#EqualityIs Badge

I have been following the Global Fund for Women for many years now and they just came out with a new project called the #EqualityIs Badge where you are able to create your own badge explaining what equality is to you and then share it on twitter, Facebook, instagram, etc.

Global Fund for Women positively responded back to mine and maybe they will for yours too! Show your support for gender equality around the world by creating and sharing your own using this website: http://imaginingequality.imow.org/makeyourbadge/a/RlL

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Video

Video of the Week: #LikeAGirl

“Like a Girl”: an expression often used to lessen actions made by females to show that they are not good enough or worthy enough for the equivalent of something an boy would do. Yet, we run like a girl, and dress like a girl because we ARE girls. So doing something “like a girl” should not be demeaning or mean anything more than doing actions just the way we are supposed to be doing them. So continue to do everything “like a girl”.

Lovely Literature: #GirlBoss

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By the title, many older women may write this book off quickly and men certainly will turn away from this book. However, with a striking woman in a powerful stance seems like it would be an autobiography, this is more of a helpful book about guidance when it comes to getting into the world of fashion and business.

I had very high expectations for this book partially because of my bias due to my love for the website Nasty Gal (I rarely leave the site without multiple items in my basket). I noticed from when I had started browsing this site that the kind of clothing was very diverse. There were outfits in which I know my mother wouldn’t be happy to see me in to chic and young outfits for work. While it never occurred to me how much effort would go into a website such as Nasty Gal, this book gave a glimpse of what is required to be such a successful fashion website and what it took to get there.

Many people are familiar with Sophie Ambrose; the self-made CEO and founder of Nasty Gal has an incredible rags to riches story from the days where she was a hippy dumpster diver to now owning her own business and further – owning her life. The incredible journey she took from working in a lobby and having the time to spend on MySpace and capitalize on free advertisement, to selling her clothes on eBay, to becoming a well known shopping website that most girls my age know very well. While it may seem like everything lined up in her favor it wasn’t without her obsessive attention to detail and amount of time and effort she took to bring her business from eBay to the big time. So while this may not seem as realistic nowadays with heightened privacy and having to pay for ads on places like Facebook, this idea of seizing opportunities was utilized in her quest to make it big.

Much of her success is attributed to the characteristics she possesses. She is the kind of person who doesn’t like the idea of being bored and loves to always have something to do. She was always on MySpace or eBay in effort to better the company. In addition to never being bored, she was always very independent and marched to her own beat. She wore outfits from different eras and didn’t really fit in – most famous people are the ones who are weird and a little bit different. By being on her own she was able to distinguish herself from others and set her brand apart. Finally, she understood the value of money because she did not have that much growing up. She is a strong believer that money looks better in the bank that on your feet.

So while all of these aspects allowed her to be successful, overall this book seemed as though she wasn’t really happy. How can you be happy when all you do is think about work? This is the trade off of being so successful… so is it worth it? While I took away a few key points, the book was more about her life than I expected. I would have preferred if she had talked more about business strategies and how we can improve as people rather than just say how she did it and why she is a #girlboss.

Key Aspects I Took Away

  • Always use free advertisement
  • Believe in what you are doing and things will follow
  • Be independent and break away
  • Enjoy never being bored
  • Work, work, work – work so much that you do not have time to spend
  • Learn how to save and why it is so important – money looks better in the bank than on her feet 

New Series Announcements

Inspiring Women of the Week Series

I am really excited to announce that I am starting a series in which I will write about a woman who has inspired me within my lifetime or specific to events during the week and will give a quick background as well as talk about what they are doing and how you can help them achieve their incredible goals. Keep on this lookout for this!

Photo of the Week Series

Each week I will post a picture of someone that has struck me as female power or simply an inspiring quote that should help each of us achieve a goal or simply attempt to help in some way.

#SheSummit

A few weeks ago I attended an incredible conference put on by the amazing Claudia Chan at the 92nd street Y. She has been putting on this event for now the third year. It was a two day event with over 80 speakers, men and women alike to inspire, engage and encourage women to get out there, live their life, and live their life with passion and purpose. It started with the statistic that 70% of the world’s population of poverty is women. Over the past decade there has been a rise in women talking about the issue of equality around the globe. These two days were dedicated to acknowledging, celebrating and inspiring movements to specifically empower women and girls

A quote I read recently reminded me of this idea “Make it simple, but significant” – Don Draper. This idea of not doing so much but making sure that it has an impact is what we need to embrace. We do not need to be the next Steve Jobs but if we can change one person’s life for the better we should. We are all born with the ability to change someone’s life and we should not waste it. There are so many issues that with small tasks we can change and better in the world.

