“…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
"Solutions are quite complex in maternal health. For us, there is no silver bullet, but we can tell the stories."
—Christy Turlington Burns is one of this year’s Most Creative People for her work in raising awareness about maternal health.
"In my experience, what’s true as a woman is very different from some of the more cliched ways we’ve represented women over the years. I want to tell a more complex story. I want to tell a more empowered story, a more joyful story, a more sexy story …
There’s an opportunity to create a new way of looking at women in the culture, and that’s by example.” -Connie Britton, No. 13 on our list of Most Creative People in business
What happens when a generation of women have the world and all its knowledge at their fingertips? They mobilize.
Here’s the first story:
Women rule mobile
With new tools, practices and freedoms—-unattached to any specific location—the women that are a part of the Mobilizing series are examples of what happens when a generation of women literally have the world and all its knowledge at their fingertips, in their pockets, and on their kitchen tables: they change the game. We’ll tell you how.
[Image: Flickr user Garryknight]
Forensic Artist Proves That Women Literally Don’t Know Their Own Beauty
A new addition to Dove’s Real Beauty campaign asks a forensic artist to draw two sketches of women—one based on their own description, and one from a stranger—with shocking results.
Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder. Studies have shown, though that when the beauty in question is a woman’s own, and the beholder’s eye is theirs as well, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. Dove has long been working toward shifting that paradigm with the alternately lauded and derided Real Beauty campaign. The brand’s latest effort at changing self-perception attempts to do so through eyewitness testimony.
Recently, Dove hired former police forensic artist Gil Zamora to illustrate some psychologically revealing sketches. In a campaign created by Ogilvy Toronto, a series of women described themselves to Zamora in minute detail, from behind a curtain. The artist in turn created composites as though trying to identify a criminal. Next, each participant was asked to describe another woman present. The results are dramatic and sort of moving.
How Rejection Can Inspire Great Movements: The Story of Makers
Dyllan McGee wanted to make a documentary about Gloria Steinem. Steinem said no. That rejection launched Makers, a comprehensive video project documenting the entire women’s movement.
McGee wanted to make a film about the life of 1960s radical journalist and feminist icon Gloria Steinem. “Gloria very quickly said you can’t tell the story of the women’s movement through one person—which I took as a ‘no’,” McGee, founder and executive producer of MAKERS, told Fast Company, “So we went back to the drawing board.”
Why do companies keep making offensive pink products “for her”?
The ePad Femme is just the latest in a long line of ill-conceived, insulting, “female-focused” products. Here, we look into the mystery of the unnecessary genderification of gender-neutral products.
In October, the Eurostar Group introduced a product called The ePad Femme—an eReader just for women. It sells for $190, and it comes preloaded with stereotypically feminine apps, which seem to revolve around fitness, cooking, and man-pleasing. It is, of course, pink. Eurostar Group is a Dubai-based company, and the tablet received little attention in the U.S. until the past week or two, when bloggers picked up an article in the Jerusalem Post about how Eurostar was marketing the tablet as a Valentine’s Day gift. Cue the understandable outrage at such a sexist product.
This opprobrium happens every time there’s a goofy product marketed as something “for women”: Check out the Bic Cristal Pen for Her, the Della computer for women, and Honda’s car for women for debacles similar to the ePad Femme kerfuffle. And even marketers who aren’t creating a bespoke product for women seem to cling to some jaw-droppingly retrograde notions about women’s behavior vis-à-vis their existing product and women’s lives in general—witness Samsung’s embarrassing Galaxy S4 event, which featured a group of drunk ladies preoccupied with weight loss and marrying doctors.
Since the public response to the pinkification of gender-neutral products seems, at face value, to be universally negative, we were wondering, why do companies keep making these things?
We asked Jonah Disend, CEO at the brand development firm Redscout, and Gina Reimann, director of industrial design at Redscout, to clue us in on why Eurostar might have created the ePad Femme.
Find out what she had to say here.