Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Geena Davis on Gender Equality!

I have the pleasure of knowing Geena Davis and if I still were living in the New York area, I would have been meeting with her during her recent visit to promote gender equality in the media. (That said, Park City is beautiful!!) CNN reported on her visit. ( click here to read and watch) I would like to thank Geena for her incredible work. What we see on television and in movies matters. Her report on the gender balance in G rated movies and how it may affect our children's development is worth paying attention to. We live in a world that is half women, and half men, and we should seek for that balance in representation in media, in politics, in business and beyond. Of course that goal is not realistic in many contexts, but it the mindfulness of the need for it that will create change. Thanks again Geena for all you do!

Geena Davis Institute for Gender Media works with entertainment creators and companies, educates the next generation of content-creators, and informs the public about the need to increase the number of girls and women in media aimed at kids and to reduce stereotyping of both males and females.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Goodbye New Canaan! Hello, Utah!

It has been quite a week. A moving week. For all those people that have horror stories about their moving experiences, well, I have one to add to that list. Let's just say the loading of the truck did not go well and it was not a week where I slept very much. The good news is that the truck is on it's way, my husband and son have battled through the crazy weather to cross the country by car with our dog Sunnie, and I leave with my daughter to our new home tomorrow. I am too exhausted emotionally and physically to write anything worth reading but I just wanted to log this entry as it will by last one from the town I have lived in for the past 10 years. I have learned so much in this process and am looking forward to writing about it.

More from the mountains after we get settled. Wishing everyone a fabulous start to summer 2010.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Diversity and Corporate Boards

Friday's WSJ reported that Calpers is yet again exercising its clout on issues related to board composition. This time, Calpers is taking the bold step of creating a broad database of pre-screened candidates that can be tapped to serve as potential directors. But this isn’t just any database. First, it’s being called 3D for “Diverse Director Database”. Second, it’s being created not just to source great potential board candidates (with the usual expertise in finance, management, industry knowledge), but also candidates from “historically underrepresented groups, including women and minorities”.

This is a giant step toward recognizing the importance of diversity on corporate boards but also for the fundamental importance of critical mass. Developing systems endorsed by powerful organizations provides the necessary tools for nominating committees to make smart decisions about board makeup. Calpers 3D plan will give corporations fewer excuses around sourcing gender inclusive talent. In short, ignoring the importance of gender diversity and thus, critical mass, just got harder.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Town and Country - The June Philanthropy Issue and Donna Karan

What a way to spend my last day in New York City prior to my move to Utah! I headed in bright and early yesterday to attend a special gathering at at a large investment bank - a gathering for Town and Country's annual philanthropy issue. This is my absolute favorite issue of the year of any magazine not only because of the feature articles on celebrity women that are using their power, influence and resources to make the world a better place, but also because their stories are written by great writers and my dear friends, Joanna Krotz and Leslie Bennetts.

The breakfast was in support of the United States Fund of Unicef, and specifically for their relief work in Haiti. The guest speakers were the most fabulous Donna Karan who I had the pleasure of meeting, as well as Malaak Compton-Rock, Corinne Woods and moderated by Juju Chang. A big WOW. Read all about these fabulous women in this month's issue. Also featured in the magazine are Lauren Bush and Sheryl WuDunn.

I left the breakfast feeling so inspired and so motivated to continue the work I am doing with the Women's Funding Network, Women Moving Millions and more. Though historically the majority of women's philanthropy has been grassroots or needs based I sense a change coming. I believe women are increasingly thinking about power, and how to use that power in alignment with their values to create change from the top down. We have to be thinking about how we change the decision making and allocation of resources that results in the injustices that we are locally funding to eliminate. In other words, we need to attack the cause and not just treat the symptoms. Donna Karan opened her remarks by taking about the feminine energy as it relates to sharing, caring and collaborating. Yes these are good things but I would like to include in this new energy more responsible, inclusive and responsible use of power. What does real feminine power look and feel like? I suggest we are just beginning to see it and need to lift up the stories of women that exemplify it.

(Please consider writing a letter to the editor at in support of the issue!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

The End of Men?

The cover article of Atlantic Monthly Magazine this month has this title - "The End of Men: How Women are Taking Control of Everything" by Hanna Rosin. The article quotes many of the statistics showing the increasing economic, social and political power and influence of women. She refers to much of the same research we featured in our report, "Women in Fund Management: A Road-Map to Critical Mass and Why it Matters," which has a call to action in terms of what we should be doing to increase the number of talented women in the CEO suite, the boardroom, on corporate boards and more. Read this very, very long article and see what you think.

I feel the title, which of course is meant to be provocative, does not frame the issue correctly and honestly, is worrisome. Women are not taking control of everything, nor should taking 'control' be the goal. This women win, men lose thing, (and vice versa ) is both dangerous and plays in to the masculine norms that dominate our society. The goal should be the best outcomes possible, and that happens when the both men and women work together. What men in power need to embrace is the potential that lies in more fully acknowledging and embracing these demographic trends and economic arguments.

What should we strive for? What does it mean to partner? Check out this OPED I wrote wome time ago called - Brokenness, Hope and Women.

My conclusion - "We can talk about new appointments and new administrations, but it is in valuing men and women, boys and girls equally and in enabling their full participation in society, that we will set the course for the positive change we need to see in our families and our public and private institutions."

.... we can all win.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Okanagan Wineries in the NY Times

I was born and raised in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia in a town called Kelowna. This area is known as the Napa Valley of Canada as it is overflowing with vineyards. There was just a GREAT write-up on the area in the NY Times and here it is! It is not everyday that one's home gets an article like this so had to share!

Back to packing... two weeks and counting.......

Friday, June 4, 2010

Auburn Lives of Commitment Breakfast 2010I

Thursday was a very special day for me. Auburn hosted their annual Women's Live of Commitment Breakfast and I was deeply touched to be an honoree. Auburn Theological Seminary is an institute for religious leadership and their new President is the most wonderful Katharine Henderson, author of "God's Troublemakers: How Women of Faith are Changing the World." I want to thank the MANY friends and family who showed up bright and early to show their support, and the many more who sent such lovely notes as well as gifts to Auburn. Please know how grateful I am!!! To watch my acceptance speech on YOUTUBE click here.

Following the breakfast I had the opportunity to participate on a panel with my fellow honorees on the topic of "Women, God and Money." The most spectacular Kathy LeMay, author of "The Generosity Plan," was the moderator, and my oh my did she ask some tough questions. That woman knows me too well and was not about to let me off easy. She asked us all the question, in a world where so many have so little, how much is enough to give? Since this was a faith based panel we all acknowledged that we are called to give, a minimum of 10%. But is that enough? I think we are called to be generous, as generous as we can be not only of our financial resources but of so much more. Why we CHOOSE to be give must come from somewhere, and for me, it is because of my faith. In my acceptance speech ( below ) I spoke about my faith and it appears below. My blog entry on the day I mentioned ( October 28th, 2008) and can be found here in case you are interested. It was the day so much changed for me....

I spent that evening with some of the most incredible women on the planet. Thanks to my buddies who planned the gathering..... love you so much. It truly meant the world to me.