The Benefits of Virtual Workshops Fuel a Wave of the Future

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Millions of parents would like to learn more about some of the most common issues surrounding kids today.  From tantrums and cyberbullying to single parenting, the more professional guidance you have, the better off you will be.
Today, many parents are turning to online virtual workshops to get the information they want and need. The virtual workshop field has become the wave of the future, as people appreciate the wide variety of benefits that they offer.

“Virtual workshops offer a great way for parents to get the information they need, without having to leave their home,” explains Reena B. Patel, a parenting expert, licensed educational psychologist, and author, who offer virtual workshops. “I’ve seen the positive impact that virtual workshops have, and once people have had them they want more of them. It’s an increasingly growing method for people to get effective parenting skills.”

Virtual workshops are becoming the wave of the future for numerous reasons, including:

  • Convenience. People can participate in a professional workshop without having to leave their home. They can take it on their mobile device or computer in the comfort of their living room or office, saving them time, as well as effort. Virtual workshops keep things simple.
  • Accessibility. Online virtual workshops open the world of knowledge up to people, because they are no longer bound to only being able to attend workshops in their geographic area. Virtual workshops give them access to professionals who may be on the other side of the country.
  • Budget friendly. Taking an online virtual workshop is more cost effective than taking one in person. Not only are the ticket prices typically more affordable, but you save the costs involved in traveling to attend a workshop in person.
  • Anonymity. Many people are interested in taking a parenting workshop, but don’t necessarily want everyone else knowing they did. By taking the workshop online, they can keep their attendance private and only share when they feel comfortable.
  • Skill building. Parents are dealing with issues today that others never had to contend with, such as cyberbullying and social media. Rather than try to guess their way through it, virtual workshops can help give them the insight they want, as well as the tools they need to successfully navigate these areas of parenting.

“Once you take a virtual workshop and see the positive impact it has on your life you will be hooked,” added Patel. “Virtual workshops make it simple and convenient for parents to get professional guidance. I’m looking forward to the ones I have scheduled for this month, especially because I have two celebrity guests joining!”

Reena B. Patel

Patel will be offering several virtual parenting workshops in May 2019, including:

  • Tantrums. Offered May 8, 2019 at 11:00 am pst, this virtual workshop will address the “why” behind the whining and tantrums with kids of all ages. The workshop will give you tried and true effective ways to get you and your child through these common challenges, without punishing them away. Learn about how tantrums are a child’s way of communicating with parents, and how you can use the “S.E.A.T.” solution to address them.
  • Cyberbullying and social media. Scheduled for May 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm pst, this virtual workshop will cover the current hot topic of kids constantly being on social media and cyberbullying. This teens and digital hygiene workshop will be co-hosted by celebrity mom and influencer Ali Levine. The workshop will focus on helping your child find the right balance and keep your kids safe from cyberbullying. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than half of all adolescents visit social media sites more than once per day, and 75 percent have cell phones, which they frequently use for texting and instant messaging. There is a correlation of early social media use and brain development. Learn about the health impacts and peer pressure involved in using social media, and hear Ali Levine’s personal story of how she overcame cyberbullying.
  • First time parenthood. Offered May 20, 2019 at 11:00 am pst, this first time parenthood workshop is for those about to have a baby and those who just had one. Even a few minutes saved at night to rest and recover is a relief, this workshop will give you tricks and even diaper prep tips that will save you. Also, it’s a myth that the baby wants quiet while napping. They actually tend to do better with sound, thus the white noise. This imitates the sound when they were in the womb.
  • Single parenting. Scheduled for May 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm pst, this workshop will be co-hosted with celebrity mom and CEO of @supermommieee, Kourtney Reppert. In this workshop we will discuss everything about being a single mom and learning how to balance it all. From discussing struggles and challenges, to the effective ways to work your way through life as a single parent…you will come out feeling stronger than ever and inspired by Kourtney Reppert’s personal story.

Those interested in registering for one of Patel’s workshops, should secure a seat today at Eventbrite: https://bit.ly/2WmUR7n.

Patel is the founder of AutiZm& More, and as a licensed educational psychologist and guidance counselor, she helps children and their families with the use of positive behavior support strategies across home, school, and community settings. She does workshops around California, and virtual workshops globally where she provides this information to health professionals, families, and educators. She is also the author of a book that helps children with anxiety coping strategies called “Winnie & Her Worries,” and author of a book about autism awareness and acceptance, called “My Friend Max: A Story about a Friend with Autism.” Both of her books are available on Amazon. To learn more or order the books, visit the website at www.reenabpatel.com.

About Reena B. Patel
Based in the San Diego area, Reena B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) is a renowned parenting expert, guidance counselor, licensed educational psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst. For more than 20 years, Patel has had the privilege of working with families and children, supporting all aspects of education and positive wellness. She works extensively with developing children as well as children with exceptional needs, supporting their academic, behavioral and social development.  She was recently nominated for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.” To learn more about her books and services, visit the website at www.reenabpatel.com, and to get more parenting tips, follow her on Instagram @reenabpatel.

What Makes a Great Innovator?

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Young woman presenting her idea to colleagues using her iPad

By Jessica Day

Are you an innovator? Many people have a pretty narrow definition of an innovator. They assume that if they don’t invent things and hold multiple patents, they aren’t very innovative.

In reality, many inventors don’t have patents or products.

Some innovators generate ideas, others bring those ideas to reality, while still others are advocates, leaders, and champions of great ideas. When you think of it this way, you might realize you’re innovative after all.

No matter the role, great innovators share some qualities. If you recognize these qualities in yourself, you may need to give yourself more credit! If you’re looking to become a great innovator, these are the qualities to develop.

Innovators Value Innovation
This might seem obvious, but it’s not. Many organizations value stability and consistency more than innovation and change. Innovators realize that innovation is the only way to remain truly competitive, and they share that feeling with others. As a result, they value innovation and help others to do the same.

Encouragement of Risk-Taking
Innovators realize that taking risks is part of making great discoveries and advancing society. Great innovators encourage risk-taking in others. A culture of risk-taking means encouraging new ideas and being gentle with failure, seeing it as an opportunity to learn rather than an occasion of punishment.

Innovators Teach Others
Great innovators realize that new ideas and implementation can’t end with them. They bring others along on the journey, training them how to think in new ways. In this way, they build entire teams of forward-thinkers. When innovation best practices and mindsets are shared widely, entire industries can benefit.

Start Somewhere
Too many people feel like they can’t move forward with an idea until they are sure it’s the absolute best. Great innovators realize they won’t know what ideas are great until they try them. In fact, they’re not afraid of bad ideas because they know that good ideas are usually close behind! To become an innovator, begin with the idea you have and be open to learning more.

Innovators Look for Patterns Everywhere
Innovators are always on the lookout for analogous solutions. That is, solutions that exist in one industry that may help them with theirs. A perfect example is skis. A ski company wanted to reduce the vibration in skis as skiers turned at high speeds. They found an analogous solution in the music industry and appropriated technology used to stabilize violins to reduce the ski’s vibrations. Look for ideas everywhere!

Staying Positive
As an innovator, you have to keep a good attitude. You can’t assume that something won’t work simply because it hasn’t been done that way before. Innovators realize that if you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always gotten. Stay positive, and you’ll see new ideas work out in surprising ways.

Innovators Incentivize Innovation
Just like innovators take others under their wing to teach them how to innovate, they also incentivize those who are willing to innovate. You might assume every organization does this, but the reality is many companies will discourage or even punish those who try to suggest doing things in a new way. Instead, build incentive programs that encourage new ideas!

Being a Team Player
The stereotype of an innovator as a trouble-maker that no one enjoys working with is false. A great innovator realizes that a team is involved and does his or her best to be a team player. Rather than being difficult mavericks, great innovators are team players who bring others along with them on implementing new ideas.

Innovators Connect and Collaborate
In the Renaissance, often viewed as the peak of innovation in Western society, most people worked alone. Less than 10 percent of the innovation during the Renaissance was networked. Whereas, now, a majority of breakthroughs happen in collaborative environments. Expect to work with others to create breakthroughs.

Innovators Value a Culture of Innovation
As an innovator, you realize that you can’t “go it alone” because you want and need the innovation and new ideas to go beyond your department and direct influence. Great innovators help create a culture of innovation in their whole organization so that innovation has a greater reach. Having a culture of innovation benefits not only an organization but also the industry, and even society, as a whole.

Being an innovator means a lot more than being Benjamin Franklin or a mad scientist. Day to day, great innovators encourage risk-taking, teach others, collaborate and build teams, and much more. Do you see yourself as an innovator now?

Source: ideascale.com

Adelfa Callejo sculpture, Dallas’ first of a Latina, expected to land downtown in Main Street Garden park

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bronze statue of Adelfa Callejo

The bronze statue of Adelfa Callejo, a staunch civil rights advocate believed to be the first practicing Latina lawyer in Dallas, will soon land in a downtown park — right next to the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law and the municipal court building.

A Dallas City Council committee on Tuesday accepted the $100,000 sculpture as a donation with plans to place it in Main Street Garden. It would be Dallas’ first sculpture of a Latina, according to city staffers.

Dallas city officials and the Botello-Callejo Foundation Board agreed to the new location after Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano quietly delayed the plan to place it in the lobby of the Dallas Love Field Airport, which is in his district. Medrano didn’t respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

The Dallas City Council is expected to approve the donation at its Feb. 12 meeting. The board wanted to tie the sculpture’s public unveiling to the six-year anniversary of Callejo’s death, which was in January 2014, after a battle with brain cancer.

The foundation’s board commissioned the roughly 1,000-pound piece by Mexican artist Germán Michel shortly after she died. It is currently being stored in a Dallas warehouse.

Callejo’s nephew J.D. Gonzales said he was thrilled the sculpture will be downtown near the university, where it’ll be visible to students and attest to her trailblazing in education and law.

“I hope that what Adelfa stood for, and what she did and what she accomplished lives on forever,” Gonzales said.

Monica Lira Bravo, chairwoman of the Botello-Callejo Foundation Board, said she met with Medrano and Council member Omar Narvaez last month to discuss where to place the sculpture.

Lira Bravo said she suggested Main Street Garden Park as an alternative after the two council members expressed concerns over the Dallas Love Field Airport option.

Continue on to the Dallas Morning News to read the complete article.

What is malware and why should I be concerned?

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In the era of Social media, our privacy and online safety becomes increasingly important. We’re sharing our lives online; however, we should also know how much is too much and how to save our private data from unwanted intrusion.

The point is, our private information is valuable to cybercriminals who use it to deprive us of our hard-earned money and even ruin our reputation by stealing our identity. Leaving our data “up for grabs” means we might have a difficult time applying for a home loan or even get a passport.

With this being said, it’s essential to know what kinds of dangers lurk around, being able to recognize it and protect ourselves from cyber-attacks.

That’s why we decided to explain thoroughly what is malware, what types of it exist, and how to ensure our data, privacy, and devices are safe.

What is Malware, and why is it so important?

“Malware” refers to malicious software, used to describe any software (or code for that matter) made to inflict damage on mobile and desktop devices by exploiting those devices or data they carry, without the consent of their owners. Malware is usually made to achieve some financial gain – whether it’s about seeking victim’s financial data, holding a computer for ransom, or taking it over in order to rent it out for malicious purposes to others. Without exception, every type of Malware involves some form of payment to the cybercriminal.

There are plenty of ways we can “adopt” Malware on our computers or mobile devices. Some of them include opening the attachment of the “infected” person, clicking on the link which automatically downloads a virus, or even clicking on an ad banner on a website.

He loves me; he loves me NOT.

It’s hard to talk about Malware without mentioning the ILOVEYOU virus, which caused immense damage in 2009. Considered as the most destructive virus of all time, the ILOVEYOU virus used to rename all files in the affected device with “Iloveyou” until the system crashed. Fast-forward to the present day; there’s an increased number of hackers using destructive Malware (Between 2017 and 2018, there was a total increase of 25 percent only) for malicious acts.

Is there a reason to be afraid?

For the ones wondering if they should be afraid of Malware, the answer is a loud: YES! Technology advanced so much that we’re basically carrying small computers in our pockets – in fact, more and more cyber attacks are connected to mobile devices. What’s more, it’s so easy to lose all our important data: text messages, apps we download and failing to update our OS is all the ways we become prone to cyber-attacks. It’s scary and devastating to know someone could ruin our reputation and finances with one single click.

Knowledge is the key.

Now when we have a clear picture of what Malware is, we should get familiar with different types of it. Then, armed with knowledge, we will be able to protect ourselves and our data from malicious cyber intruders. There are six types of malware: spyware, adware, scareware, ransomware, worms, and trojans. Now, we’re going to go through them and offer you a complete overview.

