Who Run The World… Buying Power? Girls!

Beyonce tells us that girls run the world. And I’d have to agree that is indeed quite true.

But what Beyonce’s powerful musical tribute didn’t explain is precisely how we do that. So as we approach the most expensive of holidays, not to mention a time of year for gathering around our family matriarchs and appreciating what we have, I’d like to share some fascinating statistics that spell this out a bit more.

Girls (or rather women) do in fact run the world, and here’s how:Women 80% Buying Power

Women in the US are projected to earn $14 trillion this year (2014), which is a whopping 50% higher from what they earned in 2011. And it’s expected to keep growing over the next 15 years until women control two-thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2030. Talk about show me the money!

Plus, women already make an average of 80% of all buying decisions. More specifically, we make 91% of home buying decisions, 80% of health care decisions, and 65% of new car decisions. And that’s just to name a few.

We’re not done there either. Beyond what women are projected to earn, we’re also expected to inherit 70% of the world’s wealth over the next 2 generations.

That’s a whole lot of financial power in the hands of the world’s fairer sex. So ladies, keep this in mind as you think about what this holiday season and the eve of 2015 means to you. And don’t be afraid to aim for more wealth and power yourself.

The numbers have spoken. It’s our destiny.

You can be a part of this change that is sweeping the nations of the world. You can be a Tough Cookie!

Source: Daily Worth

Meet the Ellen DeGeneres of Tech

Ever heard of big time Silicon Valley venture capitalist and business mogul Tim Draper? Well apparently the apple does not fall far from the tree, regardless of gender… or the gender dynamics of the whole orchard.The Valley Girl Show with Jesse Draper

Tim Draper’s daughter Jesse Draper has been making a major mark of her own in the tech world with her show, The Valley Girl Show.

Clearly, Jesse has as much pride in her Silicon Valley roots as her father, as well as in the people who make its most prominent industry go tick. But Jesse takes it one step further, ensuring that everyone in the tech industry gets an equal chance at the spotlight. Being a women in a man’s world herself, Jesse Draper has made it part of her mission to feature as many female as male guests on her show. She’s hosted the likes of both Elon Musk and Sheryl Sandberg.

The Valley Girl Show guest Sheryl SandbergBut that doesn’t mean she gives the women on her show any different of an experience. She treats each guest with equal parts respect and humor, every single time. She’s been known to make her guests do all kinds of silly and embarrassing things, like hula hoop, robot dance, or blow bubbles. In fact, you could call her the Ellen DeGeneres of tech. (She calls herself that anyway.)

Jesse inspiration for creating her show came about as she watched CNN and CNBC growing up, and noticed that the interviewed entrepreneurs were only grilled about the financial side of their business, and never shared anything about their inspiration or vision. So she started recording her own show 6 years ago in her parents’ garage, and has grown it into a must-see program on Fox TV today.

What’s more, this Tough Cookie mogul also founded an angel investment fund called Valley Girl Ventures to provide early-stage investing to more women-run businesses, something she feels is dearly lacking. And she also organizes networking events for professional women all across the country. As Jesse says, “I see younger men just putting themselves out there . . . For women, it’s a learned confidence.”

Well I’m excited to see another Tough Cookie out there encouraging more women to be confident, put themselves out there and grab life by the balls.

Perhaps Jesse is also related to wildly successful advertising mogul Don Draper. OK obviously not. But then… it wouldn’t be a terribly hard picture to imagine.

Source: Fast Company

Ladies, Ellevate Yourselves!

Sallie KrawcheckMeet Sallie Krawcheck – one of “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business”, multiple times over. Her stellar resume includes posts like CEO of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., CEO of Citigroup’s Smith Barney unit, CFO of Citigroup Inc, and President of the global wealth & investment management division at Bank of America. But after over 20 years on Wall Street, Krawcheck needed something new and more fulfilling.

So she hopped over to professional women’s networking organization 85 Broads in 2011 and took up the reins there, growing its revenue by 100% in her first year. Then last month, the indomitable Krawcheck decided to relaunch and rebrand 85 Broads to become Ellevate. The organization has 34,000 members and counting, and has also begun some new initiatives to keep the power growing.

