Category: Women

25 Powerful Quotes from the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher

Image courtesy WikiCommons

 

A Fellow ENTJ

Just this past January, in a discussion of the Myers Briggs (MBTI) personality types, I was reminded of the fact that, like me, Margaret Thatcher is an ENTJ. One of the rarer of the 16 personality types, ENTJ’s are said to make up 2% – 5% of the general population, but only 1% of women. ENTJ is also known as ‘The Executive’, ‘The Field Marshall’, or ‘The CEO’. ENTJs are described as being born leaders, visionaries and long-range planners with high levels of confidence, charisma and personal power. The dark side of the ENTJ personality is that they are perceived as being harsh, judgmental and impatient. ENTJ’s often come across …

Anna Karenina: The Beauty and Tragedy of Life

Anna Karenina by Lucio Palmeri for Dolce & Gabbana

Anna Karenina has been on my must read list for many years. I have been keeping lists – and book lists in particular – since my first summer journal at eight years old. The epic Russian novel appears at the top of many top ten novels lists and has been referred to as “flawless” and “the greatest novel ever written” by two of the most celebrated novelists of our time.

I have owned a copy of Anna Karenina for about ten years. If I have made any attempt at all to read it, I have never gotten much past the first sentence, which is one of the most iconic quotes from …

A Century of Wisdom: 34 Quotes from the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor

Monday, November 26, 2012 – Alice Herz Sommer celebrates her 109th birthday. Living alone in a small London apartment, this amazing woman is the world’s oldest living holocaust survivor. A former concert pianist, Alice has been playing the piano since she was five years old. Using only eight fingers, Alice still practices for hours every day. Alice’s story is a testament to the power of the human spirit. She and her six-year old son survived two years in the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt, escaping almost certain death. She has witnessed unspeakable cruelty, watching hundreds go to their deaths in the gas chambers or through sickness and starvation. And yet, this living hero has never stopped smiling. This ever-laughing centenarian …

5 Reasons Why Moving to Yahoo Was the Right Choice for Marissa Mayer

On July 16, 2012, Yahoo announced that Marissa Mayer would take the helm as its new CEO. The news of Marissa’s appointment shook the tech world, raising both eyebrows and hopes.

After finishing high school in the Midwestern town of Wausau, Wisconsin, Marissa headed to Stanford University where she specialized in Artificial Intelligence, and obtained both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. In 1999, Marissa joined Google as its first female software engineer and quickly began her climb through its ranks. By 2001, she had already been promoted to Product Manager, and was promoted again less than two years later to Director of Consumer Web Services. By late 2005, Marissa was appointed VP, Search Products and User Experience, giving her full responsibility …

Today I’m Inspired by: Alice Herz-Sommer

The oldest living Holocaust survivor

At 108 years old, Alice Herz-Sommer is both the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor and the world’s oldest concert pianist. She was eight years old when the Titanic sank, saw the start and end of the first world war, survived the atrocities of the Nazi prison camps, outlived her mother, husband and only son, and is a twenty-five year cancer survivor. Through unspeakable tragedy, Alice is still smiling, victorious over the anguish, pain and death that could have killed her shining spirit many decades ago. Alice is an incurable optimist.

A life of privilege

Alice Herz was born in Prague in November 1903, into a privileged secular Jewish family of five siblings. Her father, Friedrich, was …

How to Live Without Regrets


Edith Piaf was born into considerable disadvantage in Paris in 1915. Her rough early life continued with her living on the streets of Paris and singing for money, until her powerful voice was discovered while she was still in her teens. Nicknamed ‘The Little Sparrow’ due to her waif-like appearance and 4’8″ stature, she would eventually become one of France’s most-loved popular singers. Her story is told in the motion picture ‘La Vie en Rose’ starring Marion Cotillard. Edith Piaf recorded her famous love song ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’ at the age of 45. You can listen to it here.  If it sounds familiar, you might have heard it in the score of the 2010 Christopher Nolan film …

Today I Stand In Awe

In the hours since the breaking news of Whitney Houston‘s passing, I have seen a range of reactions. There have been expressions of shock and genuine grief from her myriad fans. There have also been reactions of a less supportive nature. Some have expressed confusion and disgust at the outpouring of sorrow.

Art, music and love are some of the inexplicable things that make life beautiful. Our ability to fully appreciate and experience these sublime delights makes us human. How dull life would be without music. When someone as gifted as Whitney reaches super stardom, their talents reach out, touching the lives of millions, on a level that is individual and not fully comprehensible. Through her music, Whitney walked …

Taking Your Foot Off the Gas Pedal or Sophie’s Choice

Don’t Leave Before You Leave
A few days ago I wrote a post about Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg. I shared a link to her TED speech where she addresses the reasons why there are so few women at the top of their fields and gives advice to women reaching for success. One of her tips is “Don’t leave before you leave”. Sandberg talks about how women take their foot off the gas pedal, contemplating how to manage married lives and families they do not yet have, to the detriment of career advancement. She is right. While at least 50% of University grads are women, there is still a marked absence of women on corporate boards, as CEOs and in the …

Today I’m Inspired by: Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg in Vogue

Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer at one of the most ubiquitous companies on the planet. Taking home over US$30 million in 2011, Sheryl is the highest paid person at Facebook. Second in command to founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg developed the plan that took the social networking giant from 70 million users and almost no revenue to a user base of 850 million users and annual revenues of $3.7 billion in less than four years.

There aren’t that many role models for women in business. The self-made legends like Oprah and Martha Stewart stand out precisely because there are so few to name. Sheryl Sandberg first caught my interest when I came …

10 Little Things I’ve Learned as a Female Executive

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years, and continue to learn every day.

1. Work Hard

There really is no substitute for hard work. The law of sowing and reaping and Newton’s third law hold true in nature, and are equally applicable to everyday life. Don’t expect to ever get more than you put in. Don’t expect to ever be paid more than you deserve. And if it happens, don’t expect it to last long. Compete only with yourself; strive every day to be better than you were the day before.

2. If You Don’t Ask, the Answer is Always “No”

One of the main reasons some women succeed at landing the tough assignments and earning …