Spyware is not here to harm our computers but follow our every move instead. It attaches itself to executable files and once it is downloaded it completely takes over the control. It can track anything from passwords to financial data.

Adware presents itself in a form of pop-ads or unclosable windows. Luckily, adware doesn’t steal our data, but it tries to make us click on fraudulent ads. Furthermore, it can slow down our computer severely by taking our bandwidth.

Scareware looks and feels like adware, but its main goal is to make us buy software we don’t need by scaring us. Usually, scareware ads tell us our computer has a virus and we need to buy software to get rid of it.

Ransomware resembles hacker moves we’re used to seeing in the movies. Once is on our computer it encrypts our files and holds our information hostage until we pay them a fee to decrypt it.

Worms resemble viruses, however, they don’t need human intervention to get transmitted to another computer. Instead, they use security flaws to do it.

Trojans are designed to allow hackers to take over our computers. Usually, they are downloaded from rogue websites.

We should learn how to protect ourselves.

Now when we know what are the types of malware out there, we will know how to recognize it and protect our precious data and valuable info from cybercriminals. To avoid malware, we should make sure we’re not downloading and running any program from popup windows. Furthermore, we should check our OS is updated and be careful not to open any email attachments from unknown people. Other ways include avoiding the use of public WiFi networks, sharing data while connected on public WiFi and avoid opening emails and attachments from untrusted sources.

Forks Up! Dig into this guilt free mac and cheese recipe that’s ready in minutes

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mac and cheese dish on a table

Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Regardless of what your dietary needs or preferences might be, everyone can agree that they have a special place in their hearts for it. The creamy, ooey gooey lusciousness surrounds each noodle, keeping us coming for morsel after morsel is sometimes too much to handle (or maybe not enough?).

We love finding new and exciting ways (especially healthy ones) that allow us to enjoy mac and cheese guilt free. And now thanks to Planta South Beach we have just the recipe to help us reach that goal.

Not only is this recipe delicious, delectable and enticing — but it’s also great for you and the environment. Nab the recipe below and get to cooking!

Vegan Mac And Cheese from Planta South Beach

Ingredients:

4 cups croutons

1 cup almond parmesan

4 teaspoons salt

2 yellow onions, diced

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 cup confit garlic

3 tablespoons confit garlic oil

2 tablespoons garlic powder

½ cup almond milk

2 teaspoons lemon

1 quart cashews

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 cup rigatoni

2 tablespoons green peas

3 tablespoons smoked mushrooms

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

BREAD CRUMBS

– Crush croutons by hand until crumbled.

– In a bowl, mix crushed croutons, almond parmesan and salt. Set aside.

GARLIC ALFREDO SAUCE

– Sweat onions and cauliflower in a pot with 3 tablespoons of garlic oil. Cook until translucent, season with salt.

– Use a Vitamix or blender to combine onions, cauliflower, confit garlic, almond milk, nutritional yeast and garlic powder until smooth and set aside.

– In a separate Vitamix or blender, mix the cashews and lemon juice until smooth. Start at a low speed and work your way up. Once mixture is smooth and creamy, slowly start to add the puree mixture.

– Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

MAC & CHEESE

– Boil pasta for 8-10 minutes or until al dente, then drain.

– Sauté peas and mushrooms, salt to taste.

– Mix pasta with Garlic Alfredo Sauce until creamy.

– Set oven to broil at 350°F. Transfer mac & cheese to baking pan and top with bread crumbs. Put in oven until golden.

– Garnish with fresh parsley.

Continue on to HOLA! to read the complete article.

Black girl magic: 4 women are redefining beauty after reigning in major beauty pageants

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Black women beauth pageant winners seated together with their sashes on

When Zozibini Tunzi was crowned the winner of Miss Universe 2019, it wasn’t just a personal victory for the 26-year-old from South Africa — it was history in the making.

For the first time ever, four of the major beauty pageants — Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America — were won by black women.

“I think it’s such a great move forward as … the world and as a society say, ‘Look, women who were in the past never had opportunities to do things like this are now here,’” Tunzi told ABC News’ Linsey Davis in an interview that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.”

In an exclusive interview with three of the four pageant winners, Tunzi, joined by Kaliegh Garris, Miss Teen USA 2019, and Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, spoke about what it means for all of them to represent other black women and pave the way for women of color across the world.

Nia Franklin also won the Miss America pageant last year.