Getting back to my point, this summit has multiple topics such as Women and Innovation and Women and Leadership. Powerful women such as Samantha Power and Sallie Krawcheck spoke about their experiences: the good and the bad. These people and the topics they covered sparked conversation amongst the audience and had many of us inspired.

I was easily the youngest person in attendance; however it really didn’t matter. Many people approached me and asked me what I was doing there and we started to talk about our lives. So by being the youngest person I had a very difference perspective but was also so interested in not just listening but learning about the people in the audience. I took a lot of notes and took a lot away from some of the conversations. Here are my key takeaways:

Men Need To Be Involved

Often times when men speak at women conferences it doesn’t work. They don’t understand exactly what it is like and they try to relate to use when they simply cannot. However, at this conference they did it perfectly because they did not try to relate to use but rather extend a helping hand. We often look at men as the enemy when battling gender equality when we should really see them as a reference and help in this cause. There was a section dedicated to “He for She: The Next Frontier” where Nigel Barker and Gary Barker spoke about this issue. Nigel touched on the fact that education is the single most important factor to girls lives around the world. With education, almost anything can change. It is also important to show and teach equality within the household. If boys and girls grow up understanding that we are all equal they will understand and be more willing to do chores that girls would typically do. So if they see their dad doing laundry they will not necessary associate that with their mom’s doing the housework. He noted that guys cannot escape the enormous inequality around the world and the significant injustices that are occurring before us. While men are sometimes the one that are putting down the women, they must understand that their lives benefit from treating the women as equals. So how do we combat these problems? Women must see men as the allies. There are so many men that notice these injustices but need the women to reach out to them to help out.

Showing Our Voice in # Form

#BanBoosy, #YesAllWomen, and #BringBackOutGirls have been swirling around the internet lately – I even wrote a piece on Yes All Women so it was interesting that this topic was brought up during the conference. This was a section dedicated to social media and its impact on events around the world. Here’s the deal, women hold 5% of the top position in media, thus media is majorly driven by men. They are the ones with the influence on what gets broadcasted. However, women are the ones that are more engaged on media than men. Women are the driving change in #activisim and are a new resource in social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. is driven by women and they have been using these tools for good. But what can these social media outlets really do? With a simple hashtag actual create any change? Are these posts just “feel good” posts to make it seem like you are engaged in these events. Maybe… but if thousands of people are posting the same hashtag the actual media picks up on this and cannot help but have segments dedicated to these hashtags and create discussion which could ultimately lead to action. Sure we need the people on the ground doing that actual work but these hashtags are positive things not negative. Think about it this way – there are SO many girls out there without a voice so why not take advantage of ours when we are so fortunate to have one and use it for good.

Feminism is Cool Again

Why is that all of a sudden there are so many all women conferences and people talking about feminism? Isn’t this a thing of the past? Well at the conference they touched on this matter and showed how we are currently in a new feminism movement. This is only the beginning  – women are trying to change the mindset and once this shift happens only positive changes will come about. it is about a culture change. Women need to learn not to just lean in but speak up – say what they mean and say it loudly. We need to advocate for others and encourage others rather than tear each other down. It is not about making more women CEO’s but rather about excellence at whatever level you want to reach. Each of us is the owner of our future and life experience. Never say you “don’t know what you want” you want to win and be successful. Women need to embrace this mantra and be the best they can be in all aspects of life, not just how they think they should be.

Quotes I loved Throughout the Day

“Dream Big. Work Small”

“Feminism is equal to humanism. Equality for both sexes is beneficial for both.”

“In order to have a good relationship with other you must first have a good relationship with yourself.”

“Everyone has a gift. See other peoples girds. We all want to be seen and feel loved. So share your gift.” Bring your heart to everything you do.”

“We are all born an original but most die as a copy”

The F Bomb

No I am not talking about the typical F word but intact the word that is almost spoken about in a similar manner: Feminist. Why it to feared? Would I refer to myself as one? Yes, I would say I am a feminist, perhaps not with the conviction that I should. However, sometimes I would love to be referred to as something different…

When people ask me if i am a feminist I am hesitant to respond yes simply because the negative connotation that is associated with this word over powers all of the beneficial aspects this title holds. When speaking with my peers many of them believe in gender equality; however, they would never refer to themselves as feminists because they do not like that label. People associate this term with the burning of bras and going to the point to say that women are better than men.
I do not believe that women are better than men, I believe that we are all created equal and thus should be treated with equal respect and given equal opportunities. Hilary Clinton noted that “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world”. Women are often overlooked across the globe. How can a country expect to be successful without utilizing half of its resources? Developing countries question where they are lacking and most of this can be attributed to the oppression of women. Women’s leadership roles and big corporations are becoming more and more popular in the US and there is still room for improvement.
So if all of this is true, why should i be hesitant to answer this question. Instead I should answer it with conviction and proudness, Yes.

