Netflix creates new executive position focused on inclusion and diversity

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Netflix is creating a new executive position that will focus on inclusion and diversity among employees of the streaming entertainment giant.


Vernā Myers has been appointed to the newly created role of vice president for inclusion strategy, Netflix announced Wednesday. The company said Myers will help devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide.

Prior to joining Netflix, Myers worked as a consultant at the Vernā Myers Co., where she advised corporations and organizations on issues including race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.

Her appointment comes two months after Netflix fired its chief communications officer after he used a racial slur on at least two occasions in the workplace. Jonathan Friedland, who had served as Netflix’s top spokesperson for the past seven years, acknowledged that he had spoken in an “insensitive” way.

“Leaders have to be beyond reproach in the example we set and unfortunately I fell short of that standard when I was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy,” he wrote on Twitter in June.

Earlier this week, Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix named Rachel Whetstone — a veteran of Facebook, Uber and Google — to succeed Friedland as chief communications officer.

Diversity executives have become increasingly common at major corporations. Silicon Valley in particular has become the focus of media scrutiny for what some workers have described as a lack of gender and racial diversity at technology and internet companies.

Myers has previously consulted for Netflix, the company said. “Having worked closely with Vernā as a consultant on a range of organizational issues, we are thrilled that she has agreed to bring her talents to this new and important role,” said Jessica Neal, Netflix’s chief talent officer.

Continue onto the Los Angles Times to read the complete article.

Big League Chew Is Putting A Woman On Its Package For The First Time Ever

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Big League-Chew Girl

Big League Chew Bubble Gum from your childhood is getting a makeover — the bubble gum maker is putting a woman on its packaging for the first time ever.

The news was broken on Twitter by ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell.  NowThis confirmed the news. Big League Chew Bubble Gum was founded by Rob “Nellie” Nelson, former pitcher of the Portland Mavericks. Nelson came up with the idea of shredded gum in a pouch. So he bought a gum kit and got to work. “I just followed the instructions. It was like making brownies,” he stated to CBS this morning.

Since then, it has become one of the most recognizable brands in America. The company has sold more than 800 million pouches. It’s also the #1 selling shredded bubble gum in the world. Nelson’s then teammate Jim Bouton helped fund the project. The two pitched it to Amurol, a division of Wrigley’s, and the first pouch was sold in 1980. It brought in $18 million in the first year. Big League Chew Bubble Gum has six different flavors, including original, grape, watermelon, cotton candy, sour apple, and, most recently, blue raspberry.

Until now, Big League Chew Bubble Gum has always featured male players on its pouches.

Continue on to  nowthisnews.com to read the complete article and view the video.

5 Tips from a Writing Coach that Fiction Writers and Entrepreneurs Can Use

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Tips for Authors and Entrepreneurs

COLCHESTER, VERMONT–Last year, The New York Times published an article titled “Why Kids Can’t Write.” The article points out that many would-be writers struggle with knowing where to start – and a problem that’s not limited to today’s youth.

There are millions of adults in the workforce who feel inadequate when it comes to sharing their thoughts in writing. Clearly, we are a country of citizens who are desperate for some insight into how we can improve our ability to express our thoughts and tell our stories in writing.

“We all have stories to tell,” explains Annalisa Parent, fiction writing coach, author, and entrepreneur. “The problem is, many would-be authors get stuck on how to tell the story, and tell it well enough so readers will read it and yearn for more. Many people get hung up on school leftovers such as commas and gerunds, and while grammar is important to a quality message, getting your message out should be the writer’s first concern. Many writers put the cart before the horse in this regard, and that’s where hang-ups and writers’ block come from.”

