In a controversial move, university students at Brandeis and Rutgers in the USA chose to remove Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali as speakers at their commencement proceedings. Rice was the first African-American woman to hold the elite position of Secretary of State, while Ali, a Somali refugee, has devoted her life to free thinking and women’s rights, serving in European parliament and authoring a number of best sellers. While they are pretty amazing women in the eyes of many, the students of Brandeis and Rutgers seem to disagree, instead criticising the women on specific political issues that the student’s disagree with. Unfortunately, while the students claim that their refusal to listen to the women is fair, they have neglected to acknowledge that ideological diversity is essential to learning and development, and that it is unlikely that they would agree 100% with any politician. As Forbes points out, their decision looks pretty racist, and sexist to boot.
The director for the Smith College Centre for Work and Life sure knows a thing or two about living… and business for that matter! With a successful past in writing and consultancy, as well as teaching and editing, it was only a matter of time before Jessica Bacal put pen to paper to provide us with a shining story of success. However, Bacal’s is a story with a twist. Unlike most, she recognises that the way to the top is riddled with mistakes, and to succeed in our goals we must face these challenges head on. So, rather than interview a handful of successful women and tell us how amazing they are, she chose to document the “failures” these incredible women have experienced on their way to the top. The point of this, of course, is to remind us that even great women are only human and our success is often dependent on our ability to face challenging circumstances and criticism along the way.
Do you ever feel like the internet is watching you? Well, not literally, but you know… You check a webpage for flights to Peru and then the next window you open has an advert for airfares to South America. It is pretty creepy, but data on your searches and the links that you click on is used all the time to establish what demographic you fit into, what you’re thinking of doing, where you’re thinking of going, what you’re thinking of buying… everything! This information is then used for target advertising. One woman found it so intrusive that she decided to avoid targeted advertising during her pregnancy. Pregnant women are a huge market, and once you’re targeted as a part of that market, the advertising won’t let up. So how hard was it for someone to hide their pregnancy from the internet?