Can we really have it all…

When I think about my future I intend to have a successful job but then right after that thought I think about my family. I dream to have a family that I personally raise. I have always been a believer that women really can have it all just like Sheryl Sandberg says, but is that really true? Is it possible to have it all? Sure if we have a supportive husband and barely sleep we can kind of have a lot of it but we really cannot have it all. By being at work we may miss our children’s first words or not have enough time to read them a bed time story because we need to work on a presentation for the next day. So while I can dream to have a long term job, I cannot honestly expect to have an organic experience as a mother.

I was fortunate enough to have a mother who retired the moment she knew she was going to have me. Yet this selfless act is something that I will most likely try to postpone for as long as possible. Ideally I would like to retire for several years and then pick up right where I left off, but this is not how the real world works. Several years later I will be out of touch with the latest technology and could be deemed obsolete. So what are we to do? We must prioritize and choose what is more important to us. In my case, family will most likely come first but once my children are in college then what? I think about all that my mother has given up but now that I am in college and my sister approaching this age her job is once again finished. People say that a mother’s job is never finished but it has certainly at least become part time or potentially less than that.

While I am years from really needing to worry about this my biggest suggestion from looking at my mom and women her age is to develop some sort of passion at any age. With a passion there is a real reason to wake up every morning so while there are children one’s passion can be parenting but past parenting it can be hunger in your surrounding area, or tutoring for women who are trying to attain their GED’s. Do something that is beyond just your family but maybe not a full time job at the same time. While I surely do not understand what it is remotely like to be a parent this kind of concern is one that I know women face every day. Luckily for men, they don’t have to think about it as much. So can we really have it all? Or is it just part of it that we can have? Maybe a modified and potentially better version than if we tried to have it all…

Something to Note

While #yesallwomen spawned from the horrific mass shooting at Santa Barbara City College something else has been traveling the internet that needs to be noted. After reading an article on Upworthy (which is an incredible site by the way that shares stories that should be what the news is really about because they are uplifting, enlightening and inspiring) I realized this very true fact: 70 of 71 mass murderers in the U.S. all had 1 thing in common. They were all men, many white men who were denied something that they believed they deserved or something that wasn’t given to them. These mass murders have become nearly a normalcy and have been occurring frequently, one more gruesome than the other; almost as if they are trying to make them more horrible so they will become more infamous than the previous one.

These mass murders cause gun control advocates to speak out, mental health advocates and now feminists to discuss these issues and help promote their beliefs. But is this really the point? We can question the shooters motives and we can try to use this situation to help our cause but how is this appropriate. Six students were killed and thirteen were injured, there were lives ended and family and friends’ lives changed forever on this day. So while events like this spark discussion that could potentially stop these events from happening or make them less frequent should we do this in the expense of these students.

To the families and friends that were impacted by this tragedy my thoughts are with you.

My Old Pipedream

I used to dream of being a news reporter. Of sitting at a desk every morning with a coffee and reporting breaking news, shouting to the camera questions to important people. This dream quickly dwindled when I realized that what I really wanted was to be Katie Couric more than a news anchor because she was such a powerful woman, and yet she was incredibly professional. I also realized that every morning when I would turn on the today show and it seemed so glamorous to be in front of the camera; however, when I focused on the words coming out of their mouths it was almost always about a scandal or tragedy: usually something morbid. Day after day there was another negative story. Don’t they get tired of reporting bad news? Usually people ask if you’d like the good news or the bad news and yet it was bad news, bad news, bad news. 

For me I looked forward to the middle of the show. I enjoyed the fluff pieces better such as what to wear best for your body, or which new exercise fad should you try. I would watch other news programs and realized I had a favorite point on the news every day when Brian Williams would highlight someone who is doing something really special. This positivity is what I loved. There are people every single day doing something to improve the lives of others. Whether it is a postman who is kind to every one of his costumers for 60 years or a woman who is saving the lives of young girls from sex slavery these are the stories America needs to know about. There will always be another bombing or another hurricane but it is how humans are reacting and helping that should be highlighted more in the news rather than just reporting the horrific events.