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  • 💘 Stop! Pinkwashing is not Barbie doing laundry 💗

💘 Stop! Pinkwashing is not Barbie doing laundry 💗

Hyped up by these women making waves and building wealth 🚀

Welcome to episode 7 of The Upgrading Women Newsletter 🔥

I’m your editor, Rebecca Leppard, a feminist and communications nerd who grew up not knowing a woman without a career. My mother, aunts and grandmothers all worked office jobs, some in hotel and hospital settings. So I’m quite lucky to have been exposed to the various types of jobs women can do.

But why is it still a debate as to whether or not a woman can do a job? And why is it so hard to pay us equally?

Forbes published its list of 2023 Self-made Women in the US and, no, the list isn’t made up of just celebrities but also:
🍓 Diane Hendricks, who increased the revenue of ABC Supply, one of the largest wholesale distributors of roofing, siding and windows in the US, by 25% last year

🍓Lisa Su, who’s been in tech longer than Silicon Valley has been trendy, 30X’d Advance Micro Devices’ stock price in a decade

🍓 Iman Abuzeid MD, who founded Incredible Health, which is basically LinkedIn for nurses. If you know a nurse, tell her to join the platform!

Two of those three are women of colour, and all three are in male-dominated industries.

I’ll just leave it at that.

Enjoy the episode, ladies  🎉

What happened last week: Michelle Yeoh and Billy Jean King were listed in the Hollywood Walk of Fame class of 2024 🙌🏽

You’re never too old! Just in case you need a refresher, Billie Jean King won tennis’s Battle of the Sexes in the 1970s, cementing acceptance for women to play tennis competitively. Here’s a video of her aged 79 at Wimbledon 2023.

How she’s done it 💅🏾: Iman Abuzeid MD

I think she is the Beyoncé of tech 🐝 She was the co-founder and CEO of Incredible Health in 2017, helping to solve hiring problems in healthcare. She is the daughter of a Sudanese surgeon living in Saudi Arabia. She earned her medical degree in the UK before working as a consultant in the US. In August 2022, Incredible Health was valued at US$1.65 billion, making her one of the few Black female founders to run a company worth more than a billion dollars.

What we can learn from her:

  1. Learn to see the supply and demand dynamics of your product. Iman designed the marketplace as a seller’s market unlike LinkedIn. She gave nurses the power to choose their employers and rightly so, because a shortage of nurses kills. Literally.

  2. When you see a space between supply and demand, produce the supply! She bridged the gap between job vacancies and talent by offering free premium continuing education, creating fresh new certified nurses.

  3. Don’t wait: assert yourself as an industry thought leader by producing content consistently. Read one of her articles in Forbes about nursing careers.

Photo by Anasta Siiasapon/Forbes

News from around the world: single ladies making waves!

👩🏾‍⚕️ Who can we expect to single-handedly take care of 13,000 people in a pandemic? A female doctor! As published on the BBC, when she’s not being mistaken as a high-school student, she receives death threats for enforcing COVID quarantine. She’s amazing!

BTW, if you, like me, did not even know that there’s a gorgeous archipelago called Agutaya in the Philippines, I’ll save you a Google search: here are the top things to do on the islands.

Photo by Virma Simonette/BBC

💃🏽 Who parties when divorces happen? Women in Mauritania! As published in The New York Times, divorce parties are a way to announce and celebrate a new status. Nejwa El Kettab, a sociologist who studies women in Mauritania, found that compared with other Muslim countries, women there are free and can pursue a “matrimonial career”. Read the full story here.

Photo by Laura Boushnak/New York Times

💰 Side hustling? Marie will teach you how to make money online

I found her account recently and she is already giving me so many ideas to ‘kaching kaching!’ 

A message from a communications nerd:

🤥 WTH is pinkwashing?

You know that greenwashing is brand stunts to be seen as environmentally friendly on the surface, right? Pinkwashing is its cousin about being LGBTQ inclusive. And of course there’s also purplewashing for saying that a brand supports women yet the company is holding the glass ceiling secure. In short, all of these washings are BS that brands use to appear altruistic.

So how do we ensure that our communications are not full of 💩?

🌈 Back it up with numbers. Flags, squares and banners mean nothing without actual progress.
🌈 Understand that affirmative action is not the same as tokenism. Hiring diverse talent without including them in policy making is empty.
🌈 Make it a conscious decision to break biases every single day. You cannot reverse centuries of bad moves in one swoop but 1% of improvements made daily have a compounding effect that will last for generations.

