So many firsts 🥇

Clapping for these women making waves and building wealth 🚀

🔥Welcome to episode 12 of The Upgrading Women Newsletter 

I’m your editor, Rebecca Leppard, a feminist and communications nerd who used to have a serious crush on an Italian footballer. How serious, you ask? It ruined my whole weekend when I saw his picture with his wife and kids in sports section in the newspaper.

This was in the late 90s, so I couldn’t have stalked him on Instagram. I had to wait until the newspaper decided to feature him, and fans like me were at the mercy of the reporter and whether or not they would discuss personal stuff in the article.

Now in 2023, public figures are their own publicist and a “nobody” can easily be a celebrity.

So when I moved to England in the middle of the pandemic as a nobody, I decided that I could sculpt my personal brand and be known for something.

My only UK LinkedIn connection was my sister-in-law AND she barely used it 😆 although she’s on Facebook a lot. I basically started with zero social capital in 2021.

I plan to share all that in our soon-to-be launched club Girl Brand. Come and be on the waitlist!

Enjoy this week’s reading, ladies. 🎉
💪You’re supporting this Barbie to support other Barbies 👛

A LOT happened recently:
England made it to the final of FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1966

And it ain’t thanks to the male ballers ⚽️. It’s the Lionesses that secured the podium place by winning 3-1 against Australia’s Matildas.

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Image

Another first in a while: an all-female MTV Artist of The Year since 2017

Billboard reported that this is the first time that two nominees come from the world of Latin music. The first Latin artist to be nominated in this category was Bad Bunny who won last year. Yay!

And this news came after a glorious report (and loads of memes!) about how Margot Robbie, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé basically carry the world’s economy on their backs. New York Times reported how much America spent on Tay’s and Bey’s live concerts this summer.

Photo from Vanity Fair

A baby is born from a transplanted uterus

For the first time outside a clinical trial, a woman has given birth to a healthy baby born from a transplanted uterus. This has given me hope for women because this means there are now more ways to bring home a baby. (I was medically classified as geriatric pregnant mother at 36!)

Anyway, this lady, Mallory, was born without a uterus, a condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, and was told she would never be able to carry a child. Now, 18 months after the uterus transplant and a subsequent embryo transplant, she welcomed a baby boy.

A woman in Texas won her revenge porn lawsuit and was awarded $1.2bn

Yass! This case will be a good precedent for future cases.

Reading the message that her ex-boyfriend allegedly sent will drive us mad 😡
"You will spend the rest of your life trying and failing to wipe yourself off the internet. Everyone you ever meet will hear the story and go looking. Happy Hunting."

Now go invest that billion, girl! 🤌🏾
As Beyoncé says: best revenge is your paper 📊

The BBC reported that in 2016, around 10 million Americans reported being victims of non-consensual (revenge) porn. Many of them were women aged 18 to 29, according to a study at the time by the Data & Society Research Institute.


Update from around the world:
Colonised countries get stuff back

The Associated Press has reported that two Dutch museums are handing hundreds of cultural artefacts back to Indonesia and Sri Lanka — from a richly decorated cannon to precious metals and jewellery — that were taken, often by force, in the colonial era.

The government announced in July the planned restitution of 478 “cultural objects”. Some Western nations are returning looted artefacts and other objects as part of a reckoning with their brutal colonial histories.

A Berlin museum announced in January it is ready to return hundreds of human skulls from the former German colony of East Africa. In 2021, France said it was returning statues, royal thrones and sacred altars taken from the West African nation of Benin. And last year, Belgium returned a gold-capped tooth belonging to the slain Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba.

Photo of the Cannon of Kandy which originated from Sri Lanka is from Rijksmuseum

Australian museum is also in the bandwagon. They are returning stolen Cambodian artefacts.

All in all, it’s a virtue-signalling move, and I’m waiting for the actual equity kicks in. For example: people from colonised countries should be free to visit their former colonisers without applying or paying for a visa. You know, just like they did to the native countries. What do you think? Fair enough?

A message from a communications nerd:
You don’t need to CONVINCE your audience

Have CONVICTION about your brand, and the audience will get the message. Here’s a cool old magazine ad for Rolex kindly shared by the Marketing Millenial newsletter.

