Will Ingrown Hair Heal Itself?

Our body has a natural phenomenon of hair growth in various parts of our body. Androgen is the hormone that is responsible for the growth of ingrown hair in our body. It is secreted in the bodies of men much more than in females. Getting unwanted hair on visible parts of the body is quite uncomfortable for women. The hair sometimes gets curled back into the skin before coming out and this is known as an ingrown hair. Ingrown hair causes redness and tiny pimples around that specific area. a puss can also be formed in that place. This issue can be resolved at home but sometimes requires assistance from the second party.

Will Ingrown Hair Heal Itself?

How to know if a hair is an ingrown hair?

An ingrown hair can be diagnosed on your own, if it has these symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Inflammation

Will Ingrown Hair Heal Itself?

Causes of ingrown hair:

Ingrown hairs are present in our skin, but the problem occurs when they start becoming highly visible, with a little redness and bumpiness. Following can be the reasons for an ingrown hair:

  1. Improper hair removing techniques: You might be removing your skin hair improperly. Aggression while doing the removal process is not at all advised. You might have shaved wrongly in the affected area in a hurry.
  2. Naturally: an ingrown hair might be occurred on its own, without you doing anything. Accumulation of too much debris of your dead skin cells can also turn your skin into a bump. This bump sometimes may contain a pussy white or green liquid. Popping it might be proved dangerous.
  3. Blockage: your follicles of hair might be having some barriers that have lead to ingrown hair. These hair follicles or pores might be blocked either by pollutants or by chemicals of the skin products that you have used in the past.
  4. Less scrubbing: an ingrown hair can appear due to the accumulation of dead skin cells which were not removed at the right time. Not exfoliating your skin once or twice a week is another reason why you are getting ingrown hair infections at regular intervals. Start scrubbing twice a week for smooth skin.

If ingrown hair is left as it is:

Usually, an infected ingrown hair with a bump can go away within a month but sometimes it may take more than 5 or 6 months to completely fade away. If it sticks to you from more time than that, then do not stop yourself from going to a good dermatologist and seek proper advice and guidance. Apply creams as prescribed by him.

How to heal an ingrown hair faster, by yourself?

1. Warm compressions: applying hot or warm compressions with the help of a wet towel or a warm silicone water bottle is an effective cure for ingrown hair.

2. Scrubbing: dead skin cells can also be a reason for an ingrown hair and exfoliating the injured area might help getting rid of it. Best body scrub for ingrown hairs is salt with a pinch of baking powder.

Will Ingrown Hair Heal Itself?

3. Massage: massaging gently with anti-inflammatory medicated creams is also a nice remedy for an ingrown hair with a red bump causing pain.

4. Retinoids: these are medicines having chemical compounds of Vitamin A in it. Vitamin A is known to be a nice anti-bacterial and anti-fungal medicinal salt. Taking these medicines with a dermatologist’s prescription is a good remedy.

5. Stop waxing: do not remove hair around that ingrown hair. Stop using hair removal creams and waxing procedure until the ingrown hair gets treated. Plucking hair from that area might cause bleeding and inflammation.

6. Do not scratch: plucking the ingrown hair or scratching over it, again and again, should be totally avoided. This might cause more damage in that area and might spread the infection.

7. Use tweezers: gentle use of tweezers can help you pluck that unwanted hair, causing less pain and getting rid of it in seconds. Be careful while doing this, check the deepness of the hair before applying this method.

8. Tea tree oil: add a few drops of tea tree oil in warm water and heal the injured or affected area of ingrown hair with this solution. Tea tree is famous for its qualities of opening pores and it also decreases inflammation and irritation.

Precautions to take for an ingrown hair:

  1. Do not squeeze: squeezing or scratching it might worsen the situation of an ingrown hair. It will increase the redness and inflammation. It might cause more pain in the affected area. Leave it as it is and do not touch it, if you do not want to spread its infection to other parts of your body.
  2. Do not pop: popping an ingrown hair with a cyst might release the fluid present ion the pimple but it increases its chances to grow back within a few days. It introduces infection to other areas as well.
  3. Wash with salt water: salt is known to be the best anti-bacterial thing in a household. You can add water to the salt and apply that paste on the impacted area of ingrown hair. It causes relief in lesser time.
  4. Antibiotics: take antibiotics to release the pus-like retinoids and many more are available in medical stores. It is strongly recommended to eat any kind of pills with the reference of an expert medical practitioner. Because it might cause a few side effects and as a patient, you should be aware of the activities of the medicines in your body that you are taking

Conclusion

Regularly exfoliating your skin, i.e., twice a week is suggested by good dermatologists to prevent getting ingrown hairs. Be cautious while removing your body hair as the pubic area in the female body is more likely to prone to ingrown hair due to sensitive skin. If an ingrown hair occurs, then scrub with saltwater by adding warm water. Apply the paste over the infected area. If redness and inflammation are causing pain too, then seek help from a dermatologist and take his prescribed antibiotics and apply creams on time to get rid of the issue.