The best way to improve one’s writing skills is to write and to get meaningful feedback. Engaging in a lot of writing will help people hone their skills and become more comfortable sharing their thoughts. Here are five writing tips from Coach Parent that everyone can benefit from:

  1. The first draft doesn’t have to be the last draft. In Parent’s experience, it rarely is. It’s okay to write several drafts to discover your message. In fact, Parent encourages it. To get to that final draft where you message is crystal clear, sometimes it takes asking for meaningful feedback to help a writer through the discovery and thinking phase.
  2. High quality. First drafts can meander, but aim for final drafts that are high quality. High quality writing is clear, concise, and on point, rather than just filling the pages with anything and Annalisa Parenteverything. It’s better to have a little that is high quality than a lot that is just filling space and not saying a lot.
  3. Clarity. Go back and read what you wrote and make sure that your thoughts are clear. If they are not clear to you, then they won’t be to other readers. Aim for clarity so that it makes sense to the reader and they connect with it.
  4. Finding writing flow. Some of the best writing comes when you are in a groove and loving what you are doing. When you lose track of the time and could go on and on, you have found your writing flow. The convergence of neuroscience and creativity have opened the doors into finding creative flow easier and staying there longer.
  5. Get the feedback loop right. Many writers find themselves discouraged from seeking advice from the wrong source. As the saying goes, “free advice is worth what you pay for it,” and free advice from someone who’s not an expert only exacerbates the problem. Parent sees this as a stumbling block for a lot of writers who could otherwise be successful in sharing their message with the world.

“I could add many more strategies to this list in order to help people become better, more efficient writers and storytellers,” adds Parent. “It’s not just kids who need better ability to express themselves today. Many adults are struggling as well. Following these five tips can help people become more confident, comfortable, and their words will flow much easier. The more confident someone becomes with their writing skills, the more they will be able to reach their reader and get across their intended message.”

Parent has coached hundreds of writers and has taught over 100 writing courses around the world. She works with fiction authors, as well as entrepreneurs seeking to write their expert book. Her book Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline won the CIPA EVVY Silver Award in Best Business Books, and earned a merit award in the Humor category. She has been a featured speaker on writing-related topics across the globe, and she has been a guest on a variety of television, radio, and podcast shows, sharing her secrets for how to write, publish, and sell your book.

For more information about Annalisa Parent, her book, and her coaching services, visit her site at: datewiththemuse.com. For more information on how to become a published author, download her free ebook The Six Secrets to go from Struggling writer to Published Author here: datewiththemuse.com/6secrets.

About Annalisa Parent

Having taught over 100 writing courses, Annalisa Parent has reached countless writers around the world. She offers coaching writing services that have been instrumental in helping writers to go from idea to publishable piece and have the confidence to take their work to the market. She is also the chief executive officer of Laurel Elite Books. For more information on her services, visit her site at: datewiththemuse.com.

This is what it’s like to be one of the few Hispanic women leading a company in 2018

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Latinx leaders are still relatively scarce, but those we spoke to are blazing a trail for others to follow.

As we round out National Hispanic Heritage Month (which runs from September 15 to October 15), celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, Fast Company spoke to Latinx leaders to acknowledge their contributions and recognize their opportunities and challenges.

The challenges are not insignificant with under-representation across the board. Although the Latinx workforce is one of the fastest growing–increasing from 10.7 million in 1990 to 26.8 million in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 CEOs lead companies in the Fortune 500 and only 3.5% of Fortune 500 board seats were held by Latinx executives in 2016. The Alliance for Board Diversity says that represents just a .5% increase between 2010 and 2016. Hispanics have the highest rate of new entrepreneurs, but at 12% they have the lowest rate of business loans from financial institutions among all other firms. Hispanic women-owned businesses represent nearly half of all Hispanic firms. However, access to capital, a major facilitator of business growth, isn’t available to them as readily, according to a report from Stanford. And Hispanic women’s equal pay day–the additional number of days in the year they have to work to equal a white man’s pay–isn’t until November 2.

Despite these significant challenges, Latinx leaders continue to blaze a trail for others to follow. Here’s what they told us about the opportunities they’re leveraging to make a difference.

“MY CULTURE RELEASED ME FROM THE FALSE PRESUMPTION THAT THERE WAS ONE RIGHT PATH.”

The biggest challenge is the invisibility of our community in all of the narratives of leadership. We are rarely present. The Latinx folks who have traveled the path are so few, far, in between, and hidden. You rarely get the benefit of learning from the pathbreakers.

