Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Donation - National Partnership for Women & Families

I made my May donation to the National Partnership for Women & Families. I had a little extra pocket change this month, so I was able to donate $245 to the National Partnership.  This nonprofit organization started taking action in 1971, and they have worked to make life better for women and families. They strive to make sure that workplaces are family friendly. I have some very close friends that have missed family milestones because they couldn't get away from work. Women shouldn't feel the need to skip family functions in order to get ahead in the workplace.

Women still only earn 75% of what men earn, so we have a long way to go. But the situation has definitely improved in the past few decades. In the 1960's, newspapers published job listings separately according to gender. Women only earned 60% of what men earned. Hopefully in a few more decades, women will be paid the same amount that men are paid. I'm grateful to the National Partnership for Women & Families for the work they have done to ensure that women are treated equally in the workplace.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Woman of the Week - Katherine Legge

Katherine Legge is an auto racing driver who recently joined the IndyCar Series. I saw her on CNN last week when she made an appearance on "Starting Point" with her all-female pit crew to talk about racing in the Indy 500. Legge is the only racecar driver with an all-female pit crew. She was born in the United Kingdom, and she has been racing there for years, but she recently signed a deal with Dragon Racing to drive in the United States. She just turned 31, and she realized that she would have to act fast if she wanted to follow her dreams. I think it's wonderful that she just decided to move to a new country to pursue her passion. Katherine Legge is definitely a power woman!

Legge has a two year agreement with Truecar as part of their Women Empowered campaign. While I was watching her on "Starting Point" last week, Legge made an excellent point that racecar driving is the only sport where men and women can compete equally. I know it'll be a long time before women can play in the NFL, but I still think it'll happen one day. For now, women have racecar driving!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Woman of the Week - Gina Rinehart

Gina Rinehart was just declared the wealthiest woman in the world. She recently surpassed Christy Walton (the Walmart heiress). Rinehart is an Australian mining tycoon whose personal fortune is $28.48 billion. She is Australia's richest person. Apparently, Rinehart is on track to take over the title of richest person in the world. Currently, the wealthiest person is Carlos Slim, who is worth $69 billion. I think it's fantastic that the richest person in the world could soon be a woman.

I know that money doesn't buy happiness, but money can buy comfort and stability. We all don't have to be millionaires to be happy, but being able to buy food, shelter and clothing is necessary to one's happiness/comfort. Anything extra is just about status. As long as a woman is able to support herself (and her children, if necessary), then she is good to go. I do think it is so important for a woman to have her own money. You can date/marry a rich man, which is fine, but you have to have your own money! Having your own money is a significant component of freedom. If a woman has her own money, then she can call the shots and make her own decisions.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Woman of the Week - Julia Louis-Dreyfus

I chose Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Woman of the Week because my husband was watching a rerun of Seinfeld when I got home from work today. When I saw Elaine Benes doing that funny dance, I was reminded of how hilarious Julia Louis-Dreyfus is. She is one of the funniest women on television. I loved her work on Seinfeld from 1990-1998 (we're always watching the reruns). She has a new show on HBO called "VEEP" where she plays the role of the U.S. Vice President.

Louis-Dreyfus said that she holds much respect for "women who are not afraid of making themselves look bad or foolish to get a laugh." Her idols include Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Teri Garr and Cloris Leachman. I love funny women. I've always had a soft spot for female comedians. I have a very dry sense of humor, but I was very shy in school, and I rarely opened my mouth to share my quips. Now, I have come out of my shell, and I'm not afraid to look foolish in order to get a laugh.

Anyway, back to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She has had an incredible career as an actress, but she is also very political. She supported Al Gore's 2000 U.S. presidential bid, and also endorsed Barack Obama's bid for the presidency in 2008. She appeared in a video that asked President Obama to reject the proposal of a Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that the pipeline could leak and it would cause horrifying pollution across America. She has also voiced her concern for several environmental issues. It's so nice when people take time out of their busy schedules to support something they're passionate about. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a fantastic role model, and I'm looking forward to watching her star in "VEEP."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Woman of the Week - Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a French-Italian singer and former model, became first lady of France in 2008 after marrying Nicolas Sarkozy. Unfortunately, Sarkozy was not re-elected last week (the new president of France is Francois Hollande). Now that Bruni-Sarkozy is no longer first lady of France, she will be dedicating more time to her music career.

I was hooked after hearing Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's most famous song "Quelqu'Un M'a Dit," which translates to "Somebody Told Me." If you haven't heard her music, I strongly suggest you listen to "Quelqu’Un M'a Dit." It has been in several movies including "500 Days of Summer" and "Le Divorce." I'm a bit of a Francophile, and Bruni-Sarkozy is my favorite French singer (okay, she was born in Italy, but she moved to France when she was five years old, so I still consider her a French singer). She has such a sultry singing voice. I enjoy listening to Bruni-Sarkozy's music after a hard day at work because it always relaxes me. 

She has been involved with charity work for years. In 2008, she became the world ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against HIV. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is a lovely woman, and I am sad that she is no longer the first lady of France. I am looking forward to seeing what is in store for her in the next few years.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Woman of the Week - Jen Lancaster

Jen Lancaster's new book, "Jeneration X," hit bookstores (and kindles) yesterday. I have read all of her books, and she is by far the funniest writer that I have come across. She mostly writes memoirs, with the exception of one novel. Her novel was really funny, but she is great at writing about her own experiences.

I actually got to meet Jen Lancaster a couple years ago at one of her book signings. I was one of the first people in line, so my friend and I got to sit in the front row while she read an excerpt from her book and chatted with the audience. I was excited to be just a few feet away from her. She is a truly beautiful woman, and I'm hoping to see her again when she comes back to D.C. for her book tour this month.

Her new book is about maturing and becoming a grown up. She writes about doing volunteer work, getting life insurance, and having a mortgage. I'm really enjoying her book because I feel like I'm experiencing the same life changes. I'm about to leave my twenties behind, and I'm embracing my adulthood. I still know how to have fun, though. I highly recommend her new book. Her first book, "Bitter is the New Black," is also one of my favorites. Check out her website for more information.