Yummy mummies!

These mothers are serving delicious achievements every day!

🎉 Welcome to episode 16 of The Upgrading Women Newsletter 

I’m your editor, Rebecca Leppard, a feminist and communications nerd who simply loooves MSG in her food despite it being demonised by the media.

And recently I read on NPR that umami is now considered a primary taste – alongside sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. NPR’s Yuki Noguchi wanted to learn what makes this complex taste – and is the only one where smell plays a part. She found years of racist resistance from Western cultures tied to MSG myths, but now we know that umami is everywhere!

If anyone wants to try proper savoury taste, come to mine and I’ll cook for you!

Enjoy this episode, ladies. ✌🏽

What happened recently:

Mexico will have its first female president!

Xochitl Galvez (L), Claudia Sheinbaum (R). Photo from REUTERS/Henry Romero

When Mexican presidential contenders Claudia Sheinbaum and Xochitl Galvez entered politics at the start of the century, more than four in five senators in the country were men. Today, most are women. Hurray!

The rise of Sheinbaum, who has been named the ruling party's candidate for next year's presidential election, and Galvez, the opposition contender, is the result of a rapid process of female inclusion in politics in the country.

"Just imagine having a female president in a country as macho as Mexico!" said Maria del Carmen Garcia, 70, a secretary who said women's pay needs to catch up with men's.

The latest polls suggest either former Mexico City Mayor Sheinbaum, the current favourite and candidate of leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or Galvez, a businesswoman-turned senator, are likeliest to win the election.

Source: Reuters

Women can be in the men’s game too!

Exhibit A 👆🏾
Former Irish rugby player and captain Joy Neville made history when she was the television match official in the game between Italy and Namibia at the 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup.

Neville represented Ireland at both the 2006 and 2010 Women's Rugby World Cups, and in 2013 she was a member of the first Irish women's team to win the Six Nations Championship.

Exhibit B 👇🏿
For the first time at the FIFA World Cup, female referees will officiate men’s games. Six women will take the pitch in Qatar, including Japan’s Yamashita Yoshimi in the picture below.

For the first time: an all-Black gymnastic podium

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

For the first time ever, Black women claimed the top three spots at the @USAGym Championships! I'm so proud of Konnor, Shilese, and Jordan for not only making history—but showing little Black girls everywhere that anything is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself.

Michelle Obama via X

No Worries If Not!

Speaking of game, here’s a satirical one for you! Based on real-life setbacks and the pitfalls of daily life, it’s a game about the “game” women hate playing: people-pleasing, overthinking, multitasking, over-apologising, and so bloody on. Sounds… fun, right? Nope. The rule of the game is very much like the story of my life.

  • Play with a group of 2-4 friends and try to be the first to reach Everyone’s Happy and No One’s Mad Land.

  • Navigate the (doomed) paths of Judgment Junction, Self-Doubt Spiral, You Look Tired Triangle, and more!

  • Make some power plays and try not to get knocked off track before the time is up.

Oh here’s another kicker: it’s been sold out already. So, no worries if not!
Anyway when asked why self-care brand Billie launched this limited edition, its answer was:
At Billie, we believe the world is a better place when women don't have to face constant judgment—on their appearance, choices, or existence. We want to make room for women to make their own rules, create new routines that truly serve them, and shake off the old pressures. Usually we make body products—this time we made a board game.

Update from around the world:

South Korea: Lesbian couple welcomes child in historic first

Kim Kyu-jin and her wife, Kim Sae-yeon (ConnectU)

As Choi Jeong-Yun reported in The Korea Herald: Kim and her wife’s journey to becoming parents was rockier than they had anticipated.

Their domestic options were limited with sperm banks limited to heterosexual married couples with fertility issues, while France where fertility treatment for non-heterosexual couples and single women is legal was experiencing a shortage of donor sperm. Kim and her wife found an alternative in Belgium.

Japan’s snowy beach is worth a visit!

This literal wonder of a beach is located in San’in Kaigan Geopark, which was declared a Japanese Geopark in 2008 and a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2010. Located in the west of Japan on Hokkaido Island, the geopark contains an immense diversity of geological sites that are related to the formation of the Sea of Japan.

The frozen features are delivered to the beach due to the punishing winds that blow drift ice, frozen chunks of freshwater, from the far-off Amur River to the beach at certain times of the year. The snow and ice arrive at the beach primarily between late January and early February, overtaking the beach and sea with a series of mini-bergs. Cute! So now you know where to go in 2024!

A message from a communications nerd:
AI is here for good

Believe it or not, the Internet used to be called a fad. In fact, the dotbom bubble burst when Gen Z was a baby.

Back then, the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, the first buttonless phone, divided the world into iPhone adopters, Blackberry loyalists and Nokia patriots.

And now that we’ve finally calmed down from the ChatGPT frenzy I’d like to invite you to embrace AI in your everyday lives including, but not limited to, streamlining your operations and marketing your brand.

