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Around the Web this Week

February 5 - 11

Around the Web this Week

Last year a study came out that said makeup has the power to make you seem more competent, likeable, and trustworthy, and attractive, too – just as long as you’re not wearing too much of it. And according to another research, one quarter of women polled said they were of the belief that the more make-up they apply in the morning, the better they looked and felt throughout the day. Plus, it has been proven that looking better can actually make you more moneyNumerous studies  have concluded that beauty helps the budget by providing greater wealth in several ways: Better-looking people generally earn more money and marry those who are better-looking and higher-earning.

Having perfectly styled hair and a stunning outfit can be the equivalent of being first in the office in the morning or making a great presentation. It is part of the package that shows you are in charge and are meticulous.

But it also raises an age old question. Can beautiful women really be taken seriously in business? Forbes reports on the case of Kathy Ireland, former Sports Illustrated model turned business woman.  She says she finds it hard to be taken seriously by the business community.

If the perception is that a woman got the job because she’s attractive, there can be some question of her talent and ability to get the job done – even if she’s supremely talented. Girl On Top author Nicole Williams points out:  “ “Attractiveness” is interesting. I do believe that “pretty” is an asset but “beautiful” can be a major issue due to jealousy and distraction both on the part of women and men.  Whether we like it or not, people make assessments about who we are based upon how we appear but the package isn’t about the size of your nose. It’s about pulling yourself together, posture, confidence, knowing how to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative.” 

Around the Web this Week

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has been considered a great role model for women ever since her now infamous TEDWomen talk  encouraging women to take their seat at the table. Since then, she has been making the rounds at conferences, universities, and given numerous interviews on the lack of women at the top.  

When we found out last week that not a single woman had made the cut in Facebook’s newly appointed board we started to wonder. After all, it seems that even a woman at the top can’t convince the man she works side-by-side with. The web also started to raise questions. We’ve rarely seen such a heated debate going on. Lots of people thought this was a missed opportunity. Others thought we were being way too hard on Sheryl.

In a widely criticized article, The New York Times writes that “Everyone agrees she is wickedly smart. But she has also been lucky, and has had powerful mentors along the way. (…)Ms. Sandberg seems to suggest that women should just work harder while failing to acknowledge that most people haven’t had all the advantages that she’s had.” The Atlantic replied “The problem with the way the Times framed Sandberg's success begins with the use of the word "but": She's smart, *but* she's lucky, as though this somehow trumps her smarts.” Attributing female success to sheer luck is an established phenomenonThe Grindstone quotes an interesting study showing that if you feel sexually threatened by someone, you’re likelier to chalk up their success to luck.

In the end, it’s maybe time Sheryl Sandberg started using her leadership power at Facebook. Forbes said it quite effectively: “We don’t need Sheryl Sandberg to resign, as contrition for some kind of leadership failure. We don’t need her stalled one step from the top, to remind us that women haven’t quite “made it”. We DO need Sandberg to publicly “own her own power”. We DO need Sheryl Sandberg to put her own advice into action right there in the organization she leads.”

Around the Web this Week

NPR reports that moms earn up to 14% less than women who don’t have children, according to a recent University of New Mexico study. According to Professor Kate Krause of the University of New Mexico, this is happening because pregnant women or women with young children still face a lot of discrimination in the professional world. Krause also talked about women who work part-time who face a documented wage and benefit penalty. The penalties associated with part-time work in the U.S. are actually seven times higher as they are in Sweden and the UK, and this affects workers across the economic spectrum.

According to a another recent survey, half of childless women over 30 look at stay-at-home mothers and think it will be difficult for them to get back on the career ladder and a fifth believe they’ve lost their identity. Meanwhile 26% admit they are fearful of the effect motherhood would have on their career. Some other interesting stats from the survey showed that there is a lot of animosity between working mothers and their childless colleagues.

A Forbes article has some interesting tips to end the mom wage gap. It requires recharacterizing your current position to reflect what you’re actually doing (definitely more than your job description) and to do a little research on your market value. Then, you should negotiate and negotiate some more. If you don’t know how to do that, get trained in the art of negotiation. A must to boost any career! 

While you’re at it, check out the 2011 ranking of “The Best Cities for Working Mothers ” in the U.S.  

Around the Web this Week

A couple of months ago, a VentureBeat journalist wrote “Women: stop making start-ups about fashion, shopping and babies. At least for the next few years. You’re embarrassing me.” A harsh comment, but it made a point. Are women starting the wrong businesses, cornering themselves into the Pink Ghetto of entrepreneurs? Why does the vast majority of women focus their start-ups on beauty, shopping, mothering or fashion?

“The stigma is that they’re fun and easy and maybe begun because she’s bored. In other words, not profit-driven.” says Forbes. But since when does choosing a “feminine” sector equals underachieving or “business light”?

How about “feminine” as brilliant business move? A woman building a business for an audience she understands is no different from a man launching a sports-centric business. Some of the best advice for entrepreneurs is to start with what you know: Build businesses that solve problems you’ve identified and use the knowledge base you already have

Women are, arguably, better acquainted with industries like fashion and beauty, so why shouldn’t they capitalize on that advantage?

Around the Web this Week

Women are told that it’s not ladylike to brag. But done right, it can be one of the most effective ways to grow your business and your influence. Women don’t get ahead because they don’t brag enough, at least that’s what researchers have found. Are there ways to promote yourself without sounding boastful? Yes!

Inc. recommends putting yourself forward as a success story in business competitions. It increases your visibility as a leader, your company’s visibility, and may even inspire other women to become entrepreneurs.

Lifehacker also has good tips to get your name out there and to make the most of your talents and abilities. First, start off by building your online portfolio where people can learn more about you and your work. Then, move on to the next step: talking yourself up and sharing your work with others. Key ideas there include being genuine and honest, while engaging and responding to the people who are giving you feedback.

As you meet people, engage them, and interact with them, you should take care to keep track of those individuals who have offered you the most meaningful criticism, support, and encouragement along the way. Those people are your network, and they can help you launch your ideas and find opportunities. 

Lastly, keep in mind that if you're trying to promote yourself in a field that you're not necessarily any good in, or that you're not passionate about, you're not going to get far… So pick something you feel strongly about!

Around the Web this Week

Business Week reports on David Cameron’s ultimatum for major companies in England. These firms will face quotas unless they promote more women to board level, he warned. “The case is overwhelming that companies are run better if we have men and women alongside each other. If we can’t get there in other ways I think we have to have quotas… The evidence is that there is a positive link between women in leadership and business performance, so if we fail to unlock the potential of women in the labor market, we’re not only failing those individuals, we’re failing our whole economy,” he said in a statement at the Northern Future Forum summit in Stockholm, attended by countries outside the Eurozone. 

Women now make up 15% of directors of companies in the benchmark FTSE 100 Index, up from 12.5% last year, and there are now only 10 all-male boards in the FTSE, down from 21 last year. Starting in October, as a result of a new provision in the U.K. corporate-governance code, companies will have to report on their policy for boardroom diversity and how they are making progress in delivering it.

In the U.S., doubts have been raised on the effectiveness of these quotas. Though France, Norway and Spain have improved equality in the boardroom on paper it doesn’t mean the company is a better place. Quotas undermine women because it is saying they can’t get there on their own merit, says The Grindstone. What do you think? Are quotas a good way to recognize female talent in a company? 

Dimanche 12 Février 2012

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Dimanche 13 Mai 2012 - 09:28 Around the Web this Week

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