What’s on my mind?

27 Mar

Facebook are always exhorting us to share, with the question “what’s on your mind?”

So here,  in no particular order, is what’s on MY mind.

Thought for the day … is the concept of dressing for success only a female thing?

I’m currently doing some interim in-house corporate communications work around connecting the employee engagement and diversity agendas.  Part of this has entailed helping the company to set up a women’s network, which launched earlier this week (hence, no blogging).  At the same time,  we’re also working to plan some events for the rest of the year and debating what they may be and who best to involve.  One suggestion has been that we co-create an event with the community affairs and philanthropy team,  and perhaps do something together which will benefit a women’s group or charity.

Now obviously,  I love this idea and am looking forward to the meeting where we can discuss this a bit more.  Another suggestion has been that we do something around the concept of “Dressing for Success” and do something for or with the charity of that name … and that made me wonder if such a concept even exists for men?

DfS (who I think are fabulous and do great work,  by the way – I’m not having a pop) was “set up by women to help other women get a job and become financially independent”.  But in all my years in the corporate world,  I’ve never seen anything similar for men – have you?

Imagine it:

  • a poster campaign in the lift and around the office
  • - which asks men to donate their unwanted suits and ties.
  • Men providing other men with interview advice

Is this because men don’t need this help,  don’t want it or some other reason?  Is the help in question perhaps provided more casually?

* * * * *

Also on my mind … an article from last Sunday’s Observer, which has been circling around and around ever since I read it. Dr. Abhay Bang’s programme to reduce infant mortality in Maharashtra has achieved dazzling results but they -

“.. owe little to the orthodoxy of western medicine and everything to his team of neonatally trained rural women.”

Click here to read more.

* * * * *

I went to hear Sonia Gandhi deliver the Commonwealth Lecture in central London a few weeks ago.  The theme of her talk (and of this year’s programme of Commonwealth activities) was “Women as Agents of Change”, which celebrates women whose work has made a positive difference to the lives of others and emphasises the message that, by investing in women and girls, we can accelerate social, economic and political progress around the world.  My big “wow” moment from the talk – which you can read here – was to learn that 60% of all women in the Commonwealth are in India.

* * * * *

And finally … when I was in Mumbai in December,  I met a very interesting man called Abhi Naha,  who is working, through his company Zone V,  to develop a mobile phone for use by the blind.  Abhi told me that over two thirds of the 415 million blind and partially sighted people in the world are women, which is why he is so passionate about empowering blind women through mobile phone technology.  Zone V‘s motto is:

Imagine a world where lack of sight does not mean lack of vision”

- and Abhi certainly doesn’t lack vision,  in any sense of the word.  A few days ago,  he texted me and asked – “If you could have an ‘empowerment button’ on your mobile phone for women in developing countries, what would you make it do?”

I replied:

“I’d use it to educate the 62 million girls around the world who don’t even get to go to primary school.”

How about you – what would YOUR empowerment button do?



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