Monday, June 16, 2008

Sexism in the Media

I was just sent an amazing YouTube Video produced by the Womens Media Center , an organization I am proud to support and I encourage you all to do the same. The purpose is to highlight the unbelieveable sexist comments made over the past few months regarding Hilary Clinton. Whether or not you like or supported Hilary, this video is worth a view. This is just not right. Chris Matthews get's my award as the guy I would most like to see pelted with rotten tomatoes . I am not sure he is married, but if he is, someone tell his wife to watch this video.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"If you can figure out your suitcase, you can figure out your life."

Today's FT contained two great articles that are worth a read. The first is an interview with Diane von Furstenberg from which I pulled the quote above. I like her clothing and I like the woman behind them. Her company has a 'female empowerment agenda' and so does this BLOG! He confidently defines herself as "a woman, a mother, a designer", acknowledging the multiple roles she plays and giving them equal ground. Thanks to Vanessa Friedman for this great piece.

Flip the page and you will find another article worth reading on Kavita Ramdas, the head of the Global Fund for Women. Scroll down to find a write-up on Kavita.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Thanks once again to John Mauldin for bringing to my attention another must read commentary, this one by Bill Gross of Pimco. I have been wanting to write about my feelings on how understated US inflation numbers are, but now I don't have to. Thank you Bill! I suggest both these regular commentaries for great insight on financial topics.

Monday, June 9, 2008

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Last week I sat in a beautiful drawing room in a lovely home in Vancouver, B.C. listening to Kathy LeMay, President and CEO of Raising Change, share her story and instruct us to "Do what we can, with what we have, where we are." Kathy is a high impact fund raising consultant and philanthropic advisor. Her mission is to help people create their own generosity plans, or in other words, how they are going to use their time, treasure and talent to make a difference in the world.

There were twenty fabulous women present to launch a new women’s network associated with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, my alma mater. Of no surprise to those of you who know me, I was one of the organizers!

I met Kathy through a dear friend a few years ago, and Kathy has been helping to guide my giving ever since. Although I had a financial plan, a retirement plan, an estate plan and even a health plan, it did not really occur to me that I needed a giving plan. That is, until I met Kathy. Now that plan is the framework I use to not only guide how much money I give, but what non-profit boards I choose to serve on, and what service activities I engage in. The essence of the plan is to match your resources with your passions in the most effective way possible. When you think about it, it makes sense, but do we do it? Personally I tend to say yes too often, spreading myself too thin, and I sometimes end up feeling stressed out and dissatisfied with my ‘volunteer work’. Now when I am asked, I apply that opportunity to my framework, and the right decision generally flows out of it.

So what are the key elements of this plan? First and foremost you need to get in touch with what you are passionate about. Ask yourself what in the world you really want to change? What issues do you care the most about? Once you have identified those passion areas, do some homework. Look for organizations whose missions are aligned with those passions. Next think about what you have to give – take an inventory. Do you have time? Money? Skills that a non-profit need? Or all three? Break those all down and then connect them, intentionally, back to those organizations. Intentionally.

There is certainly a lot more to it, so check out Kathy’s web-site for tools to get you started.

A giving plan is something all people can do, not just the people over there. You know those people, the people with lots of money and lots of time on their hands. No, a generosity plan is for everyone, you, me, young, old, and it is an especially great concept to introduce to your children which my husband and I have been doing this year.

Thank you Kathy for being such an amazing influence in my life and for helping me to become the "change I want to see in the world."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank You Hilary

I recieved this letter in my inbox this morning from Illana Goldman, President of the Women's Campaign Forum, regarding Hilary Clinton and I thought it was well worth sharing.

"I say this to you almost daily, but since it's normally to you on the TV screen, I thought I should find a way of saying it where you might actually receive the message: Thank you.

Thank you for what you have done. For your sheer tenacity, strength, and stick-to-itiveness. Thank you for working so hard every day when you must have been exhausted. For showing us what leadership looks like: doing something well, with grace, in good times and bad. Most of all, I thank you for not quitting.
Your many supporters will tell you what your race means to them and history will write what it means to the world, but it also means so much to me and to the little world I live in. I thank you on behalf of the women who have been so special in my life:

For my daughter - who is, as of yet, just an idea in my mind. But I imagine her one day reading the story of this historic campaign. I am so grateful that the story she will read will be of a complete campaign, with the biggest numbers possible - states, votes, and delegates. That story will show that our first woman presidential contender was truly competitive - nearly won competitive - and show a little girl her own vast possibilities in this country. Thank you for giving her a history worth reading.
For my mother - who is one of those women who work tirelessly to support her family, worries over rising healthcare costs and frets that her grandchildren may not have social security. She's always been passionately interested in politics, but never before found a politician who she felt saw and understood her. She'll be 65 next year and she wrote the first political check of her life to you. Thank you for validating the day-to-day concerns that she faces.
For my grandmother - who was, as it was noted at her memorial, "a woman ahead of her time." I think of her every time I see one of your senior women supporters who were born before women first got the vote and were out on the streets filled with hope that they would inaugurate one in their lifetimes. Thank you for showing them that their efforts to make women loud and proud actors in American politics created real change.
For my best friend - who would listen to me talk about just about anything in the world for hours - except politics - until you started to run. Little by little, day by day, she became more engaged in your campaign and what it meant to the country and our place in the world. She started out reading your emails and went on to lobbying her husband and friends to change their votes. Thank you for awakening an incredible woman to her role in the political process.
For my former junior staffer- who did not necessarily believe that sexism was still an issue alive and well today. She watched pundit after pundit behave in ways that even she could not deny were ... crude. Then she saw it pass as kind of acceptable. And then she saw it happen again and again. Finally, she took up her pen and now Chris Matthews and the MSNBC brass know her name .... well. Thank you for reminding her of how much work we all still have to do.
For me - who has been, at times, described as direct, forward, forceful, pushy and a few other choice adjectives. Thank you for helping make the world a little safer for aggressive, ambitious women. Because isn't aggressive just one way of saying "she gets things done" and isn't ambition just another word for "dream?" Thank you for pushing for my dream - and that of so many others - to elect a phenomenally talented and capable woman to lead our country and change our world.
As you promised from the outset, you have, and will continue to, make history.
Thank you, for all us. "
Ilana Goldman
President, Women's Campaign Forum

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Girls Night Out ( GNOs )

I am a big fan of GNOs. Big fan. Always have been and always will be. This past Sunday I gathered a group of eight gal pals and we took in the major chick flick of the summer, that’s right, Sex In The City. I liked the TV show mainly for one reason, Sisterhood! I liked the movie for the same reason. Having not read that much about the movie over the weekend, I thought I was being really cool and original planning for a group of us to go to an early dinner and the show on Sunday night. Well it turns out I was not the only one with such an idea. The theater was packed and we ended up in the second row. We laughed, we cried, and what made the movie so much fun was we were sisters, watching sisters. I hope that the success of this film at the box office will send a clear signal to the powers that be in Movieland. Make more movies for women, with women, about women. Build it, and they will come. (that's right this message is for you Bonnie )