7 posts categorized "Books"

May 24, 2011

Are Your Words Being Filtered Out?

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 7.15.32 AM Do you trust your search engine?

Through access to free publication on the Internet, we are finally able to express ourselves and embed our spirit into the common society only to have it silo'd into a group think mentality. ERrrrrrr Ladies, beware. 

It's one thing to put out new information and another to know that it may never meet with readers because their readership pattern and practice pre-determines what they will see on the web. Scary, eh? No wonder the red states are getting redder and blue states bluer, there is no cross-pollination of information. 

Google, Facebook and other tools are serving up an echo chamber of ideas and people to users. For example, if you read about dogs several times, then you would start getting more and more pet articles in your searches even if you didn't request them.

Below, this TED talk of "Beware of Filter Bubbles" by Eli Pariser explains the issue in a more compelling way. Or you can pick up the book.   It's given me a new respect for RSS feeds that you can select and not have changed.

February 08, 2011

Ladies, take a bow for kick starting transparency in household cleaners

Today, Clorox, the name synonymous with toxic bleach, announced that it's going transparent with its products ingredients.

"...it is now disclosing preservatives, dyes and a palette of fragrances used in its cleaning, disinfecting and laundry products in the U.S. and Canada. The Ingredients Inside program is available at www.CloroxCSR.com/ingredients-inside/" more

That doesn't mean that these products are safe or less harmful, but transparency is a step in the right direction. It also establishes a benchmark for other companies to follow. Once there is transparency, bad ingredients will be seen and no one wants that, consequently companies will work extra hard to come clean themselves before going public. 

Ladies, take a bow. YOU drove this action.

The picture below was taken from Mom's Voices.org. [correction, the site is called Women's Voice of the Earth] Do a search on "toxic cleaners" "toxic cosmetics" (both sink into your skin) and you'll see countless mom generated books and blogs on the subject. Public pressure is the wind beneath the toxic-free movement's wings. Mom's Voices is one of many women-fueled sites on this subject.

Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 8.35.05 AM

Listing all ingredients is a brave, first step for Clorox. They, like Wal Mart, are turning their Darth Vader image into a force for green good by taking a leadership for green position. It won't be easy for Clorox and those like them, unlike Seventh Generation who started out green, Clorox had to justify the reformulation and changing entire production lines before they could make a move. Public pressure made them do it, otherwise they would have started out clean like Seventh Generation. 

Here are a few more books on the subject, all written by women. Do you have a book on Toxic-free living? Please let me know. --Mary(dot)inwomenwetrust(dot)com

Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 9.31.54 AM Practically Green: Your Guide to Ecofriendly Decision-Making
By Micaela Preston

Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 9.34.02 AM Smart Mama's Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Chemical Exposure  By Jennifer Taggart






The Green Parent: A Kid-Friendly Guide to Environmentally-Friendly Living
By Jenn Savedge

 Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 9.36.52 AM Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World
By Diane MacEachren



Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 8.56.53 AM

Green Cleaning For Dummies Elizabeth B. Goldsmith , Betsy Sheldon 






Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 8.59.03 AM Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living Annie Berthold-Bond 



Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 9.02.15 AM Green Cleaning Christine Halvorson Erika Swanson Geiss 


August 26, 2010

Women Count with Susan Bulkeley Butler

Screen shot 2010-08-26 at 9.28.00 AMIt is both ironic and a privilege that I would have the opportunity to review Women Count: a Guide to Changing the World by Susan Bulkeley Butler and attend Jill's Konrath's Sales Shebang meeting in Chicago in the same week.

Women Count is a book that's part women's history lesson and part "let's get to work," inspiration. Younger women will be stunned at what we seasoned types have literally worked through these past decades. Those of us on the far end of the work-life-cycle, with scars of self-preservation to prove it, will appreciate the reminder of how far we have come. Conversely, the younger crowd will be able to read and jumpstart their careers. 

Susan, who also wrote Become the CEO of You, Inc., makes her second book personal by including her own experiences as she rose through the business ranks to become the first women partner at the company that became Accenture. Her life anchors the book which highlights the work of many female benchmark setters. 

Once the history lesson is captured, she then switches her focus on what women have left to do to let their values and their ideas become the norm instead of the afterthought. To underscore the unbalance she reminds us that only 3% of the Fortune 500 have women CEOs and yet 50% of the population is made up of women. That shouldn't matter if men and women made decisions the same way, but we don't, if we did there would be no need for women's groups to be forming by the thousands. Clearly we get something from business relationships with each other that we cannot get in a mixed crowd--for example, the Sales SheBang meeting is an all women event.

Perhaps the most useful part of the book comes at the end where Susan addresses how to put a plan of action together. She has seen many great ideas die without this critical first step accomplished. 

If you're at a crossroads in your life and need a shot of pride in your past along with pragmatic next steps, Women Count will help you change your own world first. 

August 09, 2010

Why Great Teachers Quit

Screen shot 2010-08-09 at 6.59.16 AMA few years back, a friend of mine was griping about how easy teachers have it and how only the bad ones stay to teach. I was stunned. Could she possible be serious? Or maybe she just didn't have any teachers for friends. "They always cut out at the end of the day as fast as they can," she said. "They're probably heading to their second job," was my reply. Her solution was to gather with her other mom friends and pray that God would find an answer--He did, many years later in Katy Farber who decided to shine a big light on the issues and the solutions. Rather than wait for an answer on high, Katy researched the frustrations and offers them back in a concise summation of facts, failings and successes.

Her book, Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus lists off the usual suspects:

  • Standardized testing.
  • Working conditions.
  • Ever-higher expectations.
  • Bureaucracy.
  • Respect and Compensation.
  • Parents, Administrators and School Boards.

She then offers resources and solutions culled from interviews with 70 teachers across the nation. Their stories echo the frustration this profession generates. The issues raised are not new, but by having them all in one book it allows each participating member to see things from the other's perspective. As the adage goes, "Awareness is the first step..."

Why Great Teachers Quit is an essential workbook and reminder of how pervasive the problems are and what simple steps could be taken to reverse the brain drain. Each school system has it within their ability to retain the top influencers on the next generation; Katy's book can turn the he said/she said battles into "We did it together" solutions. 

Thank you Katy for changing our world and keeping the best teachers in place and our kids safe at home

July 29, 2009

To Review or Not to Review...

Could you do it? Could you turn down a FREE NEW REFRIGERATOR in exchange for three months of (hopefully) positive reviews? How honest could you be at that high of a freebie price tag? Below is how Diane handled it.

Moral Marketing (to each other) is the new concern of social media marketing. When Neilsen tracks 10,000 women bloggers for their mass media appeal just like they do magazines and newspapers, you know the tide has turned. Because the influence of the blogging woman is so high, because high product praise from a friend carries so much influence, companies are doing whatever they can to get women to endorse their products in writing. 

By the time I was done writing "In Women We Trust" it was apparent that in Women we better trust as we find our voices and do online what they've been doing off line for generations - sharing experiences about food, products and life.  

Many in our green women group have set policies for reviews. My policy is that I'll only review products or books that serve the triple bottom line of people, planet and then profits. The products must be certified as sustainable like Forbo's Marmoleum (SMaRT certified) and books must offer insights into how to turn the world greener and safer. 

What's your moral marketing policy? Will you blog about anything, or does the product/service need to hold itself to higher standards first?What is your standard for changing the world? Are you a change agent or an enabler?

June 29, 2009

The Mom's Guide to Growing the Family Green

Picture 2 Can you imagine a world without the Internet at this point? I would not only miss the speed at which I can conduct business, but REALLY miss hearing the collective wisdom of the women who are finally are able to put their opinions and wisdom out there. Terra Wellington is one of those women, her blog MomsandthePlanet.com takes on a multitude of issues facing our planet, from toxic food to over fishing to how to buy green.

In her new book, The Mom's Guide to Growing Your Family Green, she provides step-by-step, issue-by-issue examples for "saving the earth and protecting your family - without breaking the bank"!

That's the good news - if everyone did even 50% of what she suggests, the planet would be well on it's way to having its wrongs, righted and you would have more cash to save. 

The bad news is that the majority of the clean up task falls on YOU, the woman of the house. That's right, as the head purchasing agent, house cleaner, cook, driver, gardener... you have the responsibility to be your home's green role model. 

Great, just what you need, more stuff to do. Right? Wrong!!  If you follow her tips, you'll actually be lightening your load. Less is more. Buying in bulk the same green items you'll use all year saves trips and the aggravation of picking between 47,000 items at your local super store. I'm all for that. 

She also helps you save on things you can't see, like heat or AC and takes on low water use, which many books leave out. 

Her eco-overhaul could become a fun family project to take on one issue a month until it becomes routine. I personally like that she has a section on gardening. When you teach a kids how to garden, you grow the next generation of kids who understand that good food takes time - their time. Like chopping your own wood, warms you twice - growing your own food gets you in touch with the earth, the sun, your muscles and your pride. Nothing, tastes better than that first homegrown tomato of the season and nothing makes a kid smile more then when you announce proudly how it was grown by them. 

Whether you're growing a garden or starting a green house, Terra's book provides the inspiration, facts and action plans to get you going.


April 10, 2006

What prompted this blog and book?

While working at Interpret-her.com I asked a simple question to 30 midlife women about their choices in professionals. "If competency wasn't an issue, who would you rather work with, men or women?" About 90% of them said "women," but it wasn't because they were "doing it for the  sisterhood" like in the 60s and 70s. These midlifers had worked with both men and women and determined that they could trust the women more.

Wow. That was an eye opener. The question then became, "Why would you trust them more?" The answers centered around female cultural attributes. "Women listen more," "they return my phone calls." "they respect me," "they follow through", "I know that they'll go the extra mile for me..."

Yes, there are men who do this as well, but apparently not enough of them for these women who have tested out both genders through the years and found that they prefer Brand XX instead of XY.

Y Not?

To be very clear, these women didn't hate men anymore than they hate one company's products over another. What they were saying is "This is the culture that works better for me." Or, if smart companies are listening between the lines, "If you want our business, start behaving like women."

This goes way beyond having real women featured in your ads or putting up flowery pictures in your office, although we applaud the first steps. This is about appreciating the inner spirit of women and what drives them.

The book, "In Women We Trust" (which will be available next month) starts the conversation and gives this blog it's framework. We'll be looking specifically at what things women value in their friends and how companies can adapt those values. Things such as: Consideration, Fun, Respect, Safety, Honesty, Relability, Thoughtfulness, Loyalty and of course being in their Community.

The blog will look at where women agree/disagree on the values and which companies are adapting to them well. And, since being on friendly terms is the best way to engage women, we'll also be looking at how that applies to Word-of-Mouth and women.

You can't strap on "quality" at the end of process, and you can't strap on being "female-friendly" either. For a business to be truly female-friendly, it has to internalize it throughout the company just like women do throughout their personalities.

In Women We Trust is the first conversation on how to be the kind of business that women value as much as they value their most trusted friends.