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Some of my favorite reading this week: Seeking Meritocracy in Silicon Valley; Women in Media; Life at Oprah’s Leadership Acadamey; Straight White Men Are Not Oppressed

Every week I receive literally dozens of links on recommended reading, article alerts and just plain old emails from readers like you pointing out something you’ve liked – which is great because it makes a little easier and a LOT more interesting!  I thought I’d start sharing some of my favorites each week, which I don’t have time to cover in detailed articles but which are certainly worth a read.  Like these ones:

  • Racism and Meritocracy (Tech Crunch): “There is some research
    on the differences between men and women, and it has shown some
    differences in both average aptitude and the standard deviation of
    aptitude (i.e. that men have more extreme outcomes in both the positive
    and negative direction). But these differences are extremely small,
    nowhere near large enough to suggest a region on this curve with all men
    and no women on it. If you’d like to examine the math involved, check
    out this excellent slide deck courtesy of Terri Oda…”
  • Five Essential Leadership Lessons for Women (ForbesWoman):  “Men in
    media still earn 30% more than women in media. Women hold just one-third
    of full-time journalist positions and just a quarter of editor and top
    executive positions in the industry. In intellectual magazines, there
    are seven male bylines for every one female byline. As in most fields, there are still fewer female voices at
    major publications and very few women at the top of media outlets. So
    how do we turn up the volume?….
  • What life is like at Oprah’s Leadership Academy (OnlineColleges.net): The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls opened in 2007, backed by $40 million
    and the eponymous benefactor’s desire to provide young, promising
    female students opportunities her own impoverished background never
    could. Located in Henly-on-Klip, South Africa, the school launched with
    an initial class of 152, each hailing from economically depressed
    households, most of them situated in gang-ridden neighborhoods still
    recovering from apartheid-era marginalization. So how is it faring almost 5 years on?
  • Straight white men: You’re not oppressed. (MamaMia):  “… Newsflash: straight white men are not an underclass. They have all the rights. Still do, always have. More rights than anyone else. A few weeks ago we ran this piece from the Prime Minister about the importance of continuing the good fight for gender equality.  What
    we didn’t expect when we published it, was to unearth a new underclass
    of ‘oppressed’ people who objected to the idea of our PM (or anyone)
    singling out women for special mention….
  • How Pampers and UNICEF Conquered a Deadly Disease (HBR Blog Network):  “By appealing to the sympathies of young mothers toward the risk of
    childbirth in poor nations, Procter & Gamble’s largest brand,
    Pampers, and its global partner, UNICEF, will soon defeat a disease that
    now kills a baby or its mother every nine minutes.  Since 2008, P&G has promised to contribute a portion of the sale
    of every pack of Pampers during the fourth quarter toward a vaccine
    against neonatal tetanus.
    Since the initiative expanded from a small pilot program in Western
    Europe, consumer enthusiasm has been so strong that the partners now
    expect the disease will be eliminated, as measured by World Health
    Organization standards, by 2015. Pampers is now one of UNICEF’s largest
    corporate donors, yet the campaign has delivered year-on-year growth for
    P&G’s brand even in its toughest markets…” 
    The power of the female pursestrings at play yet again…

What do you think… any of these articles strike a chord with you?

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"The only moment we ever really have is this one - celebrate it. Happiness isn't in the future or the past but in the awareness of the present." - Anna McPhee

Anna's words are how she lived her life. She has been an amazing inspiration, a wonderful support, a gracious mentor to me throughout my career. So many of us counted her as a girlfriend to look up to, and her legacy will live on in the many women she has inspired to live their very best life.

I will miss her.

Sending condolences to Reggie, Anna's beautiful mum Trish and adoring sisters, and all of her extended family.

Vale Anna Marsali McPhee (1970 - 2017)
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