Awesome article about the importance of signalling

I read this article explaining why it might be financially smart for poor people to buy designer. It’s very eye-opening about the persistence of physical appearance in judging and success.

Warren Buffett thinks we can do it!

I love this unabashed enthusiasm and sense of equality that Warren Buffett brings to the discussion about gender in the workforce.

What does your “fun house mirror” tell you?

Ms. Parmar traces the problem at least partly to technology’s image. When her team asked children to draw a person who worked in technology, all sketched men, often geeky and disheveled.

This is an article reiterating some of the outward, appearance related elements that stop girls from even getting started in technology. That and, as the writer says, the lack of sense of belong + subconscious stereotypes. I think Raspberry Pi might be a great way to get a girl you love started in technology!


Why does the glass ceiling persist

I read an interesting article positing a theory about lack of women in higher levels of leadership. If I were to summarize, I would say the author theorizes that women need to be both attractive AND competent, where men just need to be competent:

What do you think? Does that ring true?

Don’t Call Them Mommies

Liz Gumbinner over at Mom 101 has a hilarious analysis of her experience as a female tech editor at CES. She makes some excellent points about the experience of a woman in technology:

  • Do not ever throw your phone face down onto a pointed rock, ladies.
  • “You mean, if say…Mom is away on a business trip? Maybe at the CES Show at Las Vegas, while Dad is home with the kids?” At which point I realized that I had headed out of the house that morning, forgetting to take off my other six heads.
  • Women spend more on tech than men. They’re involved in 89% of the consumer electronic purchase decisions.
  • And finally:

  • It’s time to move on from 1954. If not for feminism or for social good, you need to do it for your own business.
  • I would agree with her that 99% of the time, gender isn’t a big issue in technology. But that remaining 1% can be hilarious, sad or both. Do you have a funny story about a time a guy assumed you couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t understand because of your gender?

    How the other side lives

    It’s funny, I feel like I’m dropping my casual and comfortable ways and being more intentional about looking profession. This is an article about a woman addicted to the beauty industry, and to the techniques of visual conformance.

    What a large spectrum we fall under? Where do you fall in the beauty-obsessed spectrum?

    International Day of the Girl

    October is a busy month. It’s fire awareness month, national popcorn popping month, national dental hygiene month (coincidence? I think not!), national breast cancer awareness month, national arts and humanities month, national disability employment awareness month and national book month. (Why are these all national months? Why does it matter? Which nation, for that matter? I digress.)

    In this busy month, today is – apparently – the International Day of the Girl. As part of this CNN asked a bunch of notable women: “Looking back, what one piece of advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?”

    It’s a good question. What would you want to tell your 15-year-old self?

    Women in STEM jobs

    I recently got sent this infographic (below). I had just finished reading a Boston Globe snipped talking about the pervasive discrimination in pay and promotion for women in hard sciences. So I’m not sure how to take this – are we improving our lot? Are we slipping? Are the metrics they show here the important ones?

    The Rise Of Women In Tech

    Laureen’s Corner: Thoughts on Fashion

    Those of you who know me have almost certainly encountered – by reputation or in person – my mother-in-law Laureen. Unlike the stereotypical mother-in-law/daughter-in-law conflict, Laureen and I get along superbly. We share some common loves (like her son and grandsons) and we’ve developed some common interests. When I first started dating her youngest son, I thought fashion was definitely for other people. Over the twelve years since I married her son, Laureen has persistently and patiently introduced me to a wider world. Every time she comes, she brings an entire season’s worth of clothes for me (paying attention to my preferences and feedback). She’s gifted me appropriate jewelry from her collection – or made me bespoke jewelry from her business at Jeweled Dreams. She’s pushed, prodded, gotten me to buy new things and told me I looked fabulous for years now.

    She has also agreed to be a guest commentator on this blog. So, with no further ado, I give you Laureen.

    Laureen and Adam before the ballet this winter

    Laureen and Adam before the ballet this winter

    Ahhh fashion, a constant preoccupation.

    One of my earliest memories is of sitting on a couch at age four reading my aunt’s issues of Vogue and Mademoiselle. My aunt was a graduate of Katherine Gibbs and New York secretary for over 50 years, her timeless elegance influenced me all my life. For me the word timeless is where fashion begins and is the starting point for all clothing in all situations. This seems especially relevant for young professional women who are expected to play all roles to all people while still giving credence to their femaleness, balancing comfort, practicality, professionalism and still qualifying as pretty and put together is not out of reach by any means.

    Cooking, architecture or brain surgery all start in the same place: with a foundation. Make certain your appropriate parts are covered and supported before you start to embellish. Next, the basics are not necessarily expensive, but if you put in some initial thought they allow you the freedom of expression and personal taste that makes a look yours. Fit of anything including a basic T-shirt is important. With well fitted dark washed jeans, a white T and a nice blazer you can go almost anywhere including the red carpet (though you might want to add accompanying bling). Brenda and I are still working on the shoe issue Ed note: this is totally true, though I concede to the need for marathon walking and comfort. However, having walked for miles in boots and low heels on the cobblestones of Europe I highly recommend gel insoles for all. (I buy a half size larger for all shoes and immediately insert the insole.)

    Humans as a species are highly visual so our first impression of one another is usually by sight. As such we make immediate judgements about another person based on what we see. If we are shocked or offended we may never overcome that first reaction to discover other more worthwhile qualities. As most of what this blog is referencing is in relation to the working world consider the politics of the work jungle. As if working with wild animals the professionally pretty woman wants to generate smiles not raised eyebrows. To do this protective coloring is required. That means initially wearing outfits that fit in with what others are wearing. Again the words timeless and classic come into play. Some of the best visual examples of this type of dressing can be found in any photos of such as Katherine Hepburn (especially great tailored pants) and Jackie Kennedy (wonderful sheaths and suits) to name only two. This year is especially bountiful for tailored dressing in everything from Target, to Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren and more. Just remember, classic and tailored are not synonymous with stodgy or looking like your mother (though even we can be fashion forward).

    Having established a comfortable basis you are now free to add those elements that make a look yours and speak to your preferences and personality. Whether it is the color of a blouse or purse a quirky shoe or scarf or in the case of my darling daughter-in-law one of a kind jewelry (which I delight in creating for her) you are icing the cake. If you have established your basics, little thought is required except to choose the decorations each day. Hopefully this cuts down on time and stress.

    Ultimately for me, fashion is everywhere, color, shape, textures,, even as in the case of something like leather, smell and the sound fabric like silk makes. It plays to all the senses and weaves in and out of all my life bringing energy and pleasure.

    And now for a final initial bit of advice-GET A FULL LENGTH MIRROR. You may look like Venus rising from the sea in front but if you haven’t checked the back view… disaster will surely follow. Literally.

    Having been given the amazing gift of a daughter-in-law who is willing to let me shop for her I am enjoying our adventure as we explore the path to technically pretty.

    Fitting in vs. making waves

    CNN just ran an interesting article about the trade-offs between a strong personal style and workplace expectations. They used (of course) the NASA mohawk guy as one of their examples. Another person profiled comes to work daily in a very unusual outfit. She argues that having a personal style makes her more memorable and (combined with competence) aids, not harms her job search.

    Decoding the workplace dress code

    What do you think? Do you think that having such a striking personal style can be an advantage? Or does having people with a wide variety of styles tell you something positive about a company’s culture?

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