The Confidence Gap, Part 2: Mentoring Millennials

The media attention surrounding The Confidence Code — a popular book written by journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman –has raised awareness around how working women may be holding themselves back from leadership positions due to their own lack of self-confidence.

But where do Millennials fit in?

Known for their ambition, self-awareness and high-education, do Millennial women (born between 1982 and 1994) fall prey to the confidence gap too?

Baby Boomers Lean Back, Millennials Lean In
According to Trang Chu at The Guardian, “While this may be true for a generation of Baby Boomers where women were taught to speak apologetically and lean back from their careers, we could argue this is not the case with the Millennial generation.”

According to Randstad’s most recent Engagement Study, Millennials and Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) have differing views when it comes to the future of women in the workplace, with Millennials having a more favorable outlook. CNBC projects that Millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, so the younger generation’s shifting perceptions of women and leadership could mean positive changes ahead for working women.

For example, both men and women respondents answered the three questions below as part of our Engagement Study. Notice the contrasting view among Millennials and Baby Boomers:

  • My company provides an encouraging environment for women to pursue positions of leadership — Gen Y: 80 percent | Baby Boomers: 74 percent
  • Women and men are rewarded equally at my company —  Gen Y: 79 percent | Baby Boomers: 74 percent 
  • By 2020, I expect there to be many more women in leadership positions in my company/ organization — Gen Y: 70 percent | Baby Boomers: 61 percent

Sidestepping the Confidence Gap
Although Millennials appear to have a more favorable view of women in the workplace, they still encounter roadblocks when it comes to showing confidence, especially overcoming the stereotype of being “too assertive.”

In a recent Forbes article, Forbes contributor J. Maureen Henderson noted that Millennial women generally don’t suffer from lack of confidence – but they are aware that “women are penalized for displays of confidence.”

“Young women don’t lack for personal confidence or ambition,” Henderson writes. “ College-age women are now every bit as narcissistic as their male peers … but when they do behave assertively, they may suffer a whole other set of consequences, ones that men don’t typically experience.”

So how can we encourage Millennial women to sidestep the confidence gap and fearlessly display their ambition in the workplace, and in turn advance to leadership positions that should be rightfully theirs?

Feedback Wanted
Mentoring is key and many companies and women’s organizations are making it a priority. Millennial women are especially eager for mentors in the workplace. In fact, according to Randstad’s Engagement Study, nearly a quarter (23%) of Millennial respondents said mentorship and sponsorship opportunities were beneficial in helping women advance to leadership levels – compared to 16 percent of Baby Boomers.

Chu noted that since Millennial women have grown up in an era of Facebook, instant messaging and Twitter, immediate and constant feeback is what Millennial women expect. “They are hungry for knowledge and want to know how their contributions influence the success of the company,” Chu said. “They are the first generation to actively seek coaching and want support for continuous learning.”

I reached out to other women leaders to get their thoughts on confidence and the importance of mentorship. They’ve provided excellent insight:

Women Need Role Models, Advice
At the Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (W.net) we recognize the importance of supporting the development of future women leaders and that is specifically why we developed our mentoring program, pairing our younger W.net members with our more seasoned leaders in the payments industry. W.net has unveiled a new online mentoring program where we can enroll 100 women in our nation-wide mentoring program beginning this year. Our goal is to continue to grow our mentoring program so women can find role models and gain advice on reaching the pinnacle of their personal and professional success.” –Lisa Shipley, President, W.net and EVP Managing Director, Transaction Network Services

