Meet Chryseis Knight – Possibly the Youngest Child Author

Welcome to this special post! It’s truly my pleasure to feature Chryseis Knight here. She wrote her first book when she was 3. Now THAT is SCRAPPY! Below in the images is the message she wrote to me, transcribed by her dear dad. Enjoy! – Kimberly   

WRITTEN by a 3-year-old . . . “The Great Big Lion“! I got to meet Chryseis virtually last week. She’s AWESOME!

Dear Kimberly, here are my thoughts about writing & why I write books.

Why books?

  1. Because when you read books, they are always exciting. You never get tired of reading them.
  2. Because when you read a book, you cannot stop reading it. When its time to put the book down you feel that was such a wonderful read & get inspired to write books too!
  3. Because when you read books, your mind is opened to another world, full of wizards & witches & fairies, & even pixies!
  4. Because when you read a book you feel like you are all of the characters, you feel sucked into the book & you don’t expect it to end at all!
  5. Because when you read books you finally know which kind of book you like, whether it’s a funny book, a horror book or a fantasy book.

Why I write books?Continue reading

What’s a Shero and How To Become Your Own

Who

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Sheroes can derive from all backgrounds and ages. Whether it is Greta Thunberg who is only a teenager devoting her life to stopping climate change or Arianna Huffington who has become one of the most accomplished business women in history, these women are sheroes by definition.

The term was coined during the suffrage movement in the 1836 but is more relevant than ever today: A woman who is admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities is considered a shero. These qualities seldomly come easy and are the result of hard work and dedication. To help you become your own shero, FTD has gathered nine tips from empowered women to set you in the right direction.

Take small steps but commit to the process and you’ll soon find yourself inspiring other women. Don’t forget to acknowledge the sheroes in your life by thanking them for being an inspiration and empowering women around them. By lifting each other up, we can create a supportive community that females across the globe will benefit from.

 

 

9 Leadership Skills of Successful Women to Make Them Stand Out

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Gender equality in the workplace is gaining momentum, offering many opportunities to women leaders. This is good news for women who have been plagued by harassment, salary inequality and feelings of insignificance for years. Katrina Lake, founder and CEO of Stitch Fix, and the youngest CEO to lead a public offering, believes that decision-makers are starting to realize that being more inclusive of women is simply good business. 

Cultural transformations are taking place but they need to be translated into actions, whether it’s acing a job interview, successfully re-entering the workplace after a period of staying at home with children or developing leadership skills. Here are some of the skills successful women leaders need to stand out. 

  • Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage our own emotions, and those of others around us. It involves empathy, self-awareness and social skills. Emotions should never get in the way when making decisions. The more a woman is able to relate to and work well with others, the more success she will have. Continue reading

How to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

In honor of the recent National Women’s Equality Day, we’re taking a look at how to promote gender equality in the workplace. 

Women have made so many strides in business over the past 50 years: they make up 47% of the workforce and are more likely than their male counterparts to have earned a bachelor’s degree by 29. Companies who invest in gender diversity see big economic returns, as companies who rank high in gender diversity categories are 15% more likely to outperform economic output averages. 

Despite these accomplishments, the global wage gap will still take 108 years to close at the current rate and women in the US earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

In order for women to be achieve workplace equality, they must be granted equal opportunity, access to top decision-making positions, and equal pay. A recent study revealed that this is closer to reality than ever before: the number of female CEOS of Fortune 500 companies reached an all time high in 2019. Yet this high sees only 33 women leading top companies in the US – that’s just 6.6%. 

For an organization to achieve gender equality, it needs to come from the top. Creating and cultivating an environment where women can work and thrive is a win-win for everyone. Discover 6 lessons from lady bosses and more tips for how your business can achieve gender equality with this visual created by Fundera.

Please click “Continue Reading” to see the entire infographic. Thanks!

Continue reading

Top 5 Women in the Investment Game

Finance has always been a male-dominated profession, especially when it comes to positions of power. Women in finance face multiple hurdles on their way to the top. They are often underestimated and expected to work harder than male counterparts to prove their worth.  Additionally, women are often held to different standard and even simply overlooked when it comes to rising up in a work environment. These facts are supported by statistics, which show that even though women are actually 3 percent more effective than men in terms of leadership, only about 3 percent of top company CEOs are women.

If you want to make it big as a woman in finance, then consider finding a role model or mentor. Here are five women who have shattered traditional perceptions and made a name for themselves in the investment world:

 

Abigail Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Fidelity Investments

Called “the most influential woman in finance” by Boston Magazine, Abigail Johnson is a force to be reckoned with. Fidelity Investments is a 72-year old firm, but Johnson is “determined to remake her family’s company for a new generation. And she’s willing to shake up the old-boys club to do it.” She has been featured on many Forbes’ lists, including Forbes Most Powerful Women of 2018 with a rank of #5.

After over 30 years of working at Fidelity under her father, she was named CEO in 2014, and Chairman in 2016. Johnson is famous for pivoting away from traditional Fidelity strategies, and in her first year as CEO, Fidelity saw profits of over $5 billion for the first time ever. Apart from being an undoubtedly stellar female businesswoman, Johnson works with youth organizations to promote financial services as a career choice for young women through Fidelity’s Boundless program.

