What’s different in 2019 is the stark change in tone: Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” mantra for personal accountability needs to be met with structural, societal change for all — this must change before women’s careers in the traditional workforce can be improved. Time’s up.
What we’ve been reading in the Girl Geek X channels this week:
- Fighting the scourge of the 30 under 30 list – “Most great things you achieve will be after age 30. There is a reason most Nobel Prizes in medicine are awarded to people in their 60s, because that’s usually how long it takes to change the world.”
🗞 Girl Geek X CEO Angie Chang is scaling a sisterhood of geeks, writes the Silicon Valley Business Journal. We love talking to the press and hearing from girl geeks about their lives.
🔥 Kamilah Taylor, Swaay co-founder, is frustrated by how media coverage frames stories around girls and women in tech around “teaching computer science in schools. That’s just not the whole story,” she argues. In middle school, Kamilah’s teachers didn’t enroll her in an honors stream advanced math class because they thought she “wouldn’t be interested.” Today she has multiple engineering degrees.
Food for thought:
- Americans are the unhappiest they have ever been – Researchers blame declines in social support and increases in obesity and substance abuse. “The free-market theory taught in universities holds that consumers know what’s best for them, with businesses efficiently and appropriately catering to those desires,” writes a report co-author. “The prevalence of addiction suggests a very different picture: that individuals may be lured into self-destructive behaviors, notably by businesses keen on boosting sales of their goods and services.”
😷 Patagonia is beginning to cut ties with tech and finance companies. The popular outdoorwear maker drew attention for CEO Rose Marcario (pictured below) donating the company’s $10 million Trump tax cut to environmental groups.
Working smarter, not harder:
- Feeling the stress? WSJ claims that the economy’s last hope is middle managers – “The study showed that managers didn’t just influence the results their teams achieved, they explained a full 70% of the variance. No other single factor, from compensation levels to the perception of senior leadership, even came close.” Managers and ICs are both squeezed for productivity in the workplace – be sure to practice boundaries and self care – here are tips from 8 girl geeks!
🏫 Harvard Business Review tips for managers to run meetings inclusive to introverts, women and remote workers is making the rounds this week. Don’t miss this guide to motivating yourself at work even when you don’t feel like it and 11 examples of how to turn negative phrases into positive, actionable ones. 🐹🧀
🎧 Episode 6 of the Girl Geek X podcast discusses becoming a manager. If you’ve ever been promoted into a manager role you didn’t feel ready for, or wondered how to make the switch from IC – we discuss manager transitions, and hear from Stitch Fix CTO Cathy Polinsky.
🤩 Intel VP Sandra Lopez gave a popular Elevate keynote on “Being Unapologetically You” and gives advice on networking for girl geeks: “Why should you be networking outside of your company? Men build a wide network and build value in their rolodex; females value deep relationships but this is about building your network to enrich your professional career and set yourself up for success. When you network and interact, you have the opportunity to inspire and raise each other up.” (Keynote video and transcript)
- Financialization of the market has enabled poor behavior in MarketWorld – hat tip Anand Giridharadas for “Winner Takes All – the Elite Charade of Changing the World”. We first caught wind of the book from Kara Swisher’s podcast interview with Anand – worth a listen.
🎭 Elizabeth Holmes of the Theranos scandal was panned by audiences after “The Inventor” HBO documentary was released. For the more cerebral, read the business book Bad Blood (written by the WSJ investigative journalist that blew the whistle on Theranos) for insights on how she built her house of cards on the backs of old, rich white men. 👀
🔥 Bloomberg is turning up the heat on YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki for ignoring toxic videos in her focus on user engagement metrics, leading to a ghastly scenario for companies with a penchant for maximizing shareholder value over the quality of human lives.
🛫 Familiar with the trappings of the ultra-rich, Abigail Disney wants to ban private jets for the super-rich to restore their humanity. In the widely-shared article, she talks about the value in the rare folks who push back on the rich and powerful.
Boom and bust:
- Female investors tick upward in the Forbes 2019 Midas List and Midas “Brink List” of up-and-coming investors. 💸 Yet with a measly 2% of venture capital dollars funding female founders, these dealmakers are responsible for deepening their “founder pools” for a diverse pipeline of entrepreneurs, with Monique Woodard tweeting “how auspicious” 💅 Forbes Midas List was released on Equal Pay Day.
💵 “Investors have only recently begun to accept the reality of the market” for women’s health, CEO and founder Tania Boler raises $42 million in Series B funding for British health and lifestyle brand Elvie. Please don’t call it “femtech”. Women’s financial startup Ellevest raises $33 million, led by CEO and founder Sallie Krawcheck.
💄 New York startup scene grows with successes of Glossier CEO and founder Emily Weiss and Rent the Runway CEO and co-founder Jennifer Hyman celebrating their companies joining the billion-dollar “unicorn” club.
💰 One of the biggest fuel sources of the unicorn industrial complex is SoftBank’s $100 billion “Vision Fund” (💯) which is 45% funded by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Muhammad bin Salman who is responsible for murder of a journalist and the torture and detention of female activists in Saudi Arabia, cautions Human Rights Watch. The fund was run by 10 men until the recent addition of two female partners: Kirthiga Reddy and Lydia Jett.
“People are saying that we’re really politically active, when the reality is that it’s proportional to what’s happened. The climate crisis is not a forecast anymore. It’s real. It’s happening. If we’re going to survive the next 25 years, we need to work together more. We need to collaborate and we need more transparency.” – Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario