Moneyish enlisted an all-star team of contributors to mark the occasion
Happy International Women’s Day! To mark the occasion, Moneyish asked an A-list team of 14 contributors — among them politicians, entertainers and businesspeople — to share their wisdom on issues relevant to women. Here’s where to find all their op-eds in one place:
Tammy Duckworth, mother to a three-year-old and set to be the first senator set to give birth while in office, says America’s paid family leave policies desperately need a facelift. “Millions of women and men across America struggle each day to balance the demands of their careers and loved ones,” the Illinois Democrat wrote. “It’s 2018. We no longer carry around cell phones the size of bricks. Why should we be content to stick with decades-old family and parental leave policies?”
Cory Booker, a U.S. senator from New Jersey and potential 2020 presidential contender, is trying to reform the American prison system for women through his proposed Dignity Act. “Our bill makes important changes to the way the federal prison system treats women and their families — including requiring the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to consider the location of children when selecting facilities for incarcerated parents, prohibiting the solitary confinement and shackling of pregnant women, and requiring the BOP to provide feminine hygiene products free of charge to incarcerated women,” he wrote.
Maye Musk, the model who raised Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is still fabulous at 69 — and shares how her children used their single mom’s work ethic to make billions. “When the kids were growing up, they learned to be independent. I told them as long as you’re doing something good, it’s worth pursuing,” she said. “That’s why I invested in them in the first place and gave them as much as I could for their first company, Zip2.”
Martha MacCallum, anchor of Fox News Channel’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” says that “if we live in a society that is stuck in victimhood, we will have lots of victims.” “Women should not fall back on ‘sexism’ unless they really feel that it’s happening. Don’t make that the first road you go down,” she wrote. “If you’re working for a sexist jerk, you have to leave. I did and I left at a time when I had no job to fall back on.”
Iskra Lawrence, a model and body positivity advocate, built her way up from “rock bottom.” After being told she was “too big to be a regular model and too small to be a plus-sized one,” she wrote, “I decided to change the narrative and redefine what modeling was: more than being a mere physical set of measurements. I set out to be the best version of myself, rather than compete with models I never could be like.”
Vanna White, the legendary co-host of “Wheel of Fortune,” gets paid to touch letters — but she’s also a businesswoman who flips houses and gives millions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “After I retire, I will probably do something philanthropic. But I have two more years on my current contract with ‘Wheel,’ and I’m not planning to go anywhere soon,” she wrote. “If I could do it forever, I would, because I do love my job.
Joy Reid, anchor of MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” recalls being criticized at a previous job for not smiling enough. “It was a woman boss who told me that and you realize that we sometimes internalize those same messages and put an undue burden on each other. You have to learn to do push back and be vocal,” wrote the cable TV host, who teaches a race, gender and media class at Syracuse University’s Newhouse in New York program. “We’re not required to come in and be soothing. Our job is be competent.”
Constance Schwartz Morini, co-founder and partner at SMAC Entertainment, faced nepotism and gender discrimination early in her career. One common example, she recalled, was her having to explain the job to a well-connected guy doing the same job for better pay. “I can’t blame them for being part of the lucky sperm club. Who’s to say I wouldn’t do the same?” she wrote. “But I wasn’t, so instead my game plan was an extra battery in my back and working 10 times harder so that my bosses had to promote me.”
Radhika Sanghani, a U.K.-based award-winning freelance journalist who writes for The Telegraph and the Guardian of London, has spent her entire life feeling insecure about her nose. Recently, she decided to break the big-nose taboo with a #sideprofileselfie social media campaign — and went viral. “To date, I’ve received thousands of photos and messages from women — and even some men — who tell me how my campaign has completely changed the way they feel,” she wrote.
Rachel Roy, a fashion designer and women’s rights advocate, wrote an open letter to her daughter sharing five things she wishes she’d known when she was 18. Lesson no. 1: Always make the choice that brings you peace. “No one at the end of their life ever said, ‘I wish I proved I was right more.’ No one at the end of their life ever said, ‘I wish I’d loved less,’” she said. “Life is very, very short and before you know it, decades will have passed.”
La La Anthony, a television personality, New York Times bestselling author, businesswoman, producer and actress, thinks women need to be respected, not liked. “I used to always want to be liked and not have anyone mad at me. But in life, to be respected is to be strong. Not everyone is going to like you, and I learned to be OK with that. Living in the public eye teaches you that every day,” Anthony wrote. “There’s no way everyone is going to agree with or like what you do.”
Cleo Wade, an Instagram poet and artist who’s been dubbed the “millennial Oprah,” preaches self love and addressing your own needs. “Maybe one of those needs is to have moments of solitude, which can be very powerful times in your life. Those moments of replenishment are what really take you the distance,” she said. “The more you know yourself and can dismantle your being and put it together with love, the better you become at choosing the relationships that serve you and help you to thrive.”
Lisa Vogl, an international fashion photographer and co-founder of the Verona Collection modest fashion brand, shares her struggles selling an Islamic brand in today’s climate while also raising two kids as a single mom. “There are days I feel like a bad mother because I have so much work on my plate, while also knowing I have to work for them,” she said. “Sometimes I want to give up, but I keep pushing forward for them and their future.”
Carol Bartz, a Cisco board member and former Yahoo! CEO, shares her views on the gender pay gap and how men get fired differently than women. “(T)hink about how I was fired from Yahoo. It was via a phone call. I was literally fired in a limo on my way to Manhattan. It was by the chairman of the board who was blocks away in his apartment and he didn’t even have the nerve to meet me in person,” she wrote. “That was something that would never have been done to a man.”
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