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Newsletter 11.1.19

"Powerhouse." "Legend." "Force for change." These are the kinds of titles that label women. Which is why I'll start off by saying to focus on the titles and forget the numbers. 

We often talk about the numbers that impact the way we talk about women. We talk about the gender pay gap, the investment inequity, the confidence gap. Although the numbers are important accountability systems, celebrating the many titles that women share in this world can be just as impactful.

LHI as a publication seeks to provide inspiration, a source of truth for the women across centuries and countries that fulfill those titles. Whenever I am sourcing pieces or sharing content with friends, I look to positive storytelling of game changers and change makers. Those are the stories worth sharing.

Share the numbers as reminders, but share the women as progress.

Happy November,
Maya Frai, Founder of Let's Hear It

The latest news on women.
Strength in Numbers: How Women From Twitter, Facebook, and Uber Are Teaming Up to Fund Silicon Valley’s Future
Investors from all three networks mention the trust developed from their time in the trenches together—and a level of comfort discussing money that comes from working side by side in a business context. “The network of people who have been through hypergrowth together—it creates bonds for life,” says Frédérique Dame, a former product and engineering manager at Uber who’s now a partner at GV. “We all speak the same language.” Fortune, October 28, 2019
Investing Powerhouse Kirsten Green On Facing The Future With An Open Mind
Green has established herself as an industry power player thanks to her prescient bets with brands on the path to billion-dollar exits, but her journey into the high-stakes, male-dominated venture world was anything but conventional. She wasn’t a founder herself and didn’t hail from one of the tech giants, but she instead cut her teeth in the world of finance as an equity research analyst in retail. What’s more, when Green walked away from her finance job and a steady paycheck in 2003, her career course didn’t have a clear direction. Forbes, October 24, 2019
Thirty-one women who ‘run the world’ and what can be learned from them
Featuring 31 women who are the CEOs of companies that they have created themselves — think Spanx, Glossier, Caribou Sciences and Stitch Fix — each of their stories underscores that dreams sometimes can be made into reality when you want something badly enough. Many sit on each other’s boards or advisory committees. Katrina Lake is on Emily Weiss’s  board [at Glossier]. Leslie Blodgett, who sold her company Bare Escentuals to Shiseido [in 2010 for $1.7 billion] is funding other women. TechCrunch, October 15, 2019

Women in the Boardroom Report
Deloitte’s Women in the Boardroom report shares the latest statistics on global boardroom diversity, exploring the efforts of 66 countries to increase gender diversity in their boardrooms and features insights on the political, social, and legislative trends behind the numbers.  
→ Women hold 16.9 percent of board seats worldwide, a 1.9 percent increase from the previous edition.
→ Women hold only 5.3 percent of board chair positions and 4.4 percent of CEO roles globally.
→ Women hold 12.7 percent of CFO roles globally – nearly three times that of CEO positions.

Deloitte, October 2019
Publication features on women and their careers. 
Photo: NYTimes Mag.
Interview with Patti LuPone, Broadway Star and two-time Tony Award winner

"I don’t know how I feel about bullying in show business, because it has made me stronger. Sometimes you think: Is it what you have to go through to get what you want? But what do you do? That was my ignorance. I should have called Equity. I should’ve walked out of rehearsal and called my agent. But I would’ve been fired, and I knew that. It did many things besides humiliate me. It diminished my status in the company as the leading lady. It was so demoralizing and defeating. [My director] actually said, “Now, who’s going to win this argument?” I said, “You, because you’re the director.” He said: “That’s right. Now sing.” “Evita” was the thing that shot me to stardom, but when I say I didn’t like the experience, that’s one of the reasons. It was hard as hell."

In this NYT Mag interview with Patti LuPone, lessons of Broadway stardom are shared with a focus on female sentiment and perseverance in a cut-throat environment. Patti is Broadway's most preeminent actress and best known for her role in "Evita." 

Read more here.
Op-eds and letters on advice, experiences, and inspiration.

Apple: "This founder wanted the product to be aesthetically perfect, but she was willing to compromise in order to have a battery life longer than the duration of one D.M.V. visit."

Snapchat: "A young woman in a Stanford sorority wanted to send a disappearing picture of her outfit to a friend. (It was her roommate’s shirt, so she needed to destroy the evidence.)"

Uber: "When this founder pitched a ride-sharing app, venture capitalists responded, “Wait, that’s a great idea—can you make a carpooling app to get my kids to soccer practice? Or drive them yourself?”"

Ginny Hogan, "Origin Stories of Tech Companies if Their Founders Had Been Women" –– The New Yorker

There are several problems with this fist-pumping restyling of feminism, most obviously that it slides all too easily into victim blaming. The caricature of the shrinking violet, too fearful to ask for a raise, is a handy straw-woman for corporations that would rather blame their female employees for a lack of assertiveness than pay them fairly. There’s also the awkward issue that it turns out to be untrue. Research shows that despite countless attempts to rebrand the wage gap as a “confidence gap,” women ask for raises as often as men do. They just don’t get them.
Ruth Whippman, "Enough Leaning In. Let’s Tell Men to Lean Out." –– NYTimes

To answer this, I went back and googled interviews from the early days of Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg, more recent articles from Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, and interviews with Emily Weiss from Glossier. Where Mark and Stewart were asked almost exclusively questions about how they got somewhere, the vision of the company, and where they are going, sprinkled in with Emily’s questions were these same “obstacle questions” like “what don’t you think you do well? What do you think you need to improve on?”
Anna Palmer, "What we can learn from Mark Zuckerberg’s self-care routine." –– Medium

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'Till next time.

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