Know Thyself
“At the heart of self-confidence is ‘knowing thyself.’ Many women we interviewed for the book “Inspiring Women: Becoming Courageous, Wise Leaders” stated the importance of knowledge of self-being and that it’s the key to maintaining their confidence in their personal and professional life. Another recurring theme among the women we interviewed for the book was the confidence factor and the fear of making mistakes related to perfectionism. I love Brene Brown’s quote, ‘Perfectionism is nothing more than a form of armor we use to protect ourselves from being judged.’” –Martha Forlines, Leadership Coach and Consultant/ Speaker, President, Belief System Institute, Author of Inspiring Women: Becoming Courageous, Wise Leaders

Mentoring is a Cornerstone
“At HBA (Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association), members are encouraged to participate in our mentoring program as either a mentee or mentor. Developing future women leaders is a strategic imperative for HBA across the US and Europe.” –Lynn Prothero, Regional Business Director at Lundbeck and Director of the Advisory Board for Healthcare Business Women’s Association (HBA), Atlanta Chapter.

Gen Y: Keep Them Engaged and They Will Succeed
A Harvard Business Review article titled “Mentoring Millennials” took note of this rising generation and their desire for mentoring. “Millennials have high expectations of their employers—but they also set high standards for themselves,” the article stated. “They’ve been working on their résumés practically since they were toddlers, because there are so many of them and so few (relatively speaking) spots at top schools and top companies. They’re used to overachieving academically and to making strong personal commitments to community service. Keep them engaged, and they will be happy to overachieve for you.”

Millennial women will help usher in a new era in the workplace and they certainly bring with them a bright future – with their ambition, strong work ethic, progressive views on women leadership and innovation. Effective business leaders will recognize the specific needs of this generation of women and provide them with the mentorship, feedback and other tools they need to succeed.

To read part one of The Confidence Gap, click here. 

Michelle Prince is Senior Vice President Talent Management for Randstad North America. She provides strategic HR leadership in the areas of talent management, employee engagement, organization effectiveness, and leadership development. Michelle has a passion for supporting the professional development of women. She is an active mentor for Pathbuilders, Inc., an Advisory Committee Member for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Atlanta Chapter, and was a founding member of a corporate women’s networking group. Michelle brings global experience and best practices from a variety of industries including Technology, Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices. Michelle earned a BS from Binghamton University, an MS from Rochester Institute of Technology, and is currently a doctoral candidate with the University of Phoenix.

Source: http://www.womenpoweringbusiness.com/the-confidence-gap-part-2-mentoring-millennials/

Women On The Rise Among The World’s Top-Earning Authors

Click for full photo gallery: The World’s Top-Earning Authors

Watch your back, James Patterson. Sleep with one eye open, Stephen King.

Men still top the list of the world’s highest-earning authors, but this year it’s the women on the list who’ve been making the boldest moves, led by a trio of genre phenoms: Suzanne Collins, E.L. James and J.K. Rowling.

With $20 million in earnings, almost all of it from sales of her “Hunger Games” books, Collins didn’t quite make the most recent edition of the FORBES Celebrity 100. But that was only because she had yet to see her full portion of the proceeds from the first “Hunger Games” film.

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, the Lionsgate picture enjoyed the third-biggest opening weekend ever. To date, it has taken in more than $650 million worldwide.

Collins’s cut of that is believed to be upward of $5 million, not including the $1.5 million she was paid for the rights. That will rise still further with sales of the DVD, released this month. And the gusher is just getting going: The theatrical version of “Catching Fire,” the first of two sequels, is set for release in 2013.

The “Hunger Games” books sold more than 9 million copies in 2011, and sales got a fresh boost this year from the film’s release, but they’re not the trilogy of the year. That honor goes to the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, which sold 20 million copies in their first four months in wide release.

At the height of “Fifty Shades” mania, the erotic novels were estimated to be generating as much as $1.3 million per week for their author, E.L. James. And that’s not counting the $5 million she received from Universal Pictures and Focus Films for the theatrical rights. Add it all up and James is assured of a place near the top of next year’s top authors list.

(Perhaps “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer deserves a cut of that? James’s books originated as works of “Twilight” fan fiction.)

Genre fiction and young adult are clearly where the money’s at. But one author who’s conquered those realms as thoroughly as they can be conquered is moving upstream, toward the more challenging waters of adult literary fiction. That would be J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series and the first woman author to become a billionaire.

In September, Little, Brown will publish “The Casual Vacancy,” Rowling’s first novel for adults. The reported $8 million advance Rowling received for the book was enough to vault her back onto the Celebrity 100, with $17 million in estimated earnings.