For chunks of my upbringing, I resented having one foot in the world of my cultural heritage and one foot in the American experiment but my career helped me deeply appreciate it. Straddling both worlds gave me such a unique lens on what it means to carry different perspectives as a result of different life experiences. It helped me see and grow people for what they could be instead of molding them into a bootleg version of myself. My culture released me from the false presumption that there was one right path.

–Karla Monterroso, CEO, Code2040

“I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE A NATIONAL CONVERSATION.”

As a Latina business executive at a high-growth tech company with a strong consumer brand, I have the opportunity to influence a national conversation. Our country is grappling with so many issues that affect the Latino community: immigration reform, refugee rights, political representation, and voting engagement, and the reality is that those making, executing, and influencing policy are likely to listen to strong members of the business community. Every time I have an opportunity to speak or write something that will be publicly shared, I ensure I am speaking to these issues in some capacity.

It’s no surprise that there is not equal representation of Latinx leaders in the tech industry. This means we are working extra hard to show up everywhere our community needs us. I wear a lot of hats at Lyft–from a VP on the Lyft Business team, to the executive sponsor of our Latinx ERG group, to the company’s representative at events or meetings where the insights from a Latinx executive might be helpful. I also advise a VC fund that is focused on supporting Latinx entrepreneurs–it’s the only VC fund I know of that is focused specifically on this–and while my participation is extremely rewarding, it requires a lot of time and dedication. I feel responsibility for this work, because every voice matters.

–Veronica Juarez, Area VP of Social Enterprise at Lyft

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

How a Book Can Grow Your Business

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writing coach Annalisa Parent

There are millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners today who would like to take their business to the next level.  A writing coach can help both of these groups achieve their goals.

“The right book–a book that starts a conversation– can do a lot to scale your business,” explains Annalisa Parent, chief executive officer of Laurel Elite Books. “I’ve worked with hundreds of writers, giving them the individualized attention they need in order to achieve more and reach their goals and dreams, and increase sales and client volume. More importantly, they’re getting their message out there, and helping more people.”

Most entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CEOs know that a quality business book can boost their future. They just don’t know how to get it done, especially in the context of their busy lives. Business growth is one of the many benefits that people get when they work with a right writing program, in addition to these 5 things:

  1. How to turn an idea into a publishable piece. Millions of people have a great idea and want to become the authority who wrote the book on it, but they have no idea how to make it happen. Just like a soccer coach helps create better players, so too can a writing coach lead people to becoming more successful authors–or authorities–and reach their ideal audience.
  2. An understanding of the publishing process. The publishing process can be daunting to figure out on your own, but with the right program you’ll have a personalized concierge to walk your way toward success.
  3. How to reach readers and sell your books. Many people finally get their book in their hands, only to find they don’t know how to reach their ideal readers. This often leads to a garage full of books, and a world full of frustration. The right writing program can help you with effective strategies for growing your audience and reaching those people who will want to buy your book and tell their friends about it, too.
  4. Inspiration and confidence. One of the most important things that aspiring authors need is a dose of inspiration and confidence. Becoming a published author is always risky, because people fear rejection after they put themselves out there. The right writing program will help you to overcome that hurdle in effective ways that will make you feel confident and ready to step out as the industry expert you are. .
  5. How to leverage your book as a scaling tool. A client-engaging book not only starts the right conversation, but showcases you as the authority and expert, landing you top spotlight in the media to reach and help even more people.

“Some of the best stories and books have yet to be written, because they are still within the author’s mind. People are looking for, yearning for, the solutions to their problems. When entrepreneurs write the right book, they demonstrate that they are that unique solution,” adds Parent. “I work entrepreneurs to help them go from idea to sold. Entrepreneurs want a better business and a book can help them achieve that.”

Parent also helps entrepreneurs who want to write a book to help grow their business. She explains that entrepreneurs can benefit by working with a writing coach in numerous ways, including:

  • Visibility. A writing coach can help you get the visibility you need in order to advance your career and grow your business.
  • Expertise. A writing coach is an expert at getting books traditionally published and can make it easier for you to understand the process and navigate it.
  • Go-to source. Having a writing coach means you have a go-to source that will be there to answer your individual questions.
  • Featured nationally and internationally. With a writing coach you can expand your reach and tap into larger audiences.
  • Starts a client conversation. A writing coach can help you get the conversations started that will lead to your next book and growing your business.