LinkedIn updated its algorithm!

I said it last week and I’ll say it again. This time with tips.

LinkedIn is like a global digital co-working space. While it’s cool to have water-cooler conversations at the pantry, the ones getting attention are the talks held at the gallery. Therefore:
Don’t post for the sake of posting
Generic content from generative AI won’t cut it anymore
Writing a drive-by comment like “great post!” is worth nothing

This challenge sparked an idea for me to build Girl Brand, a content club, where we can all hype each other up posting authentic educational stories. Nope, it is not an engagement pod 🤮

Inside the club you’ll get access to:
🦋 Free tool tips
🦋 Daily post ideas
🦋 Best-practice insights from yours truly
🦋 Regular live, global co-working session (remote working can be lonely!)

📣 Join the waitlist to be a Founding Member here.

Featured Female Founder

Reading the Glowreel newsletter inspired me to publish this newsletter. So when I got to interview the founder, Shilpa Bhim, I have to share it with you. Also, I have an insider info that Shilpa is building a new beauty marketplace: ARtist by Glowreel. She built it as an antidote to the TikTok filter dysmorphia.

That’s what SHE said:

So are you a first-generation immigrant born in New Zealand? Tell me more about your heritage.

Yes. I am of full Indian descent. My parents actually grew up in Fiji, which ties back to the British colonial times. So a lot of Indian people went off to different parts of the world to undertake indentured labour for the British. That's the long story short of how my family ended up in Fiji. Both my parents were born and grew up there. And then they migrated to New Zealand just before I was born.

Being the daughter of an immigrant, how did you experience growing up in New Zealand? Did you ever have an identity crisis in terms of, "Oh, I eat different food than my friends at school," and things like that?

Shilpa: Very much so. I can't remember when I started to notice that, you know, oh, I'm a bit different from most of the kids in my class. So in terms of primary school, especially, I attended a school that had a majority of white children. There were also a few children from other ethnic backgrounds, including Indian (like myself), Chinese, Samoan, and Māori. So at some point during primary school, yes, I very much started noticing that I looked different from basically all the other kids in my class.

And you know, children being children, I would sometimes be pointed out the fact that my skin colour was brown, and some would even say it was "yucky". There was another girl in my class who was also of Indian descent, and we often faced teasing and taunting about our appearances. In terms of food, if I ever brought Indian food to school, there would always be children who would say, "Ooh, what is that? It stinks."

🤓 More on Upgrading Women or the Career Sisterhood podcast.

What to enjoy next week!

📕 The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
I read this when I started my first year of living “Englishly” as an immigrant from Indonesia and I have to say it’s really amusing to see her POV as an English woman living in Billund, a small town in Denmark, where she doesn’t even speak the language.

🎙WorkLife with Adam Grant
I was introduced to Adam Grant when Sheryl Sandberg decided to co-write a book about grief, Option B, with him. While I could not finish the book, I have listened to every single episode of this podcast and feel like I have completed a master’s degree in leadership. Ladies, this is a must listen!

📺 Gods of Tennis
I haven’t seen it, but my husband, who proofreads this newsletter, highly recommended this because it has Billie Jean King and other goddesses of tennis in it. So to celebrate this Wimbledon season, let’s watch it together and send me a Thread @RebeccaLeppard and tell me what you think about it.

🎪 Unlock Your Career Heights with Rebecca Leppard
Join more than 150 female coders who want to win over their tech bros by building their personal brand to support their career progression. The event will be held online on 20 July at 20:30 BST, free of charge, organised by Women Who Code London and facilitated by yours truly.

Inspect her 🤖 gadget

Something to add to your tech stack: Plann

Way back when your Instagram grid had to look like it had a pattern, Plann saved me a ton of headaches because it allowed me to draft grids before settling and scheduling them. Now with Plann we can also schedule Instagram Stories. Neat! 📲

BTW, if you sign up using the link, our team at Upgrading Women will be rewarded. So thank you in advance! ★

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

One last thing ☝️ If you found this useful, help a sister out and forward it to someone in your network. Plus, adding value to your network by sharing a link for them to subscribe will add to your good Karma abundantly!

See you next Thursday. LOL!