It also helped that she found a new way to monetize the “Potter” books, selling digital copies via a proprietary online bookstore, Pottermore. Unlike most authors, Rowling never signed over the digital rights to her books. Her timing in launching Pottermore was excellent, with e-book sales surpassing hardcover sales for the first time in 2012. Pottermore sold more than $4 million worth of books in its first month of operation.

Most of the names on this year’s top authors list are familiar ones, from Patterson on down. The thriller maestro, whose young-adult fantasy and sci-fi franchises also do brisk business, took in an astonishing $94 million this year. There’s Stephen King ($39 million), Janet Evanovich ($33 million), John Grisham ($26 million), Jeff Kinney ($25 million), Nora Roberts ($23 million) and Danielle Steel ($23 million).

One newcomer is George R.R. Martin. HBO’s critically adored (and much-pirated) adaptation of his “Game of Thrones” series has turned on a mainstream audience to a fantasy universe that nerds have been raving about for years. Martin sold more than 8 million copies of his “Game of Thrones” books in 2011, including the newest, “A Dance With Dragons,” which sold 750,000 copies in hardcover.

To generate our earnings estimates, we talk to authors, agents, publishers and other experts and review data including Nielsen BookScan sales figures.

Full list: The World’s Top-Earning Authors

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/08/09/women-on-the-rise-among-the-worlds-top-earnings-authors/

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7 Women in Business Resources (Now with Video)

Every now and again I like to assemble the most interesting resources I’ve encountered for small business owners and women in business in general. I’m working on making this a weekly feature – if you have resources to share, you can tweet them with the hashtag #wgbiz, or post them to our Facebook page.

This isn’t a platform for pure self-promotion. Feel free to share your own resource if it’s specifically for or by Women in Business, but keep it short and to the point. We’ll promote the most useful, community-minded submissions in upcoming feature articles, with an ever-so-slight bias towards highlighting community members.

Here are this week’s top resources.

Women In Business Resource #1 – Loosecubes

In one of my favorite Facebook groups, Women Who Tech, Leah Kopperman (@kopperwoman) was kind enough to share an invite to a resource she saw on the Entrepreneur website called Loosecubes. It connects entrepreneurs to “happy and productive workspaces”.

The video below features the founder, a woman named Campbell McKeller. (It’s currently invite-only. I have three – reply to this post if you’d like one.)

Women In Business Resource #2

Local ladies – The Power Conference will be back in Bethesda, Maryland on August 30th. Women Grow Business community Marissa Levin (@InfoExperts) is one of their featured speakers.

So we’ve got to represent and cheer her on! Let me know in the comments if you’re going, and I’ll organize a way for us to meet for lunch or afterwards.

Women In Business Resource #3 – Open Forum’s Infographic Series from American Express OPEN’s study on The State of Women-Owned Businesses

Since July, Open Forum has been celebrating the fact that women entrepreneurs are #PoweringTomorrow in their infographic series. Many of the infographics are based on statistics found in American Express OPEN’s study The State of Women-Owned Businesses.

You can find the latest infographics on Open Forum’s site.

By illustrating how collectively, women-owned businesses are changing the landscape of the business world for the better – generating $1.3 trillion in revenues annually, up more than 58 percent over the past 15 years; this campaign helps paint a picture of the landscape of women in business to fuel a conversation.

Women In Business Resource #4 – Sarah Robinson Talks Loyal Communities

Quick reminder – our monthly Women Grow Business Twitter chat for Women in Business is coming up on Monday the 13th. at noon Eastern. All are welcome of course, though we do slant our discussion to a female audience at times. This time around, Sarah Robinson will be talking about How to Start a Fiercely Loyal community (that page has calendar links if you need a nudge the day of the chat.)

Watch the video below for an extra tip.

Women In Business Resource #5 – Stevie Awards Calls for Entries from Women

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business is now accepting entries. “All female entrepreneurs, executives, and the organizations they run, worldwide, are eligible to be nominated”, according to an article in Virtual Strategy.

You can find the entry kit at the Stevie Awards site.

Women In Business Resource #6: A Crowd Funding Site geared towards Women

Crowdfunding, in layperson’s terms, is the act of organizing the receipt of funding drive from an assembled crowd of like-minded people, rather than from more traditional sources such as financial institutions or one’s piggy bank.