Parent has coached hundreds of writers and has taught over 100 writing courses around the world. She works with fiction authors, as well as entrepreneurs. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline,” won the CIPA EVVY Silver Award in Best Business Books, and earned a merit award in the Humor category. She has been a speaker giving talks on writing-related topics, and she has been a guest on a variety of television, radio, and podcast shoes, sharing her secrets for how to write, publish, and sell your book. A Teacher of the Year nominee for her use of neuroscientific principles, she applies the same principles to her work with writes to help create confidence, writing flow, and success. She writes for many local, national, and international publications, and is a graduate professor of English at Norwich University.

For more information about Annalisa Parent, her book, and her business scaling services, visit her site at: laurelelite.com. While there, you can sign up for a free business scaling conversation to get your future moving now.

About Annalisa Parent

Annalisa Parent helps entrepreneurs to finish, publish and sell their expert books. She is the CEO of Laurel Elite Books, a two time teacher of the year nominee, and a recipient of the French congressional Medal of Honor.  Annalisa writes for many local, national, and international publications, has written and produced sketches for a Telly-Award winning television show. She has been featured on Huffington Post Live, CBS, Associated Press and Korean Broadcast Systems, as well as many podcasts and radio programs. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Outline and Revise your Novel without an Outline” is a recipient of a 2018 CIPA EVVY Silver award for Best Business Book, a finalist in the humor category.

How One Of Sports Most Powerful Executive’s Is Changing Sports Media And Culture

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When Jaymee Messler was growing up, the first thing she saw when she woke up in the mornings was the perfectly lined up roster of Yankees baseball cards that she taped on her wall at the start of the season. As a young athlete and devoted New York sports fan, she could have never predicted that she would go on to pitch their former captain Derek Jeter to found a media company with her, The Players’ Tribune, that she now leads as President.

Messler has spent the last two decades as one of the most influential executives in sports. As CMO of Excel Sports Management, she was a pioneer helping athletes like Jeter and NBA players Kevin Love and Paul Pierce craft their personal brands and establish a digital presence. Her foresight on the emergence of social media not only helped lay the foundation for a new era of brand partnerships and marketing. More importantly, it enabled athletes to communicate with their fans directly for the first time. Today, she’s amplifying that connection with the thousands of first-person stories athletes author on The Players’ Tribune.

Messler’s success has been predicated by the deep relationships she cultivates with athletes, which always begin by acknowledging and respecting them as people. “Athletes are multidimensional. You are not an athlete and then a person. You are a person who is an athlete,” she says. “The Players’ Tribune exists to showcase athletes’ humanity.”

She sat down with us to share her initial conviction for the business and how empowering athletes to help lead the conversation about important topics like gender equality and mental health is catalyzing change across the sports industry.

Becoming indispensable

Messler started her career in DC as an assistant to the prominent chef Jean-Louis Palladin, where she spent her days doing everything from ordering truffle mushrooms to shaping his brand and PR strategy. Though the experience revealed her passion for helping people craft their brands, she ultimately decided to move to New York City to pursue a career outside of the food industry. Shortly after she met Jeff Schwartz, tennis player Pete Sampras’ then agent, who exposed her to the world of sports management. “Finding out that you could marry the management of people and sports was a dream come true for me,” she shares. “I couldn’t believe this was a job.”

Similar to her athletes’ strict training regiments, Messler worked tirelessly to refine the skills she needed to become an indispensable part of their team. Whereas entertainers generally have large management teams, athletes have a small group of individuals supporting them, making every role an around the clock job. “We wanted to help our athletes be as successful as possible. A big part of that was helping them navigate life off the court,” she reflects. “It was always about figuring out how to be a few steps ahead so I could anticipate what they needed – whether it was negotiating a deal or finding a new school for their kids when they got traded – get it done in the background and then anticipate the next thing.”

