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!

History-making NASA astronaut retires

A history-making astronaut has officially retired, leaving in her wake a stream of firsts and records set.

According to the Associated Press, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has retired almost a year after her last and longest space flight. In her storied career, not only was Whitson the first woman to command the International Space Station, AP reports that she has “spent more time off the planet than any other American: 665 days over three space station missions,” not to mention that she’s “also the world’s most experienced female spacewalker, with 10 under her spacesuit belt.”

Joining NASA in 1986 as a researcher, AP says Whitson’s career highlights also include  serving as the only female chief of NASA’s “male-dominated astronaut corps,” as well as being the oldest woman to ever fly in space.

Director of flight operations at Johnson Space Center in Houston Brian Kelly explained Whitson’s impact in this way:

“She set the highest standards for human spaceflight operations, as well as being an outstanding role model for women and men in America and across the globe.”

As for Whitson, she took to Twitter to express how significant her time as a NASA astronaut has been, calling it “the greatest honor to live out my lifelong dream.”

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.”

Graphic designer gives Disney Princesses real-life ambitions

Disney princesses can be more than just pretty faces wearing fancy dresses. In fact, they can be whatever they want to be, thanks to the musings of a graphic designer.

According to PopSugar, graphic designer for Simple Thrifty Living Matt Burt decided to give the host of princesses new identities, envisioning them as “empowered boss ladies with successful careers in male-dominated fields.”

In his new depictions, Burt transforms Disney favorites Anna and Elsa into climate change scientists who have “dedicated their careers to studying climate change and presenting accurate, well-sourced information,” says PopSugar, while Belle becomes a university chancellor, thanks to her love of reading — oh, and a doctorate degree.

Other storied princesses were imagined as an animal rights activist (Cinderella), a UN ambassador (Jasmine), a Navy officer (Moana) and even a Title IX lawyer (Mulan).

In short, these ladies are getting down to business to defeat the patriarchy and show that they are much more than just dignitaries.

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!

#MeToo movement makes way for more female graduation speakers

Graduation from any level of education is significant, but this year, there is added meaning to the ceremonies.

According to the Associated Press, 2018 marks a milestone in U.S. college graduation exercises, as “the majority of the nation’s top colleges are featuring women as their spring commencement speakers” for the first time in at least two decades. The impetus behind the change? AP reports that industry experts are crediting the swing toward female speaks to the #MeToo movement that has reignited the flame of female empowerment in the United States and around the world.

And the increase in female commencement speakers this year is significant; AP reports that this year, “women account for nearly 60 percent of the speakers at the 25 schools that have the largest endowments and traditionally carry the clout to draw big names to the lectern.” In previous years, however, AP says women accounted for a mere quarter of the speakers at those same schools over the past 19 years.

While AP says that while some universities said the #MeToo movement didn’t specifically shape their decisions, companies hired to find commencement speakers said that they’ve seen a major increase in requests for women that correlated with the timing of the the #MeToo movement’s inception and takeoff.

“There’s been a much bigger push to bring in white females, black females — anyone other than a white male,” said Richard Schelp, owner of Executive Speakers Bureau.

So just who are some of the women speaking at graduations this year? For starters, Sheryl Sandberg will do the honors of delivering a commencement address at MIT, according to AP, while Dartmouth will host Mindy Kaling. Not to mention Amal Clooney will descend upon Vanderbilt, while AP says Hillary Clinton will return to her alma mater and speak at Yale’s commencement.

 

 

Ross reveals power of women’s fury in TED Talk

Hell hath no fury like a woman — and that fury has deep roots, according to Tracee Ellis Ross.

According to HuffPost, the actor recently gave a TED Talk at the organization’s annual conference in Vancouver, Canada on “the spectrum of objectification women have faced for hundreds of years, and the anger women harbor because of it.” What’s more, HuffPost says Ross explained in her 10-minute talk that this anger should be embraced.

“Women, I encourage you to acknowledge your fury,” she said. “Give it language. Share it in safe places of identification and in safe ways. Your fury is not something to be afraid of. It holds lifetimes of wisdom. Let it breathe and listen.”

Opening her speech with a story of a female friend who was physically moved by a man who was trying to reach something she was blocking, HuffPost says Ross used the anecdotes as a launch pad to explain the depth and extent of the rage women feel, offering that her friend’s fury was “ignited by lifetimes of men helping themselves to women’s bodies without consent.”

To make the experience more relatable to male listeners, HuffPost says Ross equated it to having a stranger take your phone out of your hand’s every day, and having the stranger explain away their reasoning for taking the phone in the first place.

“Somehow, no one ever talks about the person who took the cellphone,” Ross explained. “Men are so used to helping themselves, that it’s like … [shrugging] they can’t help themselves. And not because men are fundamentally less moral, but because this is a very big blind spot for most men.”

After stating that her friend’s fury — and that of countless women around the world — “holds centuries of never being able to directly address or express [women’s] indignation, our frustration and our rage,” HuffPost says Ross concluded her talk with two very powerful words as of late: “time’s up.”

“Time’s up on women being held responsible for men’s bad behavior,” she said. “It is men’s responsibility to change men’s bad behavior.”

Watch her TED Talk in full right here.

Robbie reworking Shakespeare for new TV drama

I, Tonya star Margot Robbie has a new project in the works, and it’s definitely one to watch.

According to Nylon, Robbie has partnered with the Australia Broadcasting Corporation and Aussie production company Hoodlum to create “a modernized television retelling of Shakespeare dramas” that will be “told from the perspectives of women and led by an all-woman creative team.”

Currently an unnamed, 10-episode series, Nylon says the show will follow the traditional framework of Shakespeare’s plays and will reportedly offer commentary on modern society and pose the perfect platform to showcase Australia’s cultural diversity. The move to work on such a project follows the 2014 launch of Robbie’s own production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, says Nylon, where she tends to find and work with lesser-known female talent.

“I’m taking a lot of meetings with the lesser-known talent at the moment, the indie film-makers, first- and second-time film-makers, mainly women,” she explained to Australia’s Associated Press, Nylon reports. “I’m in a lovely position where I can actually help get things greenlit so I want to work with people who we haven’t seen yet.”

While Nylon says a release date for the series has not been announced, one thing’s for sure: we will be watching.

Urban Decay lipstick shade donates to women’s empowerment causes

What’s better than a lipstick you love — a lipstick that gives back, of course.

According to PopSugar, everyone’s favorite makeup brand Urban Decay has released a limited-edition version of its ever-popular Vice lipstick on International Women’s Day. Called “Outspoken,” PopSugar says 100 percent of the lipstick shade’s profits will be donated to “nonprofits that support women’s empowerment causes.”

While PopSugar reports that the exact non-profits it will donate to will be selected by The Ultraviolet Edge, the cosmetic brand has “pledged to raise over $2 million” for the organization.

Brand founder Wende Zomnir did, however, give an idea of what kinds of initiatives the funds may serve, saying in a release to PopSugar that shoppers will help “provide literacy programs and microloans to women in Uganda. You’re enabling girls in Kenya to get an education. And you’re making it possible for underserved and abused women in New York City to get the legal representation they desperately need.”

As for the lipstick shade itself, PopSugar says the “rosy-mauve” tone comes in a lilac purple tube with a purple blooming rose on it, making it the prettiest do-gooder lipstick we’ve ever seen.

Purchase the lipstick here for $18.

Female journalists take to Twitter to protest bracket ranking reporters

Women in the news industry are #MoreThanABabe, and they are making sure that it’s well known.

According to HuffPost, female reporters, anchors and meteorologists are flooding Twitter with the hashtag as a form of protest against a “radio station in Little Rock, Arkansas, that has refused to end its long-running ‘Babe Bracket’ ranking local female reporters and anchors by attractiveness.”

HuffPost says that the bracket, which has been run for over two decades by KABZ-FM 103.7, has been “pitting 16 women against each other,” with a “morning show’s listeners ultimately voting on who makes it through each round.” But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, female professionals from around the country and in all facets of the media industry are speaking up and fighting back.

“I am a working mom of two, a wife, a daughter, an AMS Certified Meteorologist, a math and science nerd, a video game enthusiast 🙂 and SO much more. I choose not to be ranked based solely on my looks because I am ” tweeted Natalie Walters, a meteorologist at FOX16 and KARK4 News in Little Rock.

“I worked harder than the next person to get to where I am in my career. I work on my days off to network and inspire. I moderate a group of thousands of women, so they can feel supported. I am ,” tweeted Debra Alfarone, a news anchor at WUSA9 in Washington, D.C.

It’s safe to say that these hard-working women are #MoreThanABabe.