Lately there has been a rise in the conversation surrounding crowd-funding, due to the increasing availability of software to facilitate the activity online.

Today’s resource, Crowdfunding Live was introduced to me just this morning by community member Dr. Letitia Wright.

But more about her in a minute. Here’s more about Crowdfunding Live from their site:

“It was late 2011 when CrowdFunding LIVE was founded. After working together toward the first live event (March 31, 2012), Aggie Kobrin, Deb Augur and Debe Fennell, decided to take the next logical step and start a full fledged crowdfunding site to help “idea people” (especially women) get the funding they need to take their best ideas LIVE!”

What makes it a bit different than your Kickstarter-copycat is that they’re looking to help you have a successful crowdfunding campaign.

And if you need a little bit more help? Well, read on.

Women In Business Resource #7: Crowd Funding Expertise Letitia Wright Offering Free Consultations

Community member Dr. Letitia Wright (@DrWright1), who is one of the leading crowd-funding experts for small business owners.

By that I mean she advises little outfits like the SBA in California, and helps people who don’t quite get how to go from their posting on a site like Kickstarter to a successful campaign. For the rest of the day, you can test out her expertise by calling her office for a free consultation.

Really, free. I had one with her just to see if she was planning on subjecting me to a boring sales pitch (which would be completely out of line with what I know of her. But I couldn’t offer first-hand knowledge if I didn’t check, right). She was very helpful and not salesy at all. (Which of course makes me want to hire her when I have the money, but that’s just me.)

You can read Dr. Wright at 909 235 9744 today, until close of business (5 pm California time, 8 pm in New York).

Here’s a quick video of the kind of advice you’ll be in for:

More Women In Business Resources Next Time

That’s all we have for today. Hopefully I’ll be back here with more next week. I’m thinking we could go with a different theme each week – communities, Twitter lists, Google+ pages, offline organizations. If you have ideas, let me know in the comments section.

Have a great weekend!

 

Source: http://womengrowbusiness.com/2012/08/7-women-in-business-resources-now-with-video/

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How To Create A Company That Won’t Fail? Put Women On Your Board

When choosing stocks and investment during a tough economy, look for companies with women on the board. That’s what the results of a new study would suggest. According to the report, which comes from Credit Suisse’s research division, companies with at least one female board member have outperformed those with only men over the past six years. The new report analyzed the performance of 2,360 companies around the globe with and without female board members from 2005 onwards. To put those numbers in perspective, only 41% of companies on the MSCI World Index, a collection of global stocks, had any women on their boards at the end of 2005. By the end of 2011, it had increased to 59%.

They found that the companies with boards that included women outperformed stocks with no women on the board by 26%. There is a caveat, though. The report shows a split between different time periods. Between 2005 and 2007, when economic growth was relatively robust, there was little difference in share price performance between companies with or without women on the board. On the other hand, from 2008 onwards, as volatility increased, the companies with female board members outperformed the others.

In other words, “stocks with greater gender diversity on their boards generally look defensive,” write the study authors. “They tend to perform best when markets are falling, deliver higher average ROEs through the cycle, exhibit less volatility in earnings and typically have lower gearing ratios.”

The data raise a larger question: Why does gender diversity improve a company’s performance? One reason could be that companies with female board members are already doing well. Companies may be more likely to have women on the board when they are larger and more established. But the authors say that this doesn’t account for all the benefits shown.

Another reason for the female-led boost could be that diversity increases the performance of all board members. Studies have shown that majority groups improve their own performance in response to minority involvement producing better average outcomes in more diverse environments. In addition, a 2010 study hinted that the collective intelligence of a group was not mostly determined by the average or maximum intelligence of the individuals within the group but was better explained by the style and type of interaction between the group members. More women in the group signaled a greater collective intelligence.

In addition, women are the primary consumer decision makers in homes across the world, and having women on the board may guide companies to better products and services for the people who spend household money.

Women could also help improve how a company acts. The study authors write that research shows that a greater number of women on the board improves performance on corporate and social governance metrics. In addition, research showed that stocks with women on board are more likely to have lower levels of debt than other stocks. Finally, gender-diverse boards were more likely to focus on clear communication to employees, to prioritize customer satisfaction, and to consider diversity and corporate social responsibility.

