Ted Women – part two

 Yes can you believe it.  An unannounced speaker to TEDxWomen was none other than THE Barbara Streisand. Sure I think it is cool meeting celebrities, but Barbara is beyond a celebrity to me.  When I was a young girl I used to play her music, cradling the album cover in my hands, and sing to her.  “The Way We Were” could possibly be my fav film. Her and Robert Redford.  Remember that scene where he fell asleep at the bar and with those long fingers she pushed his hair aside. Magical.

She was at TED to talk about “Women and Heart Disease” and introduce Dr. Noel BaireyMerzis, the director of the Cedars-Sinair Women’s Heart Center.  That will be the topic of a future blog entry but suffice it to say it is the leading cause of death for women.  Let’s imagine for a minute that heart disease gets the attention and funding it deserves. Imagine.

My hat is off to Pat Mitchell for a truly spectacular day.  Spectacular. Last year in Washington was amazing but I have to say, this was better. The diversity of the speakers and performers was off the charts.  It ranged from the three girls who recently won the GOOGLE science awards, to the legendary Jane Fonda. Al told there were over 30 speakers and my head is exploding with after thoughts. If that were not enough Debbie Reynolds was at the Paley Center giving an intimate tour of her costume collection that was there for display and auction.  She is almost 80 years old and so charming, and funny, and well, just delightful.  It was indeed a very special day.

TED Women LA – The Conversation Continues

 

I am here in LA for TED x Women – The Conversation continues. The first session – Resilience- was great.  All the speakers were amazing but I truly connected with the words of Gayle Tzemach Lemmonis, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing editor-at-large for Newsweek Daily Beast.  I have had met Gayle and she is truly, the real deal.

 

Gayle has interviewed women that are economic and social agents of change around the world. A few quotes from her remarks in somewhat freeform…

We do not invest in victimes we invest in survivors. We must move beyond micro thinking for women. Women are an emerging market in emerging markets. We need to replace lofty words with the power of our wallets. Investing in women is not about doing good but about economic growth. We are 50% of the population and not a special interest group. Never import other people’s limitations. Women are not exceptions. We need to think Bigger.

Check out Gayle’s book – The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Women Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

For the full TED Women Schedule – click here

A shout out to the most incredible Pat Mitchell President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media.   She is hosting this event and is a co founder of TED Women.  I am so blessed to know some of the world’s most incredible women and Pat is most certainly at the top of that list.  She is a tireless supporter of women.  Tireless. Let us never lose hope in our goal to creating a more gender balanced world.

Deepak Chopra – The Soul Of Leadership

It was a pleasure and honor today to be interviewed by Deepak Chopra, the author of more than fifty-five books, including his latest one “The Soul of Leadership.”  This book, this interview, could not have come at a more important moment for me and is a perfect example of “Synchronicity.” In the book Mr. Chopra uses the acronym  L-E-A-D-E-R-S to provide us with a very practical guide to the development of these crucial skills. S is my favorite – Synchronicity. He defines it as “the unseen intelligence that puts you in the right place at the right time.” That has been the story of my life….

I chose to go the finance route in college because of a party I went to while visiting the school that was filled with commerce students. They convinced me that a business undergrad would be much more practical then a liberal arts one en route to law school.

In my junior year three amazing men decided to create a portfolio management program  at the University of British Columbia to give students the real life experience of running money.  Their generosity led to some incredible work experience, which contributed greatly to me being hired to Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 1988.

Of all the possible positions I could have been chosen for at Goldman I ended up in mortgage-backed trading where I became the youngest woman and first female trader.   People left at the right time to open up opportunities for me and thanks to amazing mentors my track was very short.

I became passionate about working on diversity and other human captial issues within the firm and the right people were there to make it happen. I truly loved that work and contributed greatly to know my second career, working for the advancement of women and girls around the world.

At the moment I was truly searching for a way to make a difference along came Women Moving Millions.  This initiative to encourage women to make gifts of a million helped me step in to my capacity, not only as a donor, but as a leader.

Now as Co-Chair of this brand new organization I will need all the crucial skills Mr. Chopra so beautifully lays out in his book.  He is encouraging us to be leaders that look and listen, that forge emotional bonds, that have a deep sense of awareness, that do, that empower others, and that accept responsibility.  Imagine our world if these were the characteristics of the leaders in government and business today.

I take this invitation to be on his show as a sign.  A sign that I am on the right path.  A sign that working full-out on the advancement of women and girls is indeed my calling.

The show will air tomorrow and you can find it via this link.

For those visiting because of the radio show please find below the links mentioned:

Women Moving Millions – Our new web-site is coming soon but this will provide an overview of who we are and what we do.

Women’s Funding Network – A Global Network of over 160 women’s foundations around the world.  Please consider supporting a local foundation of one that shares your interests and passions.

A Future Not a Past – To Stop the Child Prostitution of Children in Atlanta

Blessings and Peace.

* Sorry for the dated information – I am a former Vice Chair and current board member of the Women’s Funding Network.