Messler quickly became an essential thread in the fabric of her players’ lives, giving her a front row seat to the reality of life as a professional athlete. “People question the most granular details of an athlete’s performance but they have no idea what goes on in their personal lives, whether that’s facing a mental health condition or having an ill family member. They don’t walk on the court and just leave all of that behind,” she shares. “Traditional sports reporting has been about rushing to an athlete after a game and asking: ‘What was going through your head when you missed the game-winning shot?’ It’s an impossible question for them to answer and unfair to ask. We saw a need to give athletes an opportunity to open up about their experiences and the issues they’re facing so people can understand them. When you can grasp what’s happening in a person’s life you start seeing them on a human level.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Rizos Curls’ Julissa Prado Shares How Her Latino Upbringing Taught Her Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

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With her enviable mane of bouncy, pink-hued curls, Julissa Prado serves as a walking advertisement for the effectiveness of her products.Roughly one year ago, she officially launched Rizos Curls, an all-natural product line for curly-textured hair. In that short span of time, Prado has amassed 52k+ followers on Instagram, received up to a thousand orders per month, and quit her job to pursue her business full time. But though it might look like overnight success from the outside, her growing business is the result of many years of hard work and hard-earned lessons.

As Prado tells it, she couldn’t have reached this point without the help and support of her family and her larger Latino community, who served as the inspiration for her brand. “I always thought when I made Rizos Curls that I’d make something that would work perfectly for textures as diverse as those of my family’s. In the Latino community we have so many kinds of hair textures – wavy, curly ringlets, coily textures. I have tías that fall under all of those categories. I wanted to make something that allowed us to fall in love with our natural hair,” she explains.

For Prado, Rizos Curls has been a family affair – from consulting with her brother on her business plan, to running her fledgling company out of her parents’ and uncle’s houses, to learning key lessons about how to budget & save from watching her own father run his restaurant business.

Below, she explains how her upbringing helped her develop her entrepreneurial spirit and the skills to build a DIY business.

Your company is directly inspired by the Latino community – can you talk about how the idea came about?

I grew up in very predominantly Latino communities and neighborhoods [in Los Angeles]. I have a huge family, and when we were very young we all lived in one apartment building. Almost every unit was a different family member, so that can give you an idea of the culture and the environment that I grew up in. Growing up, I always saw how so much of my community had textured hair – they had wavy, curly, coily hair, a variety of textures. But they went to great lengths to straighten it, and not embrace it. There was a lot of self-hate around their hair. There was always this notion of ‘your hair is not done until it’s not curly.’

I remember the exact moment where I realized “Oh no, I can’t do this my whole life.” I was going to a quinceañera and my older cousins straightened my hair. Back then, in the hood, we didn’t have flat irons yet, so what they did was put my head over an ironing board and use a clothes iron. My hair was burning! I remember being over that ironing board and thinking “We’ve got to do better than this, we’ve got to figure out a way to feel good about our natural hair.”

So that’s where the idea first started. Even at a young age, I was aware that so many of my insecurities were connected to my inability to embrace my natural hair and myself in my natural state. Once I learned to love my hair it allowed me to love myself, and I wanted to create that feeling in my community. Rizos Curls is not just about the products. We’re a trifecta of the Three Cs: curls, community & culture.

What pushed you to make the leap and turn this interest into a career?

I’m very close to my [older] brother, and he’s the one who helps me a lot with Rizos. We’re very opposite. I’ve always led with my heart and emotion, and he’s ruled by logic. So when I decided I really wanted to go forward with this Rizos idea, I went to my brother with my business plan. I was still pretty young, around 15, and I presented the whole plan to him. He did all this market research – which years later, in business school, I learned is very important when you’re starting something new. Understanding your market, understanding the size of the demographic you’re targeting. He did that research on his own and was blown away. He couldn’t believe a product like Rizos Curls didn’t exist already.

Time passed, I went to college and grad school, and everything I learned, all the business acumen I acquired, all reaffirmed that I had to take this leap. Everything pointed me to, “You’re lucky no one’s jumped on this opportunity yet.” But it took me four years to figure out my product formulas, and I beat myself up a lot for taking so long. I was juggling it with getting a masters, working a full-time job, and maybe I just needed to trust the process. There were many times in that four year process of testing formulas that I didn’t get the results I wanted, and felt like giving up.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

This black female entrepreneur is rebuilding D.C. with foreign dollars—and a dream

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Angelique Brunner was once the only African American woman in VC from NYC to Atlanta. Now, she runs a $500 million investment firm that is revitalizing D.C.