BTW, AdWeek just announced that in 2021, 73% of agency leaders were white, and last year 90% of us were white.

Here’s how you can fight that backward trend: hire 👏 Upgrading Women 👏, this impact-led agency is owned and operated by a brown mother of three from the Third World 💃🏽 and she kicks harder than her 🙍🏼‍♂️ pale, male and stale counterparts.

💰 A woman AND a creative worker?
Build your portfolio website with Pixpa and find a gig on Creatively.

Stop making excuses 🙅🏾‍♀️

Yes I agree that there are so many social media platforms. But did we ever complain that there are too many magazines, newspapers, and radio and TV stations? Yet, people to this day would be so proud if they’re featured in mass media and post the clip on… social media!

So the question is not about the platform but how you utilise it to the best of your ability to achieve your branding goals.

Yes producing media is a full-time job. Sometimes I wish I did hadn’t started this newsletter!

But if you ask me what is the bare minimum of resources for you to produce without hiring a social media manager here it is:
💜 Canva: get the premium account cos it’s worth more than the price tag. If you want to go splitsie with your bestie and get the team account with a flat price for five accounts. It’s not Netflix, each of you can be distributed across the globe and it will be fine.

💜 Riverside FM: start with the free plan for two hours of super-high-quality audio and video, then once you build enough airtime you can upgrade to premium account. The premium account will give you automated clips from your podcast. AI will recognise each topic of the conversation and clip them for you accordingly so you can post them right away, including the closed caption.

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

📣 Founding Members pay £47 (or $57) once for a lifetime subscription, while club members pay monthly. Save a sh*tload of money by joining the waitlist for a limited-seat Founding Membership today!

If you’re on the fence, just taste this delicious freebie of THREE months of carousel template for your LinkedIn. Is it re-purposable for TikTok and Instagram sliders too? 🤌🏾 Yes of course: who has the time to reinvent the wheel! 🥨

Click the image above to get the file

How she’s done it 💅🏿

Imagine being a girl in a developing country in the 90s and never touching a computer. Until one day, as a 13-year-old, you win a school contest and are selected to be in a computer programming class.

Then the story continues when you get a scholarship to study computer science in America in 2002, just after the dotcom bubble crash. You then intern at Apple, and of course you got a job at Microsoft as a product engineer for Excel. You work your way up and get a VP position at Salesforce.

Soon enough you are promoted to lead its subsidiary: Slack.

That was the origin story of Lidiane Jones.
That is why we need more vocational programmes for young girls.
That is why I support women in tech, not because it’s lucrative but because it’s crucial for the future of society.

Inspect her 📲 gadget

Something to add to your tech stack: MYOOVI.

Let’s cancel period cramps 👊🏽
I have never tried this device myself but that’s because I had surgery for my endometriosis. Now most of us aren’t even diagnosed with it yet we all suffer 😣from the symptoms and cope with painkillers, month in, month out.

Can we agree that MYOOVI, and other femtech products, are going to give women even more power? I mean, if we can win triathlons while bleeding, what can stop us now? 👑

Photo from Myoovi website

What to enjoy next week

📕 AOC: The Fearless Rise and Powerful Resonance of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by Lynda Lopez
The title says it all and it delivered! I also recommend that you follow AOC on social media. She breaks down what’s happening in government, policymaking and how it affects the day to day life of her people. I wish more politicians do this.

🎙 Gutful: What to Eat for a Happy Gut with Dr Joanna McMillan
We know now that our gut is our second brain. So it’s a no brainer 😉 that we need to find out how to make our gut happy. And I love that she is not encouraging any extreme diet or extreme anything at all!

🍿 The Americans by Joseph Weisberg
I didn’t live through the Cold War but watching spy drama is my favourite escapism. The writing, casting and production value of this series did not disappoint. It gives me thrills!

🎪 I am celebrating my 40th birthday by hanging out with the marketing community. I’ll be speaking about leadership in agency life at the Business of Marketing Summit. Here’s my gift to you: free ticket for all.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

Did you know that forwarding this newsletter to someone in your network to subscribe will add to your good Karma abundantly? 🤍

See you next Thursday. LOL!