GM to get female CFO, CEO

With a female CEO leading the company since 2014, General Motors is about to get a new woman in charge.

According to CNN, GM has announced that Dhivya Suryadevara will be their new CFO, joining CEO Mary Barra in leading the Fortune 500 motor company. The move also puts GM in exclusive company, says CNN, with Hershey being the only other Fortune 500 company to have both a female CEO and CFO.

As for Suryadevara, CNN says she “joined GM in 2005 and has been vice president of corporate finance since July 2017,” and her recent promotion will have her replacing Chuck Stephens, who had been CFO since 2014.

While putting a woman in a position of power is significant, Anna Beninger, senior director of research and corporate engagement partner at Catalyst — a “non-profit studying women and work” — told CNN that this move is even more rare.

“Any time a woman brings on another woman, it’s notable. It should be acknowledge, and celebrated.”

Amen to that!

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San Francisco elects first black female mayor

All it takes is one woman to bust down the door for others to follow in her footsteps, and in San Francisco, London Breed did just that.

According to CNN, the 43-year-old politician has become the first African American woman to be elected as the mayor of San Francisco, earning the new position after her opponent conceded what was a tight mayoral race.

In a news conference, CNN says Breed not only thanked her supporters, she expressed her hope for the city’s future.

“I am so hopeful about the future of our city, and I am looking forward to serving as your mayor,” she said. “I am truly humbled and I am truly honored.”

But beyond sharing her optimistic outlook for what lay ahead for San Francisco, she also made sure to note that she will not bring just her followers into the city’s future; instead, CNN reports that Breed extended her advocacy to those who didn’t support or vote for her.

“Whether you voted for me or not, as mayor, I will be your mayor too,” she offered.

CNN says Breed will be the city’s mayor until 2020, as she is “finishing the term of the late Mayor Ed Lee, who died in December at age 65.”

Miss America announces first all-female leadership team

Miss America has just made history, but not in the form of a contestant or winner.

According to CNN, the organization has just appointed an all-female leadership for the first time in its history. Led by all former pageant winners, CNN reports that Miss America has named Regina Hopper as president and CEO, while “Marjorie Vincent-Tripp was named as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Foundation.”

Hopper and Vincent-Tripp join former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson who, in December, was named the chairman of the Miss America Organization’s Board of Trustees. Taking over for leaders who resigned in 2017 over disparaging emails, CNN says the organization hopes the their new leadership team will usher in a new era:

“The induction of this all female leadership team signals forthcoming transformational changes to the entire organization and program, ushering in a new era of progressiveness, inclusiveness and empowerment,” the organization said in a statement.
Amen to that!

Markle marches down aisle on her own terms

In what is likely the most highly-anticipated event of the year, American actor Meghan Markle walked down the aisle to be married to Prince Harry — and that walk was certainly one to remember.

According to ELLE, the new royal made her way down the aisle in bold fashion, first entering St. George’s Chapel on the arm of her mother, Doria Ragland. As she reached the Quire — or the part of the chapel “where the main royal wedding guests are seated” — ELLE reports that Markle escorted by Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles of Wales.

While Markle did have company making her way to the alter, ELLE says she made much of her trip alone, “making a feminist statement by being alone for the majority of her walk.”

Not only that, but Markle was not “given away” by Prince Charles, but instead walked to Harry on her own — something that CNN reports as being a historic move.

“No other royal bride in the UK has walked unescorted down the aisle at their wedding ceremony,” CNN says. “Markle’s decision indicates that she wishes to assert herself as a strong, independent woman who is prepared to challenge royal norms.”

Apple unveils new gender-neutral emojis

Whenever Apple makes an announcement, you can be pretty sure that it is going to be game changing, and its latest move is no exception.

According to InStyle, the tech giant recently announced that they will offer a host of new emojis to their already-expansive collection, including some new gender-neutral characters. The additions, which CNN says comes along with the iOS 11 update, includes “more expressive smiley faces, gender-neutral options, mythical creatures, clothing, food and animals,” while also adding more skin tones and country flags to their roster.

Additionally, InStyle reports that the update also includes new “empowered female emojis,” which take the form of “a female rock climber and a woman breastfeeding.”

With these changes to Apple’s emoji repertoire, hopefully there will come increased representation in the future.

 

Young neurosurgeon makes history

People often make history for being the best in their field, so to make history before truly working in said field is something pretty special. Just ask Nancy Abu-Bonsrah.

According to the Huffington Post, Abu-Bonsrah is “set to become the first black woman to be trained as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins medical school.”

With “Match Day” on March 17, Abu-Bonsrah didn’t need the luck of St. Patrick’s Day on her side to be accepted into the residency program — her talent and intelligence obviously spoke for themselves, as CNN reports that the nationally-ranked program only accepts between two and five residents each year.

Beginning her residency in 2018, HuffPost says the Ghana-born neurosurgery student said she hopes to use her skills to create healthcare solutions around the world.

“I hope to be able to go back to Ghana over the course of my career to help in building sustainable surgical infrastructure,” she said. “I will be matching into neurosurgery, a field that I am greatly enamored with, and hope to utilize those skills in advancing global surgical care.”

