Ava DuVernay: Women Need to be Each Other’s “Fan Girls”

Men are often defended by other men, Ava DuVernay said to the 10,000 women attending the 2019 Pennsylvania Conference for Women. Using the film industry as an example, she said: If criticism comes, so do “fan boys” who support the person being criticized by descending on the Internet to protect them.

Elizabeth Gilbert: On the Three Most Powerful Words a Woman Can Say

When she was 25 and had moved to New York City to pursue a career as a writer, Elizabeth Gilbert saw a woman in her neighborhood who seemed to be living her dream life: one of creativity that was not taken up by other day jobs. “She became my mentor. She didn’t know. We didn’t have the conversation. I just decided. And, what that meant in my world was that … [ more ]

Jesmyn Ward: Hold Fast to Your Oars

“I grew up in a poor, rural mostly black community in Mississippi,” Jesmyn Ward began her talk before the 10,000 women at the 2019 Pennsylvania Conference for Women. She was a child of cleaning women, bootleggers, factory workers and landscapers. Growing up, she thought the people around her lived the lives they did because of one colossal mistake: They did not choose a life of education. She did not yet … [ more ]

James Clear: If You Want to Make Big Changes, Think Small

When he was a teenager, James Clear got hit in the face with a bat during a baseball game. It took surgery and nearly nine months for him to be able to work on regaining basic functions, like walking in a straight line. And even then, he could only focus on developing one tiny new habit a time. But together, these tiny habits made a big difference—big enough that, in … [ more ]

theSkimm Co-founders: Progress Comes When Hearing “No” Starts to Lose its Meaning

Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg quit their jobs at the age of 25 to try to start a business together, despite having no business or fundraising experience. What they had was a perception: that millennials like them were not reading or watching the news because they were too busy, and it was not being delivered in a way that effectively appealed to them. They also had a plan: that they … [ more ]

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