Besides this rebranding, Sallie Krawcheck is also partnering with Pax World Management to create the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund (PXWEX) — an index fund that focuses on investing in companies who have women in board seats or senior management positions. As the Fund puts it themselves,

“This Fund is the first of its kind – and is the only mutual fund in the United States that focuses on investing in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women’s leadership.”

How awesome is it that this Tough Cookie Krawcheck is out there promoting that very fact, and showing the world what we women can do?

Let’s take a page out of her book and start investing in the future of our fellow womenkind. Let’s step up and believe in our own abilities to lead and direct and chief executive officiate.

Let’s be Tough Cookies too!

Source: DailyWorth

How Bitcoin Empowers Afghan Women

So I’ve talked briefly before about how amazing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general are. But I haven’t really explained enough about why, or how much they can really change the world.

You see, Bitcoin has enormous potential to revolutionize everything about how we save and exchange value, and really, how we live and thrive as human beings. This is particularly true for people in the developing world, who struggle with rights as basic as earning a living and being able to keep what they earn.

In Afghanistan, this is especially difficult for women, where social and economic barriers prohibit women from gaining an education and earning their own income. Even if they do manage to earn any money, it’s in cash, which can be incredibly dangerous for women to carry on them as they walk home. And then once they get home, the family often takes most of what they earned, and the women have no way of making sure they get to keep it for themselves.

Womens Annex Foundation classroomThat is, until now – until Bitcoin and a company called the Women’s Annex Foundation (WAF). This revolutionary non-profit organization offers computer labs for women to share their skills and knowledge around blog writing, software development, video production and social media, and earn Bitcoin in return for their work, along with free Web access in a safe place, and a chance to further their education with each other. As co-founder Fereshteh Forough says,

“We want to teach the girls how they can use education combining the tools that they have – social media and technology – and create their own sustainable economy.”

In Afghanistan, WAF has over 2,000 users who are paid in Bitcoin. And the beauty with Bitcoin is that there is no bank or central authority the girls need to deposit it into in order to keep it safe and have access to the funds. The user holds all the ownership themselves, and doesn’t need any third party approval or anyone else to set up a Bitcoin wallet. Before these women would have had to open a bank account, requiring extensive documentation and often legal guardian approval as well, making it all too easy for others to control the funds in their accounts.

But now with Bitcoin, these women can keep total, totally secret control of the money they earn at WAF. They get paid almost instantly to their Bitcoin wallets, with lower fees than with a bank account, and with more control and privacy. As Matthew Kenahan, an active member of the Bitcoin community and big supporter of WAF adds,

“If the WAF can provide a platform in which women can have their own income – a platform which pays out in bitcoin, a truly pseudonymous protocol which can truly conceal the identity, I think that we have the potential to really shake things up.”

Bitcoin is immensely empowering for these women. And WAF is helping that empowerment take a big step in the right direction. But there is still so much further to go, and so much more than can be achieved. Fereshteh Forough has a vision of what this could look like, and how Bitcoin can continue to drive this change.Womens Annex Foundation computer lab

“It’s the concept of digital citizenship, or communication without borders, and that’s how technology empowers people. I always wanted to have this for women in Afghanistan – to be powered using education and technology.”

Bitcoin means independence and empowerment for these women – the ability to earn and own their own education and income. And that is truly a remarkable thing. It’s a lot of responsibility and self-reliance. But for many of these women, that’s something they’ve been starved for and longing to have. We here in the developed world may not understand quite as acutely how hard it can be to not have these basic human rights. But for these women in Afghanistan, it’s been a long time coming. And now, with today’s incredible advances in technology and digital currency, it’s within their grasp.

After all, WAF’s motto is “No politics, just Internet”.

Source: CoinDesk

The Other Woman in Cryptocurrency

Woman in BitcoinAfter writing that post about Crypto Moms, I came across this piece on Pursuing Nothing and immediately sympathized with the writer’s plight. Like me, she is not actually a mom, or anyone’s wife, and therefore doesn’t relate to the few emerging organizations that try to encourage women to get more involved in bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

But you don’t have to be a mom or a wife to get into this stuff.

Take me for example. I’m not even that technically-oriented. I did used to work at Google, but in sales and advertising. Now I’m a filmmaker and executive producer of multimedia news company Money & Tech. It’s been through that medium that I’ve learned to love this magical world of cryptocurrency. And despite having zero background in programming or computer science or cryptography, and despite being a wife or mother of any sort – I’ve managed to develop a decently solid understanding of digital currencies like bitcoin and the technology behind them.

It’s some incredible stuff! And it’s a shame more women aren’t getting into it too. So I’m all for any ways we can try to encourage that more – be it CryptoMoms.com or Thebitcoinwife.com. But there has got to be a way for women like me, who don’t identify with either of those, to feel welcome in the bitcoin community.

Like  says in her Pursuing Nothing piece, my value isn’t only in my purchasing power. I’m a smart, capable human being who has a lot to contribute to this emerging industry, which is exactly what Sarah and I are both doing.

So how about it Tough Cookies – won’t you join us?

Source: Pursuing Nothing

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Crypto Moms!

Now I’m not a mother, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be. But regardless, I love what the Crypto Moms are doing. I’ve talked before about Bitcoin: why it’s so incredible and revolutionary, and why we women need to be more involved in helping drive that forward.

Crypto MomsWell, that’s exactly what the moms behind Cryptomoms.com are doing. It’s not hard to understand that for digital currency to become truly mainstream, the huge gender imbalance must be corrected, since women control more than 50% of consumer purchasing power.

And it’s not just for moms either. Crypto Moms is a site dedicated to all women interested in digital currency. As they say on their website, their mission is

to encourage and assist women to participate in the emerging world of crypto currency overwhelmingly dominated by men.

That sure sounds like a group of Tough Cookies to me!

Source: CoinReport (https://coinreport.net/cryptomoms-increase-female-involvement/)

Source: Bitcoin PR Buzz (http://bitcoinprbuzz.com/bringing-cryptocurrency-to-women-worldwide-cryptomoms-com-launches-with-3-million-dnotes-giveaway/)

Ladies, Bitcoin is Awesome!

Bitcoin survey on genderAccording to the latest of Lui Smyth’s Simulacrum new online survey of Bitcoin users, about 93% of all users of the cryptocurrency are male. Now it may not be a terribly representative sample, but it still is a strong indicator.

As Bitcoin enthusiast Arianna Simpson said, “If women fail to take an active interest in Bitcoin now, when it is still in its infancy and its potential is largely untapped, we will have yet another sector in which the gender is underrepresented and trailing.”

As the Chief Content Officer and Executive Producer of Money & Tech, I’m driven to tell the story behind the incredible innovations we are seeing in financial tech and digital currency right now. How people are reacting to it, what it means for us as a global community and economy, and who is helping drive it forward into the future.

But at the same time, my path and my passion are also (and have always have been) about the strength and presence of women in arenas where we are less represented, which is just as true of filmmaking as it is of tech and (even more so) the digital currency community.

I’ve forged my career so far by tackling industries commonly dominated by men – including filmmaking, tech, and even wildland firefighting – proving that women can be just as strong, powerful and nerdy.

I’ve shown that women can be leaders on the edge of exciting new horizons. And that’s pretty much where we are now with digital currency and its foundational technology of the distributed decentralized ledger. I think we’ve only just tapped the surface of what is possible, and the effect this can have on us, our lives, the global economy, and the way we interact and exchange value as human beings.

In fact, that’s precisely what I talk about on the Bitcoin panel at the San Francisco BIL conference back in early March. This is a fascinating moment in history to be on the front lines of. It’s pretty exciting stuff!

So c’mon ladies, don’t be intimidated! Let’s take on this big techie world of cryptocurrency together. It’s about time Bitcoin got a woman’s touch, don’t you think?

Let’s give Bitcoin a taste of our Tough Cookie!

One Bad Ass Economist

Economist Susan AtheyIf you haven’t heard of Susan Athey, you should go read about her right now… or at least, right after you read this anyway. 🙂 First, let’s take a moment to review her beyond impressive resume.

Susan Athey earned not one, but three bachelor’s degrees in economics, mathematics, and computer science from Duke University at the age of 20. She then went on to promptly get her Ph.D. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business at the age of 24.

She then began a very successful career in academia, rising up through the ranks at MIT and then at Stanford – earning tenure as a professor at both universities.

But if that wasn’t cool enough, possibly her most impressive achievement is this: She was the first female to be awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, a super prestigious medal awarded annually by the American Economic Association to economists under 40 who:

“have made a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge”

And of the first 17 economists awarded this medal, 11 went on to win the Nobel Prize Award. That’s some stepping stone! Not only did the American Economic Association decide Susan Athey had made such a contribution, they also found her the first woman to deserved this honor.

Now I won’t say what their thinking might have been for all those years when no women were awarded this medal. But whatever standards or glass ceiling they may have (consciously or unconsciously) placed over this accolade, Susan Athey shattered them right open.

Now that’s a Tough Cookie!

I had the privilege of meeting this incredible woman at the recent CoinSummit conference in San Francisco. I love that as Chief Content Officer and Producer of financial tech news media company Money & Tech (aka my day job), I get to attend a lot of these events and meet the top minds in tech, finance and economics.

Watch the CoinSummit interview with Susan Athey that I produced for Money & Tech – http://www.moneyandtech.com/susan-athey-coinsummit/ Susan Athey on Money & Tech

The Fed Will Be Lead by a Woman!

Janet YellenThis is truly a day made in history. Today, Monday Jan 6, 2014, Janet Yellen was confirmed as the first woman to end the all-male streak of chairs in the ultimate old boys’ club — the country’s central bank. For the first time in its 100 year history, the Federal Reserve bank will be chaired by a woman. This is also the first time we’ve had a Democratic chairperson since 1979 (with Paul Volcker).

This means, we’ll finally have a woman at the helm of the organization that regulates banking and monetary policy in the United States and, in many ways, the world’s. That’s a whole lotta power for one lady. But if anyone can handle it, Yellen can!

Yellen also knows how to use her womanly powers to win over a crowd and rock an interview. In her November confirmation hearings, she won over the panel of senators by pledging to keep a firm hand on the big bank practices that lead to the economic crisis of 2009 and to implement regulations designed to prevent further shenanigans.

“Too many Americans still can’t find a job and worry how they’ll pay their bills and provide for their families,” she said. “The Federal Reserve can help if it does its job effectively.”

Plus, she has a pretty impressive resume, including serving as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton, and as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 2004 to 2010. And if all that weren’t enough, she also had the backing of President Barack Obama.

Once she is officially sworn in, we’ll get to watch this formidable woman tackle the incredibly challenging and reputation-making decisions on how long the Fed can prop up the nation’s fragile recovery without upsetting the markets.

“This program can’t continue indefinitely,” Yellen said. “And I look forward to leading when the time is appropriate for normalizing.”

Well our hats and our hopes go with you, Ms Yellen. And we can’t wait to see where you lead our country. You go, Tough Cookie!

The Lady Leading Lloyd’s of London

Inga Beale of LloydsThis January, Lloyd’s of London will put Inga Beale, a woman, at their helm for the first time in its 325-year history. This is a really big deal, but not just for Lloyd’s, but for the much much larger boy’s club that dwarfs and encompasses Lloyd’s at the same time…

I’m talking about London itself, the city where studies show that 80 percent of financial services workers are male.

But then I have to hand it to them. London has actually been making some pretty awesome waves this year in this department. Earlier this year, they named Fiona Woolf their second ever female lord mayor. And after that, the Bank of England named Charlotte Hogg their first woman COO.

And Beale is quite a woman though, and earned this well-deserved, ground-breaking honor. She’s paid her dues and paved her way with 30 years of industry experience, including executive posts at Canopius Group, Zurich Insurance Company and Converium Ltd.

So here’s to Inga Beale! Or should I say, pip pip darling!

Hurrah for Tough Cookies on every side of the pond!