When Angelique Brunner moved to the nation’s capital two decades ago, she was shocked to find neighborhoods with no stores, no services, and burned-out buildings.

“I started asking around about what is going on here, people told me it was the riots,” she tells Fast Company. “I said, ‘Oh, what riots?’ They said, ‘The Martin Luther King riots.’ I said, ‘The riots were in 1968. So, this is why D.C. doesn’t have grocery stores, and it’s giving away houses for a dollar?’”

The local city government was, in fact, selling off long-abandoned homes for a buck to developers who had the money to rebuild. Some of Washington’s once vibrant black neighborhoods never quite recovered from the unrest in the days following the assassination of the civil rights leader and the subsequent departure of the middle class.

Brunner was stunned and, armed with her degrees in public policy from Brown and Princeton, started learning the ropes in venture capital and then real estate development—determined to make a difference.

And she is making a difference, bringing jobs, homes, and new business to once blighted streets.

As president of EB5 Capital, which she founded a decade ago, Brunner is now one of the driving forces in the revitalization of D.C., leveraging a controversial program that puts rich foreign investors on a path to citizenship in return for their investment dollars.

FOUNDING HER OWN COMPANY

The road to founding her own firm was paved during those first years, initially at a VC firm. “I  was the only African American female from New York to Atlanta that was in venture capital.” She later moved to Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association), where she became an expert in community investing.

“Laypeople might assume that urban areas struggle to get development dollars because no one wants to build there. I learned through the late 1990s and early 2000s that there has always been interest, just not the financing needed to actually execute,” she says.

It was during this time that she became familiar with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and saw an opportunity to bring development dollars to neighborhoods that others did not want to touch. So with the gap in money needed persisting to complete urban projects, and the scars from the riots still showing, she founded EB5 Capital.

“I felt motivated to address this, which is why my second project ever was a grocery store on 7th Street in Northwest D.C. that also had an affordable senior housing component,” she says.

Since then, Brunner has helped connect foreign investors with several major D.C. gems, including City Market at O Street, bringing new residential and commercial life to a once dilapidated but beloved historic city site. Brunner is also behind D.C.’s Columbia Place development, bringing two new Marriott hotels to the downtown convention center area.

JOB CREATOR

Brunner sees her mission as twofold: Rebuilding the capital’s neighborhoods and bringing new jobs to people who desperately need them. And she is an unabashed fan of the EB-5 program, which is up for renewal—and reform—in U.S. Congress. Job creation is at the core of the program, which was founded in 1990 and is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It offers foreign investors green cards in return for job-creating investments in domestic development projects.

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

Science ‘Mojo’ and an Executive Dream Team: CEO Emma Walmsley’s Bold Prescription for Reviving GlaxoSmithKline

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The new boss is quickly shaking up the three-century old pharma firm.

EMMA WALMSLEY was just six weeks into her tenure as CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, the $38.9 billion British pharmaceutical firm, when “Glaxit” happened.

Glaxit was not a world-shaking geopolitical tremor à la Brexit, but for GSK it may have seemed hardly less significant. Neil Woodford, the much celebrated British fund manager—who had gained fame for coming out of the dotcom crash and the global financial crisis unscathed, and one of GSK’s largest shareholders—announced he was quitting the company. In a blistering 958-word critique—published on May 12, 2017, and garnering coverage from Reuters to the Telegraph—Woodford explained why, after 15 years, he was pulling every last pence out of GSK stock.

Those 15 years had been “frustrating” for him; GSK had remained throughout, he charged, “a health care conglomerate with a suboptimal business strategy.”

Woodford had long been one of GSK’s most vocal critics; for years he had clamored for it to break up into its constituent businesses. (The company has pharmaceutical, vaccine, and consumer health divisions.) He argued the gambit, fashionable in Big Pharma these days, would unlock shareholder value through more focused stand-alone companies. GSK’s leaders—most recently former CEO Sir Andrew Witty—had consistently rejected the idea, contending that the firm’s conglomerate structure provided stability and some synergies.