For decades, a moment like this was not possible. In its first 30 years, black women weren’t even allowed to compete in the Miss America pageant.

“I think there are times where I am disappointed, because people will sometimes comment on our social media,” said Kryst. “And they’ll say, ‘Why are we talking about your race? Like, you guys are just four amazing women.’ Like, yes, we’re four amazing women, but there was a time when we literally could not win.”

Continue on to Good Morning America to read the complete article.

Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling & Have the Power to End It

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Nancy Parsons posing in front of her book promo poster

New Book Alert! Author of game changing books for women in leadership just released her latest!

Nancy Parsons shares exciting insights based on her firm’s research that reveal the true reasons why the glass ceiling exists and it is not what most people think. That’s why, despite the best intentions and investments in women in leadership programs, today’s solutions are not working.

It has been four decades since the Pregnancy Act went into effect in 1979 that prohibited women from being fired for getting pregnant. Yet, the sad truth is that although the barriers were supposedly lifted so many years ago, the glass ceiling continues to be an impenetrable barrier for most aspiring women leaders. Today, only 6.6 % of Fortune 500 CEOs are women and only 11% of women are top earners at these most profitable companies. Meanwhile, for more than a decade, women have consistently earned more bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. The bottom line is that if we stay on the current trajectory, it will take approximately 400 years to attain just 50% of Fortune 500 CEO positions.

Parsons’ book is packed with great insights from women executives, top executive coaches, new global research, and practical solutions that will work to end the glass ceiling. These win-win approaches put an end to pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling and Have the Power to End It provides breakthrough scientific research and fresh, tangible solutions that will work for women, men, and the organizations they serve to end the glass ceiling within a decade.

Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling & Have the Power to End It, JUST RELEASED at:  http://bit.ly/KindleEndIt

The Biggest Personality Differences Between Tea and Coffee Drinkers

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woman at work with her cup of coffee on her desk

If you’re a creative, introverted morning person, then odds are you prefer coffee over tea.

A new study of 2,000 Americans examined the personality differences in people based on their morning beverage of choice: coffee or tea.

You’d expect coffee fans to be the buzzy, loud ones up at all hours; however, the results found that tea drinkers are more likely to be extroverted, adventurous night owls.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Chinet brand, revealed that the average coffee drinker typically downs 3.4 cups a day, while tea fans sip through 2.7 cups.

All that caffeine appeared to have an impact on sleep cycles, seeing as coffee drinkers were found to be more likely to be “light” sleepers.

Over half (57 percent) of tea drinkers were self-described “average” sleepers.

If coffee drinkers are light sleepers then it might be what’s helping them hear their first alarm and be punctual. Coffee fans are more likely to say they’re “always” on time.

“With over 75 percent of respondents drinking their first cup of coffee or tea before 8 a.m., people are looking to fuel their life on the go,” said a spokesperson for the Chinet brand. “From the car to the carpool, people are taking their drinks with them as they tackle whatever their day brings.”

The coffee versus tea debate even spanned into entertainment. Tea drinkers were more likely to enjoy “The Walking Dead,” “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory” on TV, while coffee fans preferred “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Office” and “Seinfeld.”

Music tastes varied between the two groups as well. Respondents that go for coffee like listening to punk, rock, blues and jazz.

Fans of tea love to put on a little classical, country, pop or hip-hop/rap.

When it comes to what goes in the hot drink of choice, coffee lovers are 96 percent more likely than tea drinkers to enjoy their brew straight.

Tea fans were 35 percent more likely to have a sweet tooth and add sugar to their drinks.

Coffee drinkers were pretty straight up when it came to why they prefer the beverage. They were 41 percent more likely to choose a steamy cup of joe because of its caffeine quantity.

Caffeine turned out to be the main reason for deterring those who prefer tea, seeing as 37 percent said “too much caffeine” was the coffee turnoff.

A little morning tea just doesn’t do it for coffee connoisseurs because over a third find tea to be “too boring.”

That all-important caffeine buzz was a serious highlight for coffee lovers since four in 10 described themselves as “in need of caffeine” first thing in the morning.

“We all wish we could have the luxury of a slow morning at home, leisurely drinking our coffee or tea before heading out the door for errands or work,” added the spokesperson for the Chinet brand.

Continue on to the New York Post to read the complete article.

