Women on the 50 Over 50 Impact List

hand holding plastic trophy surrounded by confetti

Forbes recently unveiled its 50 Over 50: Impact list, which spotlights women over the age of 50 who are leaving a positive and lasting impact on the world. The list highlights exceptional women who found success later in life and are constantly working toward increased equity and diversity. Women from all areas are represented – government/military, academia, non-profit and for-profit businesses. Click the link above to learn more.

The Key To Innovation In Women’s Health Is Having More Women Inventors

female scientist using a pipette and dropping blue liquid into a petri dish

This June 18, 2021 piece from Science Alert shares the grim reality that in 2020, only 12.8 percent of U.S. inventors receiving patents were women. Why does that matter for women’s health? Because inventors are often inspired to find solutions to problems that hit close to home. With so few women inventors, the opportunity for women’s health concerns to be addressed is lessened. In fact, the piece highlights, “scientific discoveries by female scientists as measured by published research papers are 12 percent more likely to benefit women than discoveries by men.” The article ends by sharing, “biases in who gets to conduct research and commercialize inventions is more than a matter of who gets to play. It’s also a matter of who benefits from the march of progress.” Let’s all work to encourage the women inventors that we know!

MSNBC Interview With US Vice President Kamala Harris

Cartoon drawing of US Vice President Kamala Harris

As part of the launch of Forbes‘ “50 Over 50” list, Vice President Kamala Harris sits down for an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski to discuss not evaluating herself based on age, eating ‘No’ for breakfast, working with women-owned small businesses and encouraging women and girls to know their strength. Click here to watch.

Pioneering Women Will Appear on US Quarters

Pile of US Quarters spread out on a table

The US Mint is creating some new designs – featuring women – for the “tails” sides of quarters that will start circulating in January 2022 and run through 2025. The first two honorees have already been chosen: poet Maya Angelou and astronaut Sally Ride.

The other female honorees will be decided by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen – with input from the American public. To read more about the initiative, check out this article from CNN. Want to submit a suggestion for a nominee? Fill out this brief form provided by the National Women’s History Museum.

Do Men and Women Have Different Brains?

medical image of a brain

There have long been claims that women’s and men’s brains were different. leading to differences in personalities and abilities. While men’s brains overall brain size is a little over 10% larger than women’s, no specific brain areas are disproportionately larger between the sexes. In fact, brains are proportional to body size and when properly controlled, no individual brain region varies by more than about 1% between men and women.

Why does this matter? Have you ever heard,”women aren’t as good at math”? Or, “women are natural caregivers”. Or, “men are better with tools”? Turns out that there are no data to support those statements. In fact, according to this article from The Conversation, each brain is a “mosaic of circuits that control the many dimensions of masculinity and femininity, such as emotional expressiveness, interpersonal style, verbal and analytic reasoning, sexuality and gender identity itself.”

There is certainly more work to be done – but untangling some of these long-held beliefs is a great place to begin.

Big Bird and Impostor Syndrome?

Sesame Street characters including Big Bird

This article from Fast Company shares an example of how many women feel they stand out like Big Bird (a 8’2″ bright yellow bird featured on the children’s program, Sesame Street) in the workplace. Whether they are presenting in a boardroom, returning from maternity leave or simply navigating the day-to-day, many women feel disproportionately affected by impostor syndrome.

In this piece, Mark McClain (CEO of SailPoint) shares three tips for how leaders can help their employees overcome impostor syndrome. Specifically, he mentions making space for people to share their authentic selves, encouraging balance and practicing small acts of kindness.

Advice From Walgreens’ New CEO

Headshot of Rosalind Brewer - soon to be new CEO at Walgreens

At the end of February, Rosalind Brewer, who is currently COO at Starbucks, will leave that position to become CEO of drugstore chain Walgreens. Once in this post, she will be the only Black woman currently serving as a Fortune 500 CEO, and just the third Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 firm in history. (There are currently only 37 women in CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies)

According to this CNBC article, during a recent speech, Brewer commented on the reality that many women experience bias and gender discrimination in the workplace. She said that her most critical message to women in business is to “stay steadfast” and know that “your voice matters.”

Link to Webinar – Codeswitching: Navigating the Dynamics of Workplace Norms

Headshot of Professor Courtney McCluney from webinar given through eCornell

In this webinar from December 15, 2020, Professor Deborah Streeter had a conversation with Professor Courtney McCluney about the concept of codeswitching and how it affects the everyday realities of marginalized, devalued, and underrepresented employees at work. To view the recording, click this link

Resources mentioned during the discussion included:

  • Book: “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo
  • Book: “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Book: “The Souls of White Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois (link to NPR piece discussing book with Ibram X. Kendi)
  • Essay: “The Souls of White Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois (link)
  • Publication: From Harvard Business Review – “Advancing Black Leaders” – (available for purchase via this link)
  • More information about Professor McCluney and her research can be found on her website or you can follow her on Twitter at @CL_McCluney

Podcast Featuring Melanie Hart

“If your life is your currency, decide how you want to invest and spend it.”

Melanie Hart
W.O.C at Work podcast logo

In the W.O.C @ Work podcast, Rai King and Dr. Blanca Ruiz explore what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace by elevating the voices of female-identifying leaders of color in order to shed light on their common experiences as they push for transformational change in organizations across the country.

In this episode, Rai and Blanca talk with Melanie Hart ( Chief Diversity Officer and Sr. VP for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice at The New School in New York City) about traversing white-dominant education spaces as a confident woman of color. Melanie also reveals what it looks like to take off that cape and rest to help heal from a traumatic event. This podcast is a must listen for all women.

Brené Brown Interviews Elizabeth Lesser

Book jacket for "Cassandra Speaks" by Elizabeth Lesser

Professor and best-selling author Brené Brown recently shared an Unlocking Us podcast where she interviewed author Elizabeth Lesser on her recent book entitled Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes.

Cassandra Speaks looks at the cultural stories we all know and often blindly believe – from famous myths to religious parables to fairy tales. Each story shares specific lessons about gender roles, power, leadership and other values. Yet all of these stories throughout history have mostly been written by men. Despite our evolution as a society, these stories and the way we carry the lessons within us endure. This book – as well as the podcast – is about what happens when women become the storytellers and explain what it is to be human from their perspective.