But the last straw for Woodford seemed to be Walmsley. Of the company’s new chief executive, he wrote, “Even before taking her seat she has been keen to portray herself as a ‘continuity candidate.’” In other words, more of the same.

Walmsley may not be ready to ditch GSK’s conglomerate structure, but in almost every other way, Woodford’s description couldn’t be more wrong.

To begin with, there’s who she is. Neither a man nor a scientist, Walmsley is something of an outsider in pharmaland. She’s the only woman to run one of the large innovative drugmakers, and her path was hardly a typical one. A marketing whiz who spent 17 years at L’Oréal, Walmsley joined GSK in 2010 and started running the company’s consumer health care business the following year.

Then, there’s what she’s done. Since taking charge in April 2017, Walmsley, No. 1 on Fortune’s International Power 50 list, has made swift and radical changes. Within months, she had replaced 40% of her top managers and pulled the plug on 30 drug development programs and 130 brands. She announced plans to stop selling Tanzeum, a diabetes drug for which GSK had won FDA approval only three years prior.

Within a year, she sold off the rare-disease unit and initiated a strategic review of the company’s cephalosporins antibiotic business. She assembled a roster of all-star talent to fill out her executive team, and in July she did a $300 million deal with 23andMe, the data-rich direct-to-consumer genetic testing company. She instituted new (and unheard of, at GSK) levels of organizational hygiene—implementing uniform key performance indicators, employee standards, and strategies across GSK’s three businesses. As Walmsley told Fortune in June: “The way I define the job is, firstly, in setting strategy for the company, and then leading the allocation of capital to that strategy—because until you put the money where you say your strategy is, it’s not your strategy.” For the new boss, that means a new commitment to R&D.

She has also embarked on a cultural overhaul: Meetings get straight to the point and often begin with the question, “What are we here for?” In her first interview as CEO, she told the Financial Times, a bit clumsily, that GSK scientists would no longer be “drifting off in hobbyland” under her watch.

Walmsley is the fresh face of discipline and rigor at GSK. When asked how her communication style compared with that of her predecessor Witty, a senior leader who recently left the company chuckled before responding they couldn’t be more different.

Continue onto Fortune to read the complete article.

Raiders hire first female assistant coach in franchise history

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Like every member of Jon Gruden’s new staff, Kelsey Martinez’s first focus is coaching.

Then, every so often, the league’s only female strength and conditioning coach is approached by one of her peers; running backs coach Jemal Singleton, special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, and more.

They all want to thank Martinez for blazing a trail their own daughters can follow.

“That’s when it started to hit: ‘Oh, wow. This is a big deal,'” Martinez told Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “To be an inspiration for them is huge to me.”

It’s a rarity to see a woman in on an NFL team’s coaching staff. Recently, Kathryn Smith (Bills) and Katie Sowers (49ers) became full-time staff employees.

But the Silver and Black has a history of trailblazing NFL hires, including Art Shell as the league’s first black coach and first Tom Flores as the league’s first Hispanic coach.

Oakland is currently the only team to list a female strength and conditioning coach on their team website, though. Linebacker James Cowser said he’s thankful he gets to work with Martinez.

“It instantly becomes business, and that’s what it’s all about,” Cowser told Gehlken. “I think that’s a testament to her and who she is because she’s able to get us to switch into work mode. We don’t think about male-female whatever. It’s just business and how can we get better.”

That’s what Martinez tries to bring to the Raiders‘ practice facility every day. According to Gehlken, she’s helping offensive linemen keep pace with Gruden’s faster offense, helping Cowser and his fellow linebackers bulk up.

She’s also helping to pave the way for an underrepresented group in the league. Martinez may want to focus on coaching, but she knows she’s setting an example as well.

“Don’t create limits on yourself,” Martinez said. “There’s many excuses or whatever that can be made, but at the end of the day, what do you love to do? I was able to find what I love to do, and that’s working for Jon Gruden every day. Why limit yourself?”

Continue onto the NFL Newsroom to read the complete article.