L.A.’s Subway Singer Performs at Historic Little Italy Celebration

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L.A. Subway Singer standing at podium with a mic in her hand

A homeless woman, whose video showcasing her singing ability at a Los Angeles Metro station recently went viral, performed for a live audience Saturday, hoping to raise awareness of the homelessness crisis.

Russian-born singer Emily Zamourka appeared onstage during the “Little Italy” celebration in San Pedro, singing the same Italian opera piece that garnered her international attention.

“I’m not a professional singer, but I’m very critical to how I’m going to sound or how I’m going to perform,” she said. “It has to be delivered right. It’s not easy, so that’s why today I will apologize in front of everybody, because they probably thought I’m going to bring a [bigger] repertoire or something. It’s going to be the same song that they know me from the subway [for].”

Zamourka, who has been homeless for the past few years, said that she has been overwhelmed by the worldwide acclaim she has received since the Los Angeles Police Department posted a video of her singing at a Metro Purple Line station on its social media.

The video, which has been retweeted over 6,000 times on Twitter since being posted on Sept. 26, prompted many to applaud her operatic voice. Zamourka didn’t know that her singing had been heard by people around the world until friends called to tell her.

She later thanked the officer who took the video, as shown by another clip posted by the LAPD.

Zamourka previously said that she has no formal training, but would not decline to sing on stage. The opportunity to do so came on Saturday.

After performing at the event and giving interviews to local and international reporters, Zamourka left to rest. LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino’s office, which hosted the “Little Italy” event, said it is working to find housing for the singer.

But though she thanks everyone who has supported her, Zamourka believes a person’s skills shouldn’t determine whether they receive help.

Continue on to NBC Los Angeles to read the complete article.

Melinda Gates commits $1B to ‘expanding women’s power and influence in the United States’

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Melinda Gates in professional photo wearing a navy blue dress

Melinda Gates, whose book this year documented the systemic and societal challenges that continue to face women around the world, recently pledged $1 billion over the next 10 years to initiatives designed to accelerate gender equity in the United States.

By Todd Bishop

In a commentary announcing the plan on Time.com, Gates said the money will support “new and established partners taking innovative and diverse approaches to expanding women’s power and influence.”

It’s the biggest initiative yet from Gates through her standalone Pivotal Ventures firm, separate from her role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Melinda Gates established Pivotal Ventures four years ago to focus on issues including gender equality and empowering women. Her book, “The Moment of Lift,” documented the need to remove barriers for women, with the goal of helping not just women but society as a whole.

In the announcement this morning, Gates cited three priorities for the funds: 1) “dismantling the barriers to women’s professional advancement;” 2) “fast-tracking women in sectors with outsized impact on our society—like technology, media, and public office; and 3) “mobilizing shareholders, consumers, and employees to amplify external pressure on companies and organizations in need of reform.”

She wrote, “I want to see more women in the position to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives. I believe that women’s potential is worth investing in—and the people and organizations working to improve women’s lives are, too.”

Gates gave more insights into her approach in a Harvard Business Review piece last month, “Gender Equality Is Within Our Reach.

“I believe our goal should be to expand women’s power and influence in society. I think of power and influence as the ability to make decisions, control resources, and shape perspectives. It is something women exercise in their homes, in their workplaces, and in their communities. I recognize that “power and influence” are not words we have historically associated with women — nor are they words that all women associate with themselves. I also acknowledge that because of my family’s wealth, I have access to certain kinds of power and influence that very few people do. Still, I use these words, imperfect and imprecise though they are, because they are the best way I know to describe what men in this country — in particular, white men — have long had that women have not.”

Continue on to Geekwire to read the complete article.

Stay ‘safety-savvy’ – five best practices for female traveller safety

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women sitting next to her suitcase texting on her phone

With over 90% female travellers stating that safety concerns affected what they did in their personal time when travelling for work (GBTA/AIG Travel survey 2018), there’s a need for women to be security-savvy.

Female travellers face unique travel safety risks. Women are often perceived as an easier target by criminals and are also more likely than men to be victims of sexual harassment or violent sexual crimes. Women are also targets of harassment, cultural discrimination, local regulations and bias in business settings.
Forward-planning and self-awareness have a big part to plan in ensuring women stay safe when travelling, whether for business or leisure. Riskline, a leading global travel risk intelligence company, gives female travellers a head start with its top five best practices.

Top 5 best practices for female traveller safety

Before travel
1 – Keep those at home informed
Ensure a trusted person at home always has a copy of your full itinerary and important details before your departure. This includes alternate ways to contact you, a photocopy of your passport and any travel or medical insurance information.

2 – Know your travel destination
Always familiarise yourself with your destination prior to travel. Research your destination using tools, such as Riskline’s Female Traveller Safety Report, so you can be fully informed of various cultural and societal practices. This includes local culture and laws, especially in countries with extensive social and legal restrictions against women.

For example, in some Islamic countries, buses, subways, restaurants and other public establishments are often gender-segregated, while some teahouses are off-limits to women altogether. On the other hand, a lack of feminine care necessities may pose an issue in developing countries. Tampons and contraceptives may be only found at major supermarkets or pharmacies in large cities or in some cases, not available at all.

In Iran, where the legal code is based on Islamic law, physical contact between unrelated men and women is forbidden in public – even in a private or social setting do not shake hands with Iranian men unless they initiate it and extend their hand first. Unmarried men and women are legally forbidden from being alone together in a social setting, sometimes even in public, unless they are related.

During Travel

3 – Remain aware of your surroundings
Exercise common sense safety precautions, even during the daytime, while travelling in unfamiliar locations. Women are more frequently targeted than men for pickpocketing and bag snatching, especially if travelling alone as they are often perceived as an ‘easy target’. In developing countries, the perception that foreigners are more affluent than locals may put you at a higher risk.

Be alert and keep your bag close to you at all times, especially on public transport and other crowded areas. If you’re out after dark consider using private and official taxis, especially those operated by women drivers, as a safer mode of travel than public transport and walking alone.

In India, it is recommended to avoid all forms of public transport as sexual assaults are common onboard buses and trains. Use only official and registered taxis or reputed radio cabs – but avoid sitting in the front seat of the taxi and always take the seat behind the driver, as there have been some reports of sexual advances by cab drivers. Do not travel alone at night, especially in deserted areas or villages where crime rates are high.

4 – Don’t be afraid to say no
Depending on your destination, you may attract attention among locals for your foreign appearance or simply for being a woman travelling alone. In countries like Jamaica, Morocco and other countries frequented by tourists, female travellers may be at a higher risk of being sexually harassed by local men due to misconception about foreign women, especially Westerners, and their behaviour.

Be confident in demeanour and learn to say “No” or “Stop” in the local language without worrying about causing offense. While smiling and ‘small talk’ may be considered a friendly gesture at home, in some countries local men may perceive it as a sign of interest.

In the Bahamas, female travellers may receive unwanted attention from men, ranging from open displays of catcalling and staring to physical groping, including during the daytime. It is best to ignore these advances or confrontations and walk away. In the event that harassment escalates, draw attention to what is happening and locals will likely come to your aid.

Post Travel

5 – Give feedback
Tell your travel manager, HR rep, co-workers and friends about what worked, and what didn’t, during your trip. Employers have a Duty of Care obligation to ensure your safety and well-being during a work trip. Your feedback can make the experience safer and more enjoyable for future female travellers.

Stay ‘safety-savvy’
Not all travellers are the same, and female travellers face unique safety risks. Women can be perceived as an ‘easier target’ for criminals and are more likely than men to be victims of sexual harassment.

Consider this: more than 8 in 10 (83 percent) women say they have experienced one or more safety-related concerns or incidents while traveling for business in the past year (GBTA/AIG Travel survey 2018). It is unfortunate that women should take precautions in many facets of their life due to safety concerns, and business travel is no different. Therefore, we want to ensure all women remain ‘safety-savvy’ when working abroad and access to the right information is key.
Detailed reports, such as our Female Traveller Safety Reports, are written by women for women and are also designed to support a company’s Duty of Care obligation to keep their employees safe while travelling. They provide information on local customs and laws, safety concerns as well as specific details on health and wellness that directly affect female travellers.

There’s a huge – and increasingly growing – need for companies to embrace diversity and inclusivity, and we hope that providing access to detailed travel information to female employees will soon become the norm.

‘Forewarned is forearmed’ as they say, and women need to need to arm themselves with the right information in order to ensure they can make the most of trouble-free travel.

Authors: Suzanne Sangiovese & Jayeon Kim, Riskline

About Riskline
Riskline is a leading travel risk intelligence company in operation since 2007 and based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Riskline’s world-class security services are trusted by small business and Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries.
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