We run AND save the world

Obsessed with these women making waves and building wealth 🚀

Welcome to issue 9 of The Upgrading Women Newsletter 🔥

I’m your editor, Rebecca Leppard, a feminist and communications nerd who used to play football (this ⚽️ not this 🏈) in high school in equatorial Indonesia ☀️.

So I can’t imagine playing in the winter like much of the world does! 🥶

Sending love and virtual hot-water bottles to my girls Down Under 🏃🏽‍♀️

I’m curious: are you following the 🏆 Women’s World Cup? Or Wimbledon before? LMK, reply to this newsletter.

I’m genuinely hoping for responses because there is much chatter about how women don’t care enough to watch women’s sport, and therefore streaming services are not invested in broadcasting events 😡 , which means they will be less attractive to sponsors!

Anyway 😬 enjoy the episode, ladies 🎉

What happened last week:

it’s a great day to save a life (or five)!

This is how you smash a first day on the job: Noemi Marangon saved the lives of five swimmers on Sabaudia beach, Italy. If you’re like me and have never heard of that place, here’s a Pinterest board for you! 

Photo from The Times.

Haiti nearly drew against England!

The Lionesses won 1-0 from a penalty kick awarded after a handball. Another reason for them to celebrate is their new jerseys, which are period friendly. Our sisters in Wimbledon are also now can be more relaxed with the “tennis whites” dress code. Not that there’s anything to be embarrassed about by hitting and kicking the ball while menstruating but if it gives the players more confidence then we’re all for it! 🩸

Photo from Nike

News from around the world: this Korean is making it big in Mexico

You know how back in the 90s some B-list celebrities could be bigger in Japan or other countries outside the Western world? Social media has now democratised how someone reach fame, of course! I love seeing SuJin Kim, a South Korean girl whose local community deems a failure but who actually is widely popular somewhere unexpected: Latin America!

Photo from Kim’s Instagram page

And guess why she feels like a failure in Asia? Because at 32, she does not have a corporate job, a husband, and children to call her own. 💔 I feel you, girl!

Belgium’s Anti Femicide Laws!

Turkey has been running the We Will Stop Femicide platform over the past 12 years and is still fighting for the government’s attention. Several Latin American countries as well as Spain and Italy have a legal definition of femicide. Now Belgium has become the first in Europe that not only defines femicide but also recognises forms of violence against women and established victim’s rights to get state support.

🚨 In case you’re wondering whether femicide is listed in the dictionary yet, the answer is yes. Merriam-Webster defines it as the gender-based murder of a woman or a girl by a man.

💰 A woman AND a business owner?

I personally recommend you to sign up to The Ignited Accelerator, hosted by my own business coach Laura Brunton. This is NOT a sponsored post: the team at Upgrading Women and I are supercharged ⚡️by Laura’s presence and wisdom. We don’t gate keep. I’m inviting you to join because I want all of us to grow together!

How she’s done it
Greta Gerwig

The director of Barbie made history with the biggest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman. Before that, she directed Academy Award-nominated performances by Saoirse Ronan (twice), Laurie Metcalf and Florence Pugh. 

Photo from AP News

What we can learn from the great Greta Gerwig:
🌸 Being neurodivergent does not mean you cannot lead a major production. Greta has been diagnosed with ADHD. 🤩
🌸 Being a female boss does not give you permission to be a mean girl. Greta went to an all-girl Catholic school (just like me 😚✌🏽) and she’s known what female leadership looks like since a young age.
🌸 Being discipline and having focus doesn’t mean you’re a dork. Greta grew up in a household without television, and when she's directing Greta forbids all cellphones on set. 🤓

A message from a communications nerd:

stop chasing five-star-review status!

Because nobody is perfect and having every single customer leaving you a five-star review is fishy. So aim for that 4.7 ⭐️ because if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. What you want to signal to your potential customers are:

⭐️ You are good but not complacent (you go fast and break things)
⭐️ You are made and operated by humans (have some sense of humour)
⭐️ You are open to feedback (reply to every negative comment you receive!)

