To Women Who Struggle in Meetings

When it comes to issues women face, we still seem to be many years away from reaching gender equality. I mean, is this really 2014? Yes, women still struggle in meetings with speaking up, and it’s interesting to find out what research reveals that men think of their female co-workers who sit beside them at the table.

Women at meetings

When women struggle to be heard at meetings. Photo source: By Nlpictures (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Common

Specific Struggles of Women in Meetings

What exactly are the struggles of women? Many females report finding it more difficult to speak out during meetings than in other business situations, according to a recent study summarized by the Harvard Business Review.

In that post, the researchers wrote that “some [women] say their voices are ignored or drowned out.” Who is drowning them? It would simplify the issue to say it is only men. In reality, there are many parts to the situation. It is likely that the seriousness of the business scenario, in which the managers sit and evaluate their employees based on their words and actions, play a substantial role.

Perhaps the women in the study also felt intimidated by their male counterparts and that is why they did not speak up more? Certainly it was not that they had nothing to say. Personally, I have felt timid around male personalities that are stronger than my own and have remained silent during situations when I had every right – now that I look back on it – to speak up. But, it seemed safer to say nothing and go with the flow.

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How to Expand Your Blog Network with SITS

SITS Girls go on Twitter

SITS Girls Profile on Twitter. Photo: Screenshot taken by Christy Birmingham.

About a week ago, I read about an organization called SITS (The Secret is in the Sauce) from my friend and amazing blogger Janine Huldie. If you don’t know her site already, it’s a great one you will want to subscribe to!

What is SITS?

Now, back to SITS. Janine had written that she was excited about being a Community Lead for the organization. I wanted to learn more about it as soon as I heard it was a women’s network. I went on the SITS website, as well as talking further with Janine about it. I found out the organization provides great opportunities to expand your blogging network!

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Personal Reflections on the Death of Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak


Smiling Skye McCole Bartuskiak

Still from Skye McCole Bartusiak Video. Source: G-News, YouTube

The death of American actress Skye McCole Bartusiak at age 21 is, simply put, tragic. So young and full of life, McCole had a blossoming acting career. On Saturday, her body was found in her Houston, Texas home by her boyfriend. It is possible that her death was related to the epileptic seizures she had been having in the days leading up to the weekend.

Biography of Skye McCole Bartusiak

While you may not recognize her by name, you’ve likely seen Bartusiak in movies or television. She has appeared in TV shows that include 24, Frasier and House. In the famous film The Patriot, she played the youngest daughter of lead actor Mel Gibson. She was in the TV movie Love Comes Softly, amongst other projects.

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What Makes a Person Inspiring?

Inspirational words

Inspirational quote from Helen Keller. Image: ©2014 When Women Inspire

I was thinking about the question in this post’s title and wanted to share a bit. Here’s the thing about “inspiration.” Not everyone thinks the same people are inspiring. What inspires you may not inspire me, and so forth. Hence why you won’t read and respond to every post here (though I encourage reading all of them, of course!).

When I think of the quality called “inspiration,” I think of someone who acts or speaks in ways that encourage other people to behave in creative ways. The creativity is encouraged by watching or listening to someone. Inspiration flows from one person to another and that bond can last a lifetime or just a brief few moments.

For example, Maya Angelou has inspired me for several years and, while she unfortunately has passed away, her written words and videos continue to give me ideas for my own work and ways to reach out to help others. It Continue reading

A No-Nonsense Look at the Church of England and Women Bishops

Female bishops are welcome

Bishops of any gender, please. Do what you love for your career. Photo source: hisa fujimoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Flickr

On July 14, the Church of England voted to allow women bishops in a ruling that came after years of opposition. It was a historical event that had a very different end than the vote two years ago that overwhelmingly denied a comparable piece of legislation.

While it has become familiar territory for women to be ordained, Monday was the first time that the Church of England approved of women taking a higher role in the church. The organization had previously been able to deny women the top spots with the reasoning that these were traditionally male positions and ought to remain held by men. Some opposing groups openly explain that women cannot do the job of bishop or that it’s theologically wrong to have a woman in that position.

Personally I think that hiding under the veil of religion as a way to deny women their right to be bishops in 2014 is shocking, and I can’t fathom thinking that way. It is one thing to say religion asserts a view, but isn’t this particular instance another case of gender discrimination? How can someone justify denying a person a role in society simply based on his or her gender? What of gay, lesbian or bisexual people who want to be bishops? Are they not allowed as well? Why are males given preference for the position simply because they were born with a penis and are called Mr.?

I think not.

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A Must-Read Guide: The Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Memorial for female veterans

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Photo Source: By Cliff (cliff1066), CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, DC is a tribute to the US women who served in the Vietnam War, as well as paying homage to the families who lost love ones during the conflict. The bronze memorial features three women and one wounded man;  dedicated on Nov. 11, 1993, it is a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in National Mall.

In the Vietnam War, women served both military and civilian roles. One of the most frequent civilian jobs was as a nurse in the US Army, Air Force or Navy. The women were not safe by any means, even sometimes going into bunkers to care for wounded soldiers.

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What No One Tells You About Emma Watson, New UN Goodwill Ambassador

Actress Emma Watson is more than just a celebrity

Emma Watson: What no one tells you about her. Photo Source: By derivative work: Tabercil (talk). CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you haven’t heard the update yet, you may be surprised that the newest UN women’s goodwill ambassador is actress and model Emma Watson. The announcement came on July 8 about Watson’s new role in the organization that strives to achieve gender equality. Shock over the choice of 24-year-old Watson may certainly be the response if you know her best (or perhaps solely) as spunky Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movie series. However, the British actress also has a lot of volunteer work in her portfolio that no one seems to tell you about, which has helped to earn her the current UN honor. Here is more about her charity work:

Emma Watson’s Role in Hurricane Sandy

While the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy will never be forgotten, it is important also to point out who gave their time to help others during the crisis. Emma Watson was one of those helpers. When her film set got shut down in New York City due to the tremendous storm, she joined the City Meals on Wheels campaign to deliver food along the streets of NYC to homebound elderly and other people in need. While there was no power in the streets, she took power into her own hands by helping give back to the city.

CAMFED and Emma Watson

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Inspirational Lessons from Ritu Sharma about Women (VIDEO)

Ritu Sharma Lights up Solutions

Enlightening ideas with Ritu Sharma. Photo Source: Sam Wolff, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Flickr

Ritu Sharma speaks worldwide about the problem of women living in poverty in developing countries. She co-founded Women Thrive Worldwide in 1998, as a means to find solutions for the issue, and is the current President. She began this organization after leaving Punjab, India with her family  to immigrate to the US, leaving behind poverty.

During her public speeches, Ritu Sharma uses personal stories, compelling discoveries and unique viewpoints to bring light to women facing devastating circumstances. Here are inspirational lessons we can learn from her, based on speeches she has given:

Women hold the world together

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