“What matters about people is their magnetic leadership, their aptitude for helping those following in their footsteps, and their passion—how they choose to package that is their prerogative.”
In the U.S., Avon ladies helped pioneer the door-to-door sales business model while peddling makeup and perfumes. Today, one at a time, women are fanning out to reach some of the world’s most remote markets with desperately needed goods and services. How a traveling salesforce of women could bridge Africa’s “last mile.”
Buy Thinx’s remarkable underwear in America, and you’ll be sending sanitary pads to a girl in Africa.
No, Motorola, that’s NOT what she said.
“…a Credit Suisse analysis of almost 2,400 international companies that found that companies with at least one woman on their board tend to be the strongest performers.”
At The Hatchery's recent 2013 Women Leaders Summit, attendees had an opportunity to hear from highly accomplished women leaders including author Christine Comaford, President and CEO of Leader to Leader Institute Frances Hesselbein, and author and motivational speaker Carole Hyatt.
In a panel moderated by the Wall Street Journal's Gabriella Stern, the women offered their collective knowledge on topics ranging from discrimination (Hyatt couldn’t take out an American Express card to start her first business in 1960), to work-life balance, to failure. Fast Company's Cecelia Bittner had a chance to attend. Here's what she heard:
- According to Hesselbein, facing and overcoming failure requires a sense of exuberance that young people today are bringing into the work force. She describes it as a positive attitude that allows one to view a challenge not as a burden but as ”an opportunity to do something remarkable.”
- Hyatt said it’s all about how one handles the disappointment, explaining that an individual can choose to focus their energy on moving past and growing from event.
- When asked for 15-minutes of wisdom, Comaford shared the secret to influencing anyone. Emotional intelligence. Comaford explained that all humans crave one of three things: safety, belonging, or mattering. If you can figure out which of those things an individual needs, you can make them do what you want. (Comaford made the entire audience promise to only use that power for good.)
[Image from The Hatchery]
When asked about over-coming failure at The Hatchery's Women Leaders Summit, author, business woman, and leadership expert Christine Comaford offered a three question method:
1. What would you like?
2. What would having that do for you? (How do you want to feel?)
3. How will you know when you have it?
This exercise in introspection helps individuals ‘fail forward' through the discovery of and re-alignment with their true mission.
[Image by The Hatchery]
Wow! NASA’s Rejection Letter To A Woman in 1962.
Guess not everyone is as lucky as 7-year old Dexter Walters.
A new film called Girl Rising shows how education affects nine girls from nine countries—with some help from famous voices like Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway.
Investing in girls is said to have the best returns, dollar for dollar, of anything we can do in low-income locations.
Every extra year of schooling for girls leads to:
- Increased incomes by 10% to 25%.
- A rise in national wealth.
- Lower rates of child mortality and HIV/AIDS.
- Better educated future generations.
"We can overcome many challenges that we’re trying to address in global development when girls are safe, educated, healthy, and empowered," says Girl Rising executive producer Holly Gordon. ”It’s the best investment you can make if you’re trying to make long-term strategic change in global development,”
Read more here: The enormous opportunity in educating and empowering girls
What traits do today’s prominent female leaders share? Let’s take a look:
- Effective role models: A recent CNN opinion piece about how to have more women like Sheryl Sandberg concludes that it is the prominence of such women that inspires others to be like them: “We can create more Sandbergs by surrounding ourselves with confident, outspoken women.” Sandberg herself actively works to encourage others by running a monthly salon with talks by inspirational women. The more role models we have across all industries, the more likely it is that the female leaders of the future will be inspired.
- Mentoring—at all levels: If you can identify opportunities and encourage women early on then they will be able to fulfill their potential throughout their careers. Some of the most prominent women had great mentors—and they are often now working as mentors to the next generation themselves.
Confidence: Confidence can mean a world of difference between a woman who is able to live her dreams and one who is not—so often a talented woman is held back through lack of confidence. The former U.K. prime minister Margaret Thatcher was famous for her confidence and iron will—and for her slogan “The lady’s not for turning.” In an article for the MBA@UNC, media pioneer Arianna Huffington cites lack of confidence as “a killer to success for women. In order to advance their careers, women need to be comfortable seeing themselves as qualified leaders and risk takers.”
Keep reading: 7 shared traits that unite women in power
The art world is stunningly sexist, as demonstrated by this infographic. Out of the 320 most expensive artworks sold in auction between 2008 and 2012, all but one was created by a man.
The sitting Congress has the most women of any in history. Artist Emily Nemens is capturing each of them in paint, and using their likenesses in graphics to show how far we still have to go to bring gender equality to Washington.
The women of Congress, in fabulous watercolor infographics