social justice

Three Ideas to Help us Build the Feminist Businesses of the Future

May 11, 2017 0 Comments
Three Ideas to Help us Build the Feminist Businesses of the Future

On April 28th, CV and I were delighted to partner with Petra Kassun-Mutch, creator of Liisbeth, a consistently excellent magazine for feminists in business, and Dr. Barbara Orser, Professor of Management in the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa and co-author of Feminine Capital, on a workshop dedicated to feminist business practice at the Centre for Social Innovation in downtown Toronto. View photos from the event here.

Petra gathered all of us together, welcoming entrepreneurs, academics, and other changemakers to CSI for a day of learning. Barbara opened the day with a keynote looking at the hard truth about the state of women’s entrepreneurship (and funding/capital) in Canada, summarizing key findings from her book, and making a case for “entrepreneurial feminism”. And then CV debuted her Feminist Business Model Canvas (FBMC), a Feminists at Work tool, which among other things, helps entrepreneurs build the businesses of the future by working with feminist values and generative design principles.

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What to do when collaboration reproduces hierarchy and inequality

September 12, 2016 0 Comments
What to do when collaboration reproduces hierarchy and inequality

There may be nothing new under the sun, but things get forgotten or go unresolved. Patterns get played out over and over again in ways we can’t see. One repeating stuck pattern I see in even the most well-meaning, collaborative circles is gender bias.

We know that gender bias takes a personal and economic toll on individuals. But gender bias has collective negative effects which mostly get ignored. Too many good ideas with the potential to move communities, organizations, entire fields forward get lost simply because they happen to come from women. Too many good ideas only get heard when they are picked up by men (who don’t always give women colleagues credit) and much gets lost in translation. All of this is compounded by race and class.

If we know this happens, one outcome is that we struggle to follow a woman’s lead when it comes to doing things differently. We struggle to move from knowledge to practice and to women-led practice.

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Women Organize Conferences, People Get Nervous

June 28, 2014 0 Comments
Women Organize Conferences, People Get Nervous

These conferences may not change organizations, policies, and cultures that hurt women, but they change people who go on to change organizations, policies, and cultures.

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Using World Café to Open Up the Conversation on Women, Activism, & Leadership

February 5, 2014 0 Comments
Using World Café to Open Up the Conversation on Women, Activism, & Leadership

Not a panel discussion and Q&A on women’s leadership, not a wide open discussion with no structure… but a World Café: a uniquely open/structured conversation designed to invite and allow for convergence, divergence, complexity, and new clarity/actions

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The New Women’s Movement is Going to Take All of Us

December 6, 2013 0 Comments
The New Women’s Movement is Going to Take All of Us

I want to see a women’s leadership panel that includes both Sheryl Sandberg and bell hooks, working and thinking together because I know they each hold a piece of the puzzle when it comes to taking our collective work to the next level.

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What will motive men to push for gender balance?

November 5, 2013 0 Comments
What will motive men to push for gender balance?

Could men’s (and many women’s) silence around women’s leadership and resistance to gender balance not only be gender bias or an unwillingness to do the hard work of movement building… but also a sign that we’re missing a pretty huge piece of the puzzle?

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Women’s Leadership: Moral Obligation or Good Business Decision?

October 23, 2013 0 Comments
Women’s Leadership: Moral Obligation or Good Business Decision?

Marino cited a Japanese business principle “kaizen”—which directly translates as “improvement,”—saying that kaizen is actually quite a bit more than just improving a work process. It also means agitating one’s company in ways that it needs to be agitated. This includes agitating the organization around issues of gender bias. What kaizen is really about, he says, is “waking up every day trying to make things better.”

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Take the Lead, Change the Narrative

July 2, 2013 0 Comments
Take the Lead, Change the Narrative

One of the most exciting things about movement building is watching a new story or a narrative, or a new powerful idea, emerge in our collective consciousness and take clearer shape over time. In the women’s movement, this is usually a new story about women or gender, our relationships to each other as citizens, what leadership looks like, or how change happens. This is not a process in which we are passive; we must be active players in the creation of new stories; but many of these stories are emergent.

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What Makes a Movement?

June 4, 2013 0 Comments
What Makes a Movement?

Movements don’t happen as a result of one individual or organization, but rather from the cumulative, coordinated, and uncoordinated efforts of many individuals and groups. If movement building feels chaotic, that’s because it is. And, as a mentor of mine reminded me recently, in other ways movements are very much controlled and rightly so.

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Why We Don’t Have to Think Alike to Work Together

June 1, 2013 0 Comments
Why We Don’t Have to Think Alike to Work Together

So often we try to minimize, or better yet, wipe out our differences, or get people to agree with us, so that we can move forward together. But what if our desire to be on the same page is holding us back?

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