I deviate from my regular greeting because this is a