Featured Female Founder

As a TV addict, I cannot help but sympathise with the SAG-AFTRA strike (read what you need to know about what the issue here). It’s also timely for me to share my conversation with a financial anchor turned TV producer Nora Ali. She used to work at Goldman Sachs on the international trading floor. And when she entered show business, she thanked God that she had a talent agent to negotiate her pay.

Now she is the CEO and co-founder of a production company, Mason Media, and also a host of Morning Brew.

That’s what SHE said:

Yeah, I have that (imposter syndrome) every day. And something that has kind of helped me, actually, I have a Post-it that I wrote for this year. It says, be bold, because I know, when I'm having conversations with that kind of dude who's been in the industry for so long, I'll kind of just like take what I used to kind of like take what they say like, oh, okay, like that's how it's always been done, then you must be right. But no, I stand up for myself, even though I might hesitate and not be quite sure that I'm right. If you say something with confidence, people will take you seriously, people will say, okay, she knows what she's talking about.

So it's almost like I have to trick myself. If I say something with confidence, if I say something kind of loudly and more firmly, still friendly like I can only be friendly. I'm not going to ever be like a mean, stern person. Yeah. Then it's kind of the tone and attitude with which you come to the table. You can convince yourself that like, yeah, you know what? I do know what I'm talking about. So it's almost like, like a mental trick almost. And for a while, I kind of gave myself an alter ego. Like who is my white man self? Like Steve. What would Steve do in this situation?

🤓 More on Upgrading Women or the Female Founderhood podcast.

Text is not dead

Not only was the Thread launch successful, Twitter X remains strong despite, well you know 🤡. And now TikTok, the queen-maker of video creators, has announced that you can now post text only a la Instagram Stories.

The moral of the story: there is a place for everyone. You just need to be self aware whether you’re a great writer or a smooth talker or a fabulous performer. And keep showing up as your best authentic self!

Now if you feel overwhelmed with the fast-changing rules of the game or simply in need of a hand-holding by an agency-caliber content team, this club is for you!

Girl Brand is a content club where can all learn and hype each other up. You’ll also get access to:
💜 Tool and tactic tutorials
💜 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 US$57) once for a lifetime subscription, while club members pay monthly. So safe a TONNE of money by joining the waitlist for a Founding Membership today, ladies!

Inspect her 📲 gadget

Something to add to your tech stack: 🌴 WorkTripp, the AirBnB-like platform to book and organise your team retreat 🏔

🍕Because pizza and beer night is not going to cut it when you want to build solid team culture
🍕Because as a leader, you need to focus on nurturing, not juggling vendors and vetting venues
🍕Because you also need to enjoy the trip, not ironically burnt out from weeks preparing for it

On WorkTripp, you can browse selected venues, coaches, facilitators and caterers that fit the bill of your sustainability goals. It is built so you can streamline your process in organising your next retreat. More time to work on what matters and more space to enjoy the offsite itself.

🏄🏼‍♀️ Psst! Yes they are a client of ours and we are totally biased because their two female co-founders are the antidote that we need against the “tech bro culture”.

What to enjoy next week!

📕 Both/And by Huma Abedin
Something more and more women can relate to: your spouse has done something embarrassing online and you’re dragged in the public shame. But of course Huma’s memoir is not just about being married to Anthony Wiener whose scandal has its own Wikipedia page. Her career journey as Hillary Clinton’s aid is nothing short of amazing!

🎙How Not to F*ck Up Your Kids Too Bad with Stephen Marche
Fathers be good to your daughters 🎵and also listen to this 10-episode series of a modern-day dad guide. Marche is a columnist for Esquire so he’s got his tone of voice nailed down for an entertaining and educational pod.

🍿Leslie Jones: Time Machine
She’s in her 50s and happy about it. Her Netflix special is all about not giving a f*ck and here I better just show you the official trailer 👇🏿

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!