By 2030, 80% of marketing will be AI augmented. All that AI-powered marketing buzz — isn’t it just hype? It’s here for good. Take it from those who’ve adopted AI: 70% of companies saw a revenue increase and 28% saw cost reductions. With Google AI, you can analyze, predict, and generate the most relevant ads at speed and scale. This lets you satisfy customers’ billions of searches daily, 15% of which are entirely new.

Google’s Sapna Chadha, VP of SEA and South Asia Frontier

In case you’re in search of beautiful, kind, empathetic marketers who genuinely want to help you communicate your message better, check us out. In the meantime, you’re welcome to devour UN’s Sustainable Fashion Communication Playbook!

Click the image to join the masterclass.

💰 A woman AND mother in business?

The Mama Ladder helps ambitious motherpreneurs grow their business. This is an international grant programme. Mothers who own businesses, from any country, are welcome to apply!

Eligibility for the autumn 2023 grant are:

  • You are a mother/caregiver of human child(ren) of all ages. If your children are adults, we say: “Once a mom, always a mom.” This grant also welcomes first-time expecting moms, stepmoms, and foster moms.

  • You own at least 50% of a for-profit product or service-based business and are serious about growth.

  • You can verify earning business revenue in the past 12 months.

  • You know the WHY behind your business, and will share it with the world.

See the other #HighFiveGrant examples and apply now because applications close September 30.

Why am I opening
Girl Brand Content Club?

My marketing agency, Marketing Women, get inquiries every day and it breaks my heart when I see a female entrepreneur having to choose between chicken and egg… sales first or marketing first? Just like this lady who owns a homemade bakery 👇🏿

That the push I needed to take this idea seriously. I need to bridge the gap. I need to create a space with

💜 Free tools, templates and tutorials

💜 Monthly co-working day to batch-create content with your fellows

💜 Ask-Me-Anything-Anytime on our Slack group

💜 Opportunities to collaborate with other members to boost each others brand presence

Wouldn’t you want to be there with me?
I’m closing the Early Adopter membership 30 September.
Sign up now to save 25%!
It’s £47 per quarter as an Early Adopter Member.
It will be £47 per month after 30 September.

👆🏾 I’m in, girl 🤍

💜 Girl Brand is where you get
🙋‍♀️ Daily post inspiration and engagement
🙋‍♀️ Best-practice insights from our chief strategist
🙋‍♀️ Regular live, global co-working sessions (remote working can be lonely!)

How she’s done it 💅🏿

She is a 38-year-old mother of three.
She was born and raised in Israel.
She has a black belt in both karate and krav maga.
She was Miss Israel 2004 before she served in the military.
She kept losing parts to other actresses.
She was pregnant when she star as lead in action film, Wonder Woman.
She will be the first Israeli to receive a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
She and her husband ran a hotel in Tel-Aviv, which then sold for $26 million
She teamed up with co-founder and CEO, Jen Zeszut, to innovate comfort food and make it also nutritious food: Goodles.
Her name is Gal Gadot.

💼 That is proof that careers are not a straight path
📍 You can succeed no matter which postcode you’re born in.
🐣 You can diversify. Ignore those who say “Stay in your lane!”

Love = charity

With the Awesome Socks Club, you get a different pair of socks designed by a different independent artist every month. Plus, every dollar of profit goes to help build healthcare systems in impoverished communities.

Photo from Good Store Instagram page

All of the profits from Awesome Socks Club goes to a charitable organisation that is working to decrease maternal and child mortality in Sierra Leone, a West African country with the world’s highest maternal mortality rate.

Inspect her 📲 gadget: Lyft

If you live where ride-sharing app Lyft operates then you’ll want to keep using Lyft because now women and non-binary drivers in select cities can turn on Women+ Connect to increase their chances of matching with more women and non-binary riders.

 Good vibes.
 Comfortable silence.
 A nod that says "I get it."
 Conversations that turn into friendships.

I am all for it! Good job, Lyft! 👍

What to enjoy next week

📕Diary of A CEO by Steven Bartlett
For us in the UK, he needs no introduction but like towards many young, rich male entrepreneurs, I had my doubts about him. But I bought the book last week and now at halfway through it I can confidently recommend it to you. The 33 laws of business and life that he curated from research and interviews are worth listening to. 

🎙 Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
I must admit I got introduced to a lot of phenomenal people because Dax and his producer, Monica Padman, brings in not only A-list celebrities but also A-list experts from Jane Goodall to Malcolm Gladwell.

🍿 Mother Inferior with Christina P
Nearly every single joke was like… words out of my mouth! Her take on motherhood, marriage and having a useless university degree are lit. Honestly maybe my next career move is to follow her footsteps to become a stand-up comic.

Was it worth a read?

Then pay it forward. Share this with a girl who will absolutely love this newsletter! Forward it to her to subscribe and the universe will reward you with good Karma abundantly? 🤍

See you next Thursday. LOL!