Meghan Markle: Making Activism a Top Priority

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By Mackenna Cummings

As a young girl, Meghan Markle knew that there was no age requirement for activism. While many may recognize her as the Duchess of Sussex, a title she earned in May 2018 after marrying Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the truth is she has been using her voice and passion to change the world for most of her life—which is why she’s the Professional WOMAN’s Magazine Wonder Woman of the year.

Long before she charmed her now-husband through her philanthropy and heart, Markle was witnessing a world around her with inequality—one that needed help—and sought out to change it. At 11 years old, when she saw a commercial for a Procter & Gamble product implying that only women are expected to do housework, she was hurt by the messaging and its implications. She decided to put her disappointment into words, in a letter directed to not only the president of Procter & Gamble but also influential women like Hillary Clinton and Gloria Allred. Her determination paid off, and soon the commercial was edited to reflect a more inclusive message. She was later interviewed on the children’s television channel Nickelodeon, where she encouraged other kids to take a stand whenever they believed something wasn’t right. The experience helped her realize the impact she could have on the world by simply speaking out about causes she cared about.

Throughout her career, Markle has made activism a top priority. She volunteered in soup kitchens in her teens and continued that service in the various cities her acting led her to. She earned bachelor’s degrees in both theater and international relations at Northwestern University, where she completed an internship with the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was interested in politics from an early age, and while she did not pursue a career in that field, she has positively affected lives and changed minds throughout her acting career.

Markle championed for equality and gender rights as her popularity was growing for her role as Rachel Zane on the hit television show Suits. She became involved with One Young World, a charity organization that allows young leaders around the world to come together to brainstorm solutions for world problems. She learned by experience how powerful any individual can be if they choose to use their voice, and she continues to encourage young people to speak up for their beliefs, just as she did when she saw that television commercial. Markle also served the United Nations (UN) as the Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership, visiting refugee camps and meeting with women around the world who are also making positive changes in their communities.

“I’m proud to be a woman and a feminist,” she said at the UN on International Women’s Day in 2015, speaking on gender equality. Through her work, she calls for women to “see their value as leaders” and encourages men to be like her father, who encouraged her at age 11 to write a letter and take a stand. She refutes the idea that women need to “find their voices.” Instead, she reminds women that they have their voices—they only need to use them. Markle believes strongly in building the self-esteem of young women, encouraging them speak up and take on leadership roles wherever they can. Had she not had family members and others who assured her of her value and helped her fight her own insecurities, she might not have become the woman she is today. She makes it a point to do the same for other young girls, in the hopes that one day, they, too can make a difference.

In 2016, Markle became a Global Ambassador for World Vision. The campaigns she has promoted help provide clean water to those in need and bring greater awareness to the lack of education that young girls around the globe can access. She visited India and saw firsthand how the stigmas associated with menstrual cycles prevent many girls from continuing their education and even working. While in India, Markle was introduced to the Myna Mahila Foundation, an organization that empowers women by encouraging the discussion of taboo subjects, such as menstruation, and by setting up workshops to produce low-cost sanitary protection to enable girls to stay in school. In 2017, Markle wrote an article for TIME Magazine, “How Periods Affect Potential,” and she continues to support the effort. For their wedding, Prince Harry and Markle asked for donations to a handful of charities instead of presents, and the Mumbai-based Myna Mahila Foundation was the only foreign organization on the list.

With her acting career coming to an end, she has transitioned smoothly into her role as Duchess of Sussex, even taking over responsibilities dear to the Queen’s heart. Alongside her husband, Markle will take over Queen Elizabeth II’s role for the Queen’s Young Leaders Program. This program is for young leaders who are positively impacting their communities within the Commonwealth, and through it she will continue to support and encourage kids to believe in their ability to change the world. Philanthropy plays a large role in the duties of the Royal Family, and Markle’s background and experiences will certainly only add to the work being done.

According to friends, her passion for helping others and her determination to visit places and make an impact played a big role in bonding with her new husband. As a couple, they both continue to make their charity work top priority, like visiting fairs for World Aids Day, speaking out against inequality, and continuing Prince Harry’s Invictus Games, a competition for wounded servicemen and women. While Markle has left acting behind, her activism and passion for equality, it seems, is only just beginning. She plans to continue to use her voice to change the world and encourage other minorities and women to also take a stand and make a difference.