Getting women on boards is not always a simple task, though. Some governments have chosen to intervene in the gender ratio, and over the past five years, seven countries have passed legislation mandating female board representation and eight have set non-mandatory targets. Those countries are mostly in Europe; in emerging Asian markets, 72% of companies listed have no women on their boards.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fastcompany/headlines/~3/pYB6xL6ttZs/how-to-create-a-company-that-wont-fail-put-women-on-your-board

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U.S. Women’s Soccer: The Most Compelling Team In American Sports

Alex Morgan (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)

Every few years, from the hazy ether of world sport, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team rises up and seems to unite a nation like no other team has in a decade or more. One would have to go all the way back to the 1980 U.S. Men’s Hockey team or, if not that far, than at least back to the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s World Cup-winning iteration in 1991 to find a similar sports squad.

They are easy to root for. They are a great team, but a flawed one, and certainly not dominant. Japan, Brazil and even Canada have caught up. They haven’t won the World Cup since 1999.

With today’s tense 2-1 win over Japan, they are gold medal winners for the fourth time. But they give us drama in both victory and defeat. Witness last year’s shoot-outs in the World Cup, the dramatic win over Brazil in the semifinals, and the equally dramatic loss to Japan in the finals. Or how about this year’s 4-3 stunner over Canada?

A handful of the players are transcendent. Abby Wambach is one of the best women’s players in history, with a knack for game-changing plays.

Some of them are controversial. Goalkeeper Hope Solo was once booted off the national squad after trash-talking a teammate. Then she tested positive for a banned substance before these Olympics, but claimed it came from her pre-mentsrual medication. During the Games she very publicly berated former U.S. star and now-TV commentator, Brandi Chastain, for shoddy game analysis. Wambach, in what some viewed as an utter lack of sportsmanship, pointed out to a ref in the Olympic semifinal that the Canadian goalkeeper was holding on to the ball for too long. The ref made the almost unheard-of call, which eventually led to a tying goal, overtime and a U.S. victory.

They are human. Megan Rapinoe, the tow-headed midfielder, came out before the Olympics. Her teammates supported her. The nation didn’t bat an eye.

They are fun. Alex Morgan is the pony-tailed player perfectly nicknamed “Baby Horse.” She plays with unbridled joy.

These players have no professional league of their own. The Women’s Professional Soccer League shut down this season after three years. There is talk of starting a new league next season, but the history of women’s pro soccer leagues offers little in the way of hope that it will last very long.

It is doubtful that we will hear of many of these players until the next World Cup (2015 in Canada) and next Olympics (2016 in Brazil). We’ll never see some of them on the pitch again.

The players will share just a $1.5 million bonus for winning the gold ($25,000 each), a paltry sum when measured by the takes other professional athletes in the world’s biggest sports leagues. Some of the players have cashed in already on their marketability. Hope Solo has endorsements with Gatorade, Bank of America, Blackberry and Electronic Arts. Some will certainly cash in on these Olympics. Look for Alex Morgan to be featured more prominently by her sponsors, Nike and Coca-Cola.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/monteburke/2012/08/09/u-s-womens-soccer-the-most-compelling-team-in-american-sports/

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How Women Lead Differently, And Why It Matters

I think it’s time women have a candid conversation about power. It’s a conversation that will impact men and needs to include them. Together, we’ve reached a population of 7 billion; in another 38 years, we’ll rise to 9 billion. Women make up 52 percent of the global whole and control $20 trillion in annual consumer spending. Our decisions have a measurable impact on local businesses, regional economies, and the transnational marketplace. How we choose to conceive and exert power as a group has the potential to define the 21st century.

In recent years, we’ve seen calls for accountability, fairness, and openness galvanize revolutionary movements and thinking. Long-held assumptions about who has power have been radically disrupted by technology and the culture of a digitally native generation. Influence isn’t just wielded from the corner office anymore–influence is wired, it’s mobile, it’s six thousand miles away, being transmitted via Twitter.

Many of us are living in an age of virtual access and virtual freedom, but we can’t ignore that there’s a tension between the instant connectivity that technology makes possible for all people and the reality of economic and social inequities that continue to alienate and disadvantage most people. Less than one third of the world’s population has access to the Internet. Three out of four people living in absolute poverty–less than $1 a day–are in rural areas.

We’ve created a hyperconnected world where the vast majority is removed from systems that shape their daily reality. The mass unrest that delivered us the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring shares a common element: a sense of disempowerment.

