Tag Archives: Sheryl Sandberg

10 Women Who Shaped the Future

(CNN) – The women of the year helped bring the economy back from the brink, worked against tyranny, and championed equality, education and justice. Most of all, they helped open our eyes to how much remains to be done.

Malala Yousafzai

If 2012 was the year most of us first heard about the 14-year-old Pakistani girl, it was 2013 when we learned nobody could silence her, especially not the cowardly Taliban men who tried to kill her.

Malala had become a vocal advocate of the right of all girls to an education, a frightening prospect for the Taliban. In October 2012, machine-gun toting extremists walked onto a school van, asked for Malala, then shot her in the face.

Instead of intimidating her, the Taliban turned her into their own worst nightmare — a powerful girl more admired and articulate than ever.

This year we found that Malala’s impact is just beginning. As a leading candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, her advocacy for girls inspires hope around the world. And she’s just getting started.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot

What is it about macho politicians who get so scared of brave women?

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s suppression of the political opposition spurred an unlikely force, the defiantly named punk rock group Pussy Riot. The female band protested Putin’s increasing authoritarianism. When five of them broke out into an anti-Putin song, “Punk Prayer,” at Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral, two of them — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina — were arrested and put in prison.

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Stocks Perform Better when Women on Company Board

Companies with women on their boards performed better in challenging markets than those with all-male boards in a study suggesting that mixing genders may temper risky investment moves and increase return on equity.

Shares of companies with a market capitalization of more than $10 billion and with women board members outperformed comparable businesses with all-male boards by 26 percent worldwide over a period of six years, according to a report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, created in 2008 to analyze trends expected to affect global markets.

The number of women in boardrooms has increased since the end of 2005 as countries such as Norway instituted quotas and companies including Facebook Inc. (FB) added femaledirectors after drawing criticism for a lack of gender diversity. The research, which includes data from 2,360 companies, shows a greater correlation between stock performance and the presence of women on the board after the financial crisis started four years ago.    

“Companies with women on boards really outperformed when the downturn came through in 2008,” Mary Curtis, director of thematic equity research at Credit Suisse in Johannesburg and an author of the report, said in a telephone interview. “Stocks of companies with women on boards tend to be a little more risk averse and have on average a little less debt, which seems to be one of the key reasons why they’ve outperformed so strongly in this particular period.”

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Women running for office?

What will it take to make a woman president?

Editor’s Note: Marianne Schnall is a journalist whose writings and interviews have appeared in The Huffington Post, The Women’s Media Center, Glamour Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine. She is also the co-founder and executive director of Feminist.com, as well as the co-founder of the environmental siteEcoMall.com. Her new book is titled  “Daring to Be Ourselves: Influential Women Share Insights on Courage, Happiness and Finding Your Own Voice.”

By Marianne Schnall, Special to CNN

It has been three years since we applauded Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” during the 2008 presidential campaign. However, there has been little progress for women inWashingtonto celebrate since then. In fact, the current statistics on women’s representation in theU.S.government are pretty shocking: while women make up almost 51% of theU.S.population, they are only about 17% of Congress. TheUnited Statesranks 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures, behind countries such asCuba,China,IraqandAfghanistan. Heading into the 2012 election, there seems to not only be an absence of female leadership, but some discouraging trends, like that 17% – last year, for the first time in 30 years, the percentage of women in the House of Representatives actually went down.

Recently I had the opportunity to talk to some pioneering and influential women – political leaders, business executives, publishers and thinkers – and I asked them why they believe women have made such little momentum inWashingtonjust four years after having a near presidential contender – and what we can do to get more women into the pipeline of political leadership.

Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leader, first female Speaker of the House

“As I’ve said before, you can lose the election but win the campaign, because even by running you’ve asserted your strength and authority. In her historic run for president, Hillary Clinton certainly helped crack what I like to call the ‘marble ceiling,’ which has largely kept women from the halls of power for hundreds of years.

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