 

Linda Bradford Raschke, Professional Trader
Professional trading is a difficult field. Al Hill, co-founder of TradingSim writes, “First off, trading is honestly worse than a sales job or entrepreneurship when it comes to steady income. The level of uncertainty can be unbearable if you have never gone without a steady paycheck.” But the level of unpredictability didn’t stop Linda Bradford Raschke, who has made it to the top as a professional trader.

Starting off as a trader in the early 1980s, Raschke worked as a market maker for stock options. After working at the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange and then the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, she became a self-employed day trader. She has written a book on trading strategies that is widely featured in the media and is often called upon to lecture on trading for many renowned organizations like Bloomberg. Even though she is retired today, her legacy included two financial firms that bear her initials LBRGroup, Inc., a commodity trading advisor, and LBR Asset Management, a commodity pool operator.

 

Lubna S. Olayan, CEO, Olayan Financing Company

Lubna S. Olayan is the CEO of one of Saudi Arabia’s top companies, Olayan Financing Company. Not only is she responsible for 50 manufacturing companies, but she has also been featured on the Forbes’ “Most Powerful Women” list. Olayan is a great example of breaking barriers. As a Saudi woman in the 1980s, working in business was not considered socially acceptable. Even today, it is still rather uncommon for Saudi women to work outside the house.

But Olayan didn’t care much for these societal restrictions and didn’t let cultural perceptions get in her way. Today, she employs over 540 women in her company and is a strong advocate for women in the workforce. Her skill and perseverance led her to become the first female board member of a Saudi public company, Saudi Hollandi Bank in 2004. She has also served as a board member for Egyptian Finance Company and the investment bank Capital Union.


Aileen Lee, Founder and Partner, Cowboy Ventures
Featured on Forbes’ Midas list, Aileen Lee is the cofounder of Cowboy Ventures. According to Forbes, “Lee secured the #97 rank thanks in part to her investments in Bloom Energy, which could list on the public markets as soon as May and was most recently valued at about $3 billion; Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever for $1 billion in 2016); and Rent the Runway, which raised funding this year at an estimated valuation of nearly $800 million.”

Sound investments aside, it is worth noting that Cowboy Ventures in one of the first VC firms to be launched by a woman. Previously, Lee worked at the prestigious firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for 13 years. As a champion for women in the workplace, Lee is also a founding member of All Raise, which runs a one-on-one mentorship series for women in investment called “Female Founder Office Hours.”  

 

Marie Chandoha, President and CEO, Charles Schwab Investment Management
With over 35 years of investment experience, Marie Chandoha was named CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management (CSIM) in 2010. Chandoha got where she is today by taking risks. For instance, as stated by Forbes, “she once took a role at a company heading an underperforming department. She knew the job could disappear if she didn’t turn the unit around and the parent company collapsed it.” Instead, Chandoha successfully made the department profitable again, allowing her to move on to other roles.

Prior to joining CSIM, Chandoha was the global head of the fixed-income business at BlackRock (formerly Barclays Global Investors). Chandoha is a strong businesswoman, but also has an innate concern for the well-being of others. She acts as a mentor to many women colleagues and encourages them to take career risks and stretch themselves. She is also an advocate of sustainability and owns a ranch with her husband dedicated to sustainable farming practices.

Being a woman in investment is no easy feat. With a multitude of various obstacles along the way to the top, much still needs to be done to even the playing field between men and women in business. That being said, if you’re a woman in finance looking to shatter the glass ceiling, don’t lose hope. After all, as proven by these five titans of the investment world, sheer grit and determination can lead to success.

Where Are All The Women Leaders? (Infographic)

Enjoy this contributed post and wonderful infographic provided by Trainwest! – Kimberly

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Over the past century, women have made huge strides towards achieving gender equality. Following on from decades of hard work and activism, we are now seeing an inspiring number of women taking up powerful and influential leadership roles across the worlds of business, law and politics.

However, while the percentage of female leaders is higher than ever before there is still much work to be done. Despite massive advancements, women still comprise a mere 12% of board members and only 6.3% of national leaders across the world. For every Oprah Winfrey and Angela Merkel, there are millions and millions of women who are still unfairly losing out on leadership opportunities.

(For full infographic, click “Continue Reading”.)Continue reading

How to grow up and live a fulfilling life

When you grow up

You spend your life trying to figure out what you’re going to be when you grow up. Maybe you know from the get-go or maybe, like me, you are just trying to figure out the next step along the journey.

When I was little, I never really had a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought, “I could be a ballerina, or maybe a teacher, or a doctor, or a secretary.” Every time I picked something, I felt like I was jumping in a category of people and nothing felt just right. What if I started a job when I was 22 and woke up ten, twenty, thirty years later and decided it wasn’t for me? In some ways, I feel like my early career has been dictated by the fear that I will have to choose something and stay with it… for the rest of my life.

That’s intimidating.

When I was 18, my mom (age 48) decided to quit her job and go back to school to become a doctor. Nobody knew how this was going to go.