The way we do business, the way we approach development and exercise diplomacy are grappling to keep pace with evolving, complex effects of globalization. Fundamentally, we still want the same things: security, liberty, equity, and peace. People want to be considered, to belong, and to contribute.

If we want to successfully navigate this new world, spark economic resurgence and close the gaps in equity that threaten stability, we need new thinking, new partners–we need to elevate a new paradigm of power. We need leaders who understand local nuances and global interdependence. We need decisions to be predicated on sustainability not opportunism. We need leadership that leverages power for collective empowerment.

I see a solution in women–in the distinct way women wield power. Women’s leadership is a force that can and must be harnessed for the global good.

Research shows that women direct up to 90 percent of their income to community infrastructure and improvement, whereas men reinvest 30 to 40 percent of their income. The World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report finds that women with decision-making power accelerate positive development outcomes, and studies from the World Economic Forum confirm a strong correlation between an increase in gender equality and an increase in gross domestic product per capita.

It’s now universally accepted that women are proven catalysts for economic growth–they are also a leadership reserve.

Long excluded from traditional power structures, women lead differently than men. Restricted access to resources has made ingenuity a matter of survival for many; frustration with impenetrable oligarchies and inherited bureaucracies has instilled the value of transparency and creative, practical thinking in others. Women have been forced to operate from outside closed networks, which means they’ve had to adapt by creating their own worlds; they’ve learned to unite peripheral, disenfranchised communities into collectively organized and governed microcosms.

The particular qualities of women’s leadership take on a new significance and new power in today’s world. I believe that the strengths women possess and the behaviors that set them apart will lead us forward in the coming years: collaboration, conviction, inclusiveness, creativity, and mentorship.

Women are an emerging force for leadership. From the International Monetary Fund to the African Union, women are assuming superior leadership positions in organizations with internationally significant mandates. If we invest in the development of a critical mass of rising leaders and the communities they lead, efforts to spread peace and prosperity can have a potentially exponential reach.

The women I have known in my work with Vital Voices Global Partnership are pursuing equitable, inter-generational, sustainable progress. They are pragmatists. They are visionaries. They’re not waiting for economic recovery or democratization–they are actively creating the future they imagine for their families and countries.

If we have the courage to accept that our current crises afford us the opportunity to do things differently, if we recognize the value of women’s leadership power and enlist women as partners in the redesign and reconstruction of broken systems, we can activate a global reset that accrues to the benefit of our shared global community.

Alyse Nelson is the president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership and author of the new book [i]Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World
 published by Jossey-Bass.[/i]

[Image: Flickr user Morning Calm News]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fastcompany/headlines/~3/FPrPs3g_VYc/how-women-lead-differently-and-why-it-matters

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Sarah Robinson is Our Guest Expert for the August Women Grow Business chat

We’re quite lucky to have Sarah Robinson available for our August chat, on the topic of how to get started building a fiercely loyal community.

Why Sarah Robinson? And Haven’t We Already Talked About Community?

Yes, a few months back, we had an informal discussion about community in our Women Grow Business chat, without a guest expert. And it was fun and informative too, as several community members stepped up to give us great advice from their real-world experience with building community.

However, it’s clear after some one on one conversations with several of the women in our Facebook group that we need to cover this topic more in-depth. After all,  a loyal community can be the key to unstoppable growth. Just look at Apple computer, Amazon’s top reviewers, or the eWomen’s Network.

Sarah has a book coming out on this topic, called “Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities” with case studies from multiple sources and communities of varying sizes. (The book is set to release on September 19, 2012. For a free preview, pick up her free whitepaper, “The ROI of Fierce Loyalty“.)

Having examined the topic extensively, with documentation of her observations, Sarah Robinson is considered an expert on the topic of what makes community members loyal.

More About Sarah

Given the recent controversy surrounding the idea of expertise, our community won’t accept a person to be an expert without some third party verficaction. If you’re one of the more exacting members of the Women Grow Business family, you’ll be pleased to learn that Sarah isn’t one of those self-touted gurus. Among her accolades:

  • Sarah has been quoted in Entrepreneur.com, AOL.com  and profiled on AmEx Open.
  • On Dun Bradstreet’s list of the Most Influential Small Business Experts on Twitter, she ranks number 47.
  • She is also one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Women Tweeting about Entrepreneurship.

If you want to read more about Sarah, you can find her at Fierce Loyalty, her blog. Or you can come ask her questions directly at our next Twitter chat on Monday, August 13, 2012 at Noon Eastern/New York time.

And here’s a video where you can see Sarah discussing fierce loyalty first hand.

(If you’re reading this via syndication and can’t see the video link, click here to view the live post.)

How do you follow The #WgBiz Twitter chats?

  1. Log into Twitter, Tweetchat, Tweetgrid, Tweetdeck, or any other Twitter tool that lets you isolate a hashtag.
  2. Follow our Twitter hashtag #wgbiz. (In Twitter you can use the search at the top of the screen, in Tweetchat or Tweetgrid, once you’re logged in, you’ll see an area for you to enter the hashtag at the top of the screen. In Tweetdeck, you can create a column that searches for that hashtag)
  3. Arrive as early as 11:45 a.m. to introduce yourself, send us a link to your site, and share your latest project, as well as to meet the other chatters.
  4. Make sure you’re following the host, in this case me (@wbgiz is the official channel,@Tinu is my personal handle), and featured guest(s) if any, this time around, Sarah Robinson (@SarahRobinson). This way, you can easily follow the conversation, send questions during the chat, or follow up  later.
  5. Have fun!  Our twitter chats are meant to be educational, sure, but also lighter fare than a teleconference or webinar.

We’ll post another reminder as the day approaches. In the meantime, you can add this event on Google Plus, Plancast and Facebook. Or you can download this calendar reminder for your Outlook (or other desktop calendar programs that are compatible with .ICS files).

 

Source: http://womengrowbusiness.com/2012/08/welcoming-sarah-robinson-for-the-august-women-grow-business-chat/

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Holy Moly, I’m Happy!

So, I have been pulling my hair out with stress, but my new favorite – my new telephone answering service, has really saved the day. I run a small business out of my home. Fashion stuff, mostly. But it has been growing pretty quickly over the last couple of months. Growing so quickly that I have been going crazy. I have been up way too late taking orders and taking phone calls from customers, and I was starting to wonder how I was going to do it all. My friends all thought that I had died because I was no where to be found.

Happily, my friend Lauren knew of my plight. And she gave me the best advice that I have gotten in a long, long time. She said, “hire an answering service, Bella.” I hadn’t even thought of that, and if I had, I would have thought that it would have been way too expensive for my little home business. And besides, I don’t want my customers talking to people who barely speak English. They need to come back and order more! Again, my friend had an answer. She is a doctor, and her practice has used an answering service for years. They are based locally, the operators are from the local area, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

So, I gave them a call. I was shocked at how inexpensive it was, and I tried a free 7 day trial of the service to make sure that it was going to work for me and my customers. Boy does it! They take all of my phone calls now. They take orders, answer questions, and if it is anything that requires my attention, they patch the call right through to me. It’s so easy! I have a life again, and I am so happy! Thanks to Lauren for the advice and thanks to my answering service for making my life so much easier.

What is the Deal With Terrible Merchandising?

OK, so I was walking through the mall the other day, doing a little bit of window shopping. I like to look at what I can’t afford, because I’m always up for a little bit of torture. But what I saw this time shocked me. There was a new store in the mall that I was really looking forward to checking out. It billed itself as funky antiques and art. Sounded cool, their signage during construction was great, but then I got to see the actual store. Yikes!

First of all, the store’s contents were literally spilling out into the mall. They have a weird corner location so they can have some of their merchandise outside the doors. But it isn’t arranged in any kind of an organized fashion. They have this huge metal lion, some rocks, a table, and a bunch of other things that I can’t remember at the moment just sitting there in a weird kind of pile. At first I thought that maybe the store wasn’t open, but it was. It looked like the contents from inside had just kind of spilled out… kind of like in cartoons when the kid opens his closet door and everything that he stashed in there when he cleaned his room comes crashing out.

So at this point, in sick fascination, I decide that I have to go take a closer look. When I get to where I can see past the giant lion into the store, I notice that the inside looks nearly as bad. It is like they had enough stuff to fill four stores and decided to cram it all into one. Tiny aisles, tall shelves, lots of things that were supposed to smell good (but really didn’t when they were all mixed together), and all of it in bright colors. It was complete mess of sensory overload. I couldn’t get myself to walk through the door. It was like my feet said, “you can’t make me go in there, it’s gonna hurt my head.” So, sadly, I walked away and did the rest of my window shopping. Maybe someday I can convince my feet to let me have a quick peek inside.

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