whom she had just started a family. But that’s when – like a scene out of a movie – the reality of her situation struck, demanding a change.“I was really shocked and surprised that when I did get to my six-figure salary and my title, I wasn't experiencing the happiness (I thought I would). The high didn't stick and satisfaction didn't stay – It was like, ‘Okay, I've made it. Now what?’” recalls Vaughan, CEO of Together Digital. “Buying a business in the middle of and then continuing to run it through a pandemic definitely teaches you a lot about yourself ... You're going to learn a lot about others – who shows up, who supports you, (and) how they support you.” 

Now, having received a $10,000 Launch Grant from Main Street Ventures (MSV), she is hopeful her company will be able to help women with the professional networking they need to be successful, too.


Originally founded by Alaina Shearer before being purchased by Vaughan, Together Digital (formerly known as Women in Digital) serves to “educate and empower women within digital to be their best selves professionally and personally.” The organization does this by helping women connect via events and workshops that have attracted 40,000+ women since its inception, tackling topics often viewed as barriers to acceleration in the workplace.

That is why Vaughan says her organization is hard at work developing Shatter, a new business app intended to “help women shatter the glass ceiling one connection at a time.” Working in a manner akin to many modern dating apps, Vaughan says Shatter will allow users to establish a profile and then search others in hopes of finding people that match their interests, industries, career goals, etc. She also hopes Shatter will be able to integrate with the popular cloud-based team communication platform Slack. 

“One of the things I noticed during my time (completing my) Goldman Sachs (10,000 Small Businesses certificate) and connecting with other entrepreneurs, especially women, and supporting them in digital marketing, advertising and technology, is there was a networking gap. Women were spending less time networking,” she says. “Men feel this way often, too – but it just feels like women aren't taught or encouraged to self-promote. I had some companies tell me they didn't want to sponsor memberships for their women to be a part of our organization because they were afraid if they networked that they would leave ... We’re really trying to find ways to close that gap by making networking more equitable and accessible for women.

Vaughn believes networking is the key to improving employee retention rates, especially for women and especially for women in tech and other industries in which they are underrepresented.

“Networking is essential because it provides opportunities for mentorship,” Vaughan says. “It helps provide access to new opportunities and positions (that women might not know about) because of the hidden job market right now.”


Knowing Vaughan’s path to becoming the owner of Together Digital helps explain her passion behind the Shatter project. Vaughan originally joined Together Digital as a standard member after founder Shearer came across her profile on LinkedIn. 

Well-versed in the marketing and advertising industry, Vaughan began moving up the corporate ladder, eventually becoming a creative director who worked with several Fortune 500 companies. But upon becoming a mother, Vaughan says she paid a “parenting penalty” of being overlooked for opportunities (including for accounts on which she had previously worked or helped to secure). 

Fast-forward a few years and Shearer’s decision to pursue a political career left her in need of a successor at Together Digital. She asked Vaughan to take over the reins, which she did in the fall of 2019. 

Noting that she “wouldn’t change these last five years for anything,” Vaughan says the help she received from MSV has been “absolutely essential” to her organization’s progress. 

“I couldn't have even gotten this started without them. Without the money, we wouldn't have had the means ... Being able to receive this grant to explore how to revitalize and involve the community in something impactful and help even more women outside of our own field was huge and very helpful,” she says. “Additionally, I have been to a few Main Street Ventures events and being able to connect with and meet some of the other grant recipients has been great. I'm obviously a big proponent of networking, so being able to connect and meet with other grant recipients is very important.”


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