Air India flies into history

Whoever said the sky is the limit never met the flight crew from Air India.

According to CNN, the airline made history last week when its all-female crew completed a flight around the world. And the crew was completely comprised of women, says Fortune: everyone from the captains to the air-traffic controllers and cabin crew were women.

With the flight taking place in two parts, the team “flew from New Delhi to San Francisco last Monday, traveling over the Pacific Ocean,” reports CNN. “The crew completed a mandatory rest period before flying over the Atlantic back to New Delhi, completing the round-the-world trip.”

CNN also reports that a spokesperson for Air India said that they applied for a Guinness World record after completing the feat, with this flight serving as just one of a “series of all-women flights scheduled to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.”

Congratulations to the all-female team!

 

 

‘Big Little Lies’ takes aim at typical female roles in Hollywood

Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz are teaming up for a new HBO miniseries that challenges the typical roles reserved for women in Hollywood.

Their new show “Big Little Lies” —  an “adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel, a murder mystery wrapped up in a story about five women, all moms of first-graders,” according to USA Today — provides not only what’s sure to be an interesting plot, it also provides complex female characters that the actresses hope will influence future roles for women.

“The real amazing part was really digging deep into the lives of women,” Witherspoon told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour, according to CNN. “It wasn’t about [the characters] being good or bad, [the script] showed every spectrum and every color of women’s lives.”

For Kidman, a co-producer on the series with Witherspoon, says the project has a strong theme of “women helping women,” something that CNN says is just as important to Witherspoon.

“I’m passionate [about producing] because things have to change,” Witherspoon said, according to CNN. “We have to start seeing women as they really are on film…We need to see things because we as human beings learn from art and what can you do if you never see it reflected? I feel like women of incredible talent [are constantly]playing wives and girlfriends … I’ve just had enough.”

“Big Little Lies” premieres on HBO on Feb. 19.

SI is Covered in Beauty

Last week, it was announced that size-16 model Ashley Graham would be featured in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue in ads for Swimsuits for All, a company that designs flattering swimwear for all body shapes. However, Graham is appearing in more than just ads for the magazine.

According to CNNSports Illustrated is making history this year by launching three covers of the issue for the first time in 52 years. The three covergirls include Graham, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey and model Hailey Clauson.

The magazine’s Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day spoke on the decision to feature three different women on this year’s cover. “All three women are beautiful, sexy and strong. Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not ‘one size fits all,'” Day explained.

Describing Graham’s confidence as “contagious,” Day had equally encouraging things to say about Clauson and Rousey, calling the former “smart” and a “cool girl,” while describing the latter as “the perfect combination of beauty, brains, brawn and humility.”

Graham told People that she credits Day for her appearance on one of the covers, who came to her with tears in her eyes explaining to Graham that her cover was going to make history.

“I thought Sports Illustrated was taking a risk by putting a girl my size in the pages,” Graham said. “But putting me on the cover? They aren’t just breaking barriers; they are the standard now. This is beyond epic.”

Set to be released on Monday, Feb. 15, Graham said her cover isn’t a victory for herself, but one for all women.

“I want to dedicate it to all of the women out there who never felt that they were beautiful enough, who never felt like they were skinny enough, and who never felt like they were going to be able to be represented in society like this,” Graham said. “Because now we’re being represented.”

Thank you, Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousey, Hailey Clauson and Sports Illustrated, for showing us that beauty is not ‘one size fits all.’

 

A New ‘Barbie’ Takes Shape

Mattel’s Barbie dolls are taking a different shape these days.

The company famous for their iconic dolls announced on Jan. 28 three new shapes — petite, tall and curvy — as well as seven different skin tones, changing the 57-year-old look of the dolls, according to The New York Daily News.

These changes come in an attempt to provide Barbie customers with a more realistic body aesthetic that starkly contrasts the supermodel-like forms of Barbies past.

The Daily News says that the dolls were crafted in a top-secret mission named “Project Dawn,” in which designers worked on Barbie’s new image for two consecutive years. The new dolls feature a more voluptuous derrière, along with a fuller stomach, arms and legs. The dolls, part of the 2016 Fashionistas line, also includes 22 eye colors and 24 hair colors.

Head of the Barbie brand Evelyn Mazzocco spoke to Time, where news of the launch first broke, on how long it took to change Barbie’s shape. “Yes, some people will say we are late to the game. But changes at a huge corporation take time,” she said according to The Huffington Post.

While The Daily News says that the changes received positive responses from the likes of size-14 model Lizzie Miller, who thought the revisions were long overdue, CNN found that not all people welcomed the changes — especially Alexandra Petri of the The Washington Post.

Petri wrote, “The trouble with Barbie is that if you start taking away her unrealistic elements, she disappears altogether … Barbie is either the iconic, unattainable figure, blonde and waiflike, with huge eyes, or she is — what, exactly? Make her real, and she ceases to exist. She becomes a brand, a category heading, like American Girl, Monster High, Bratz.”

Although the changes were met with mixed reviews, Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson said their mission is to empower females. “Our brand represents female empowerment,” he told Time. “It’s about choices. Barbie had careers at a time when women were restricted to being just housewives. Ironically, our critics are the very people who should embrace us.”