It's out! My new book, "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business," is now published and available wherever books are sold. You can get your copy here. I am thrilled that it's now out in the world, telling the stories of 11 women, myself included, who refused to believe the myths that (male-dominated) society was telling them about their capabilities and what they could and couldn't do. Today, women all over the world are stepping out, taking the lead, and pursuing their dreams and ambitions, not allowing gender biases to stop them.
Photo courtesy of Texas Monthly
"We didn't hire Becky to make history," Popovich said. "She earned it."
When Becky Hammon joined the San Antonio Spurs pro basketball team as an assistant coach in 2014—the first woman in NBA history to hold this position—Barack Obama congratulated her on Twitter. Boy, have times changed!
And when the Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected from a December 30th game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Hammon replaced him to become the first woman to act as head coach in a regular-season NBA game. More change!
Barriers being broken, glass ceilings being smashed
Photo courtesy of Swaay.com
It's happening! Glass ceilings are being smashed and myths debunked
By now you've probably heard the news: Kim Ng was hired by the Miami Marlins as the first-ever female General Manager of a Major League Baseball team. What a terrific acknowledgement of Ng's credentials and experience, built up over decades. But alongside all the cheers, I found myself asking, "Why did it take so long to smash baseball's glass ceiling and let a woman in?”
Carrying the torch for an entire generation looking to Ng as a trailblazer
I was recently interviewed by The Sun in the UK for a very timely and much-needed article about how to spot that a loved one is lonely and how to help. Has a spouse, a parent, a child, a grandparent, or others whom you care about seemed withdrawn lately? Are they behaving differently as a result of the pandemic and all the isolation it has caused? We've all been through a lot this year, but some are finding it particularly hard to cope. Here are some ways you can help combat the loneliness and be a source of support and comfort. Read the article here.
Ways you can spot if your loved ones are struggling
The women’s national soccer team celebrating after winning the 2019 FIFA World Cup
In the early 1970s, two significant events had a major effect on women’s sports
First, Title IX, a clause of the 1972 Federal Education Amendments, was signed into law on June 23, 1972. Groundbreaking at the time, it stated that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Although Title IX applies to a variety of programs, it has received the most attention for its impact on athletics, especially at the college sports level.
Second, in 1973 women broke away from the old, structured, male-controlled United States Tennis Association (USTA) and founded the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) to "create a better future for women's tennis," spearheaded by Billie Jean King. This innovative organization (which today we might call disruptive) has its origin in the 1970 Virginia Slims Invitation, the first women-only tournament which was held to protest the unfair distribution of prize money at tennis events. At the time, professional women tennis players earned about one-fifth the prize money of men. In fact, at the Pacific Southwest Championships which took place at the same time as the Virginia Slims Invitation, the pay discrepancy was even worse: an 8:1 ratio split in prize money awarded to men vs. women. Starting with nine players, the WTA now has more than 2,500 players from nearly 100 countries competing for $146 million in prize money. As its original tournament was sponsored by Virginia Slims, it really is true you've come a long way, baby!
Why is this book important? Because it comes at a time when women leaders all over the world are boldly asserting their right to persue their dreams, whatever those dreams may be — whether it's their careers, their personal lives, who they want to be. It tells the stories of 11 amazing women, including myself, who refused to accept the outdated myths and biases that told them, "No, you can't do that." Guess what? They smashed right through those myths and became great successes. Aren't we glad.
Ready to smash some myths?
To give you a taste of the issues I discuss and then debunk in the book, I offer here a synopsis of the first few paragraphs from the Introduction. Enjoy, order your copy, join our Rethink Facebook group and come celebrate with us at the launch party February 16th! Register here. And don't forget to tag us when you review the book: #RethinkWomeninBusiness
Photo courtesy of EPA, via Shutterstock
Smashing another myth again!
The Sunday New York Times published an article on October 11th entitled, "In Belarus, Women Led the Protests and Shattered Stereotypes," which points out how women are changing the face of politics, creating new norms and shattering deeply entrenched gender stereotypes built up over generations.
“Women were stronger in this situation” said Tatiana N. Kotes, a film production designer and activist. “We had to assume a more significant role. Men’s dominating role in the society has collapsed.”
Fearlessly standing up to a bully by the thousands
Ah, these are interesting times, aren't they? During the coronavirus pandemic, some world leaders have risen to the enormous challenge of steering their country through lockdowns, quarantines, plummeting economies, mass sickness and death, and civil unrest. They have been level-headed, resolute and inspiring. Others, sadly, have sputtered or utterly failed. And who, by and large, have occupied that first group? Women.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Tsai Ing-Wen, President of Taiwan, are just some examples of women leaders around the world who have managed their countries' response to the pandemic far better than their male counterparts, and as a result, their countries have fared better. This is the subject of a recent article I wrote for Irish Tech News, which you can read here.
Are you ready for some distressing news? According to Axios.com, more than 25% of women recently surveyed by McKinsey & Company and Lean In reported that they are considering "downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce entirely, as the coronavirus pandemic has intensified challenges many already faced at work." The survey questioned over 40,000 women in 317 companies in the U.S. and Canada. This is an "emergency for corporate America," the report declares. You can read the results of the survey here. The graph below from Axios Visuals powerfully illustrates the plummeting participation rate of women in the U.S. labor force.
Women are smart. Women are capable. Women make great leaders. So why are only 4.9% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 2% of S&P 500 CEOs women? Could it be because of the outdated, erroneous myths that surround both men and women when it comes to taking charge? This is the basis of my discussion in a recent article in IntelligentHQ where I argue that despite enormous strides in business, government and many other areas, women often don’t get the respect men do for their leadership abilities, even when they can point to greater accomplishments. You can read the article here.
This gender disparity is also the focus of my new book, Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business in which I chronicle a number of women who have spoken out, broken through, and redefined what society has always told them was true about their capabilities.