4 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

March 08, 2011

Changing the World, 100 Years at a Time

Screen shot 2011-03-03 at 2.10.14 PMGo ahead, take your shoes off and spin around a couple of times, today is the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day celebrating the work that women are doing to change the world. Today is a day to reflect back and advance forward. [art from Art and Spice Creations] 

This morning on a pier in Oceanside, CA,  women are stretching their muscles and getting ready to walk across the United States. Dubbed the  Sole2Soulwalk.com, it will be an ever-evolving crowd as it journeys to Washington DC arriving sometime in September 2011.  Along the way they hope to bring women's issues to the attention local and national papers. Anyone can participate, go here for the map then get your shoes and attitude on. 

Since the 60s women are now "seen", but we are still not "heard"... 

Attitude isn't enough going forward, we need to get our voices involved. This past Sunday I participated in the Op Ed Project which educates women to speak out and help get articles placed in high ranking newspapers and magazines. Katie Orenstein launched the Op Ed effort after learning that only 15% of op ed pieces are contributed by women. Watch her below and see if it doesn't fire up your keyboards.

"The op ed pages of our nation's newspapers are 85% written by men. These pages are extrodinarily powerful and are also theaters for all other media. So for example, 84% of guests on morning talk shows are men, 85-95% of radio and TV producers are men, and it's not a very big leap to know that 85% of congress is male..." Katie Orenstein, founder of the Op Ed Project.

Are you ready to dance to a new tune and lead others?

 Take training from www.theOpEdProject.org, start a blog, or simply begin leaving your comments on newspaper articles and show your gender by giving your real name. Be brave. Put it out there for all to know what you think is just as important as what anyone else thinks. We won't need another 100 years before change happens, 10 years of persistent writing can change the world if more women put their opinions online and in print. We have 15% now, Katie thinks 30% is a tipping point. That's doable.

A big shout out for all the women who took the first step -- Chardonnay Vance,  Carol Kim, Talia Inlender, Bonnie Samotin, Tracie Morales, Umbreen Bhatti, Edina Lekovic, Melina Baray, Christine Kwok, Sarah Schuh, Tabby Biddle, Pia Guerrero --I'm looking forward to reading what you think. My thanks also to MC Sunglaila and Becca Frucht for their insights during the day. 

Screen shot 2011-03-08 at 8.50.34 AM 

February 02, 2011

Influential Moms or Business Women?

Ironic Dot connecting this morning...

  • Dot 1 -- At what point will women cross from "Influencer" to "Shrewd Business Woman"  in multi-book author, Maria Bailey's Media Post article she lists several of these Mom Influencers and their accomplishments. All reach thousands each week. As a "media" they are considered highly successful, but because they are Moms, they are known as "influencers." Full article here. I wonder what a girl has to do to be seen as a business first...
Trisha Novotry, known online as 24/7 Mom
Andrea Deckard, known online as the founder of www.Savingslifestyle.com.
Lisa Druxman, founder of Stroller Strides.
Pamela Nagata, coordinator for Sandiegoparent.com.
Molly Gold, founder of Go Mom Inc    on her live show on MomTV.com  
  • Dot 2 -- A report just out researching who gets venture capital money. The conclusion of the research? When the business model was lead by a man, it was given more recognition and funding. When the exact same business model was lead by a woman, the funding was more likely to be denied. That's sad news for 6.5 million women-owned firms. 

(thanks to Yvonne for finding this 2009 study) Kimberly Weisul, writing on BNET, says, "...new research from the University of Utah Kaufman Firm on Entrpreneurship lends weight to the argument that discrimination is at work. After studying the reactions of 222 MBA students to different founding teams, researchers Robert Wuebker and Lyda Bigelow found that even though the personal qualifications and the firm financials were identical no matter the gender of the CEO, women-led firms were seen as having a poorer strategic position, and female founders were perceived as less capable."

Connecting the dots - woman are coveted for their ability to grow out these massive sectors of influence, sometimes without money or power but by the shear force of their personalities and yet -- they are given less financial respect than those who have to buy their way to influence. Go figure. 

Who would you trust with your investments -- someone who is trying to buy your affection through a business model or someone who has the same business model AND the ability to grow a base of support? It's time for the money lenders to start looking at opportunities the same way business is looking for influencers.

There is a revolution going on in more places than Egypt...


May 09, 2010

Mother's Day = Save Society Day?

Is it time for a new Mother's Day tradition that goes beyond flowers and dinner? That would be YES if Michelle Obama and women around the world have a vote. 

Julia Ward Howe started it in 1870 with her Mother's Day Proclamation. It was a pacifist reaction to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian Way. She believed that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level. 

Today at 1:00, women will be standing silently across the globe for 5 minutes as witnesses for change. They'll be recreating the moment when two grandmothers stood still for a day in a park and more and more women joined them in silent protest as they stared at city hall. It seems like a silly thing to do, but imagine how you'd feel if 1000 people gathered and looked at you in silence. 

This morning Michelle Obama sent the following email outlining the things that the Obama administration has done to make the world a better place for women and families to live. It's too good not to reprint the entire thing.

Women tamed the wild west, why not the world? Happy Mother's Day to all who bring peace to their homes. (kisses Bena)

The White House, Washington

Dear Friend,

There's no way I could ever measure all that my own mother has done for me. She is my rock. She pushes me to be the best professional, mother, wife and friend I can be.

As a mother myself, I've come to realize that being a mom isn't always easy and that no one can do it alone.

My husband understands the many challenges facing today's mothers and their families. His Administration has taken steps to level the playing field and ease the burden.

The first bill the President signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to ensure that no women face the same discrimination and injustices that Lilly did after 20 years on the job. When women make less money than men for the same work, families have to work harder just to get by.

The President signed an Executive Order creating the first-ever White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Federal agencies take women and girls into account in their daily work and to ensure that our daughters have the same opportunities as our sons.

Through the Let's Move! Initiative and the President's Task Force on Childhood Obesity, we're helping to provide parents with the knowledge and tools they need to make healthy choices for their children and teach their children to make healthy choices for themselves.

This week, we are celebrating Women's Health Week to promote steps women and girls can take to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

Mother's Day is about showing our gratitude for the mothers and mother figures who have influenced our lives. The President and I would like to extend our warmest Mother's Day wishes to all of the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and friends who have inspired a child.

Happy Mother's Day!

Michelle Obama

April 29, 2010

In Women We Trust: Lynn Tilton

Lynn Tilton puts her money where her mouth is - LOTS of money - about $7 billion give or take a million. 

I never heard of her until last week, and this week I can't get her words or her mission out of my mind. Here she is on EconoWatch in 2008 at $5 billion and 30 companies, today she has 70 billion invested in her Patriarch Partners group in companies from helicopters to Spiegel Catalog.

Lynn is focused on saving good companies with a solid structure, who may have lost their way, from being chopped up and sold in pieces. She has taken her ideas to Wall Street and Congress and now is taking them directly to the street - main street to be precise.

Saving America's self-esteem one company and job at a time is something I can get behind.


And here she is a year later on Power Lunch a little blonder, bolder and a few billion bigger. She has a plan for saving companies and jobs with her SMERescue, for small and midsized businesses.