There was only one school that accepted her, so clearly not many places thought she could do it, right?

How can someone reinvent themselves just like that?

Last year, my friend Aaron lost his job at age 52. He told me, “It’s likely the best years of my career are behind me now, Kirsten.”

When we live to be a 102, how can the best years of our lives be behind us at age 52?

One day while my uncle drove me to the airport, he said he wished he could find work he really loved. “I love antiques, but where are the jobs in antiques? Plus, who would hire a guy in his late fifties anyway? I’m worthless on the job market.”

Do you know the feeling? You have experience, and yet somehow it doesn’t mean anything?

So what’s left for you?

While I was in grad school at UC Berkeley, I studied demography, or population studies. In one class, the professor put up a picture on the screen and said, “The U.S. population is aging. We know it, we can see it, and the only way we are going to be able to survive it is if you go out and make better institutions.”

When I look at these four situations, I think, “There’s got to be a way that we can live that supports us in finding something we care about and can make a living doing, no matter how old we are, no matter what stage in life we are in.”

Now there is.

Whether you’re looking for a new story, sending kids off to school, leaving a long standing career for retirement, or something else entirely, you can reinvent yourself. This is something I believe deeply.

Launched in 2018, Aging Courageously will inspire and strengthen you to make your dreams real at EVERY age. Rather than follow the social momentum of slowing down as you get older, with Aging Courageously it’s never too late to feel engaged and passionate about your life.

Who am I?

I’m Kirsten. I guide people in restoring their sense of self through major life changes.

How did this become my life?

As I said, when I was little, I felt like every time I considered a career for myself I was deciding on something that would stick for the rest of my life. Honestly, being put in a category like that scared me. So, I decided I didn’t have to just do one thing. I researched brain cancer in a genetics laboratory at Mayo Clinic, curated exhibitions at an Austrian ethnographic museum, worked as the head baker in a farm to fork bakery on a fruit orchard, and got a Master’s degree at UC Berkeley where I studied populations and aging. After it all, I was sure there was something more for me.

That something more turned out to be sharing my own story. I wrote a memoir called “In My Own Skin”. It’s memoir about my story of loss, love, and growing up after my dad died when I was 14 and my family was in a car crash. Reflecting on the choices and circumstances that have shaped my life, I want to help you love who you are and make your dreams possible from where you’re standing right now.

Let’s get this started!

That’s why I started Aging Courageously. Because the best way to grow up to a fulfilled life is to believe it’s possible at ANY age.

And that’s why I’m excited to share stories of Aging Courageously with you, my new friends at Scrappy Women. We know what it’s like to create something from nothing – “to take risks and put ourselves out there;” “to care about something more than we care about being comfortable, socially acceptable, or politically correct;” and “to be absolutely, totally committed to extraordinary results.” As we venture on this journey into the world of aging, grab hold of your scrappiness and dive in. Let’s show the world just how far our scrappiness can take us in living long, healthy, and fulfilled lives.

Stay tuned for my next post about my friend Sherry, a 70 year old “graduating” into entrepreneurship.

Kirsten Schowalter is the founder of Aging Courageously and the author of the memoir In My Own Skin.

(In case you’re curious…Above is a picture of my mom speaking at her medical school graduation.)

How to Tap Into the Need for Work-Life Balance

Enjoy this guest post, written by Avery Phillips. – Kimberly

Phones and laptops make us constantly available to work. This makes it easy to lose the clock-off time of 5 p.m. and find yourself working long into the nights and weekends. When your work-life balance gets off-kilter, you lose many valuable things, including your time, attention, and maybe even your health.

Overworking is known to lead to mistakes, stress, and overall deterioration of your wellness. In this article, we’re going to talk about the struggles to maintain a healthy work-life balance while balancing family and personal needs. We’ll also cover what you can do about it.Continue reading

3 Tips for Women Entering the Welding Field

Contributed article in our career series. Enjoy! – Scrappy Kimberly

Fields like welding can seem challenging for women. While it does have its fair share of challenges, times are changing and more and more women are considering a career in welding. You may have to navigate a bit differently if you want to prevent incidents and perform to the best of your abilities. With that in mind, here are three tips for women entering the welding field. Image Ref: Royalty Free Photo

Have the Right Protective Gear

Women have different frames than man. Not only are they often shorter and lighter, but their hands also tend to smaller.Continue reading

A Book to Restore Hope . . .

Hi! I am Shalini Trefzer, the (first-time) dreamer, writer, and author of The broken gods, now available on Amazon Kindle. Many, many years ago, this book started off as a collection of poems I wrote during a challenging period. Then, the more I wrote, the more I realized that stories are a powerful way to help us identify with people and circumstances very different from us and ours. Which seems like a good thing for the world and times in which we live. Even though the genre I chose was fiction, I have written the book from the perspective of technologists, of whom, I am one. The journey of the characters starts in the Silicon Valley and the rest, I invite you to explore for yourself!

In the book are many projects and initiatives which can be (and in some cases, are being) run to help our world. If one of them grabs your fancy, please reach out to me to explore potential collaborations.

With love and gratitude, from Basel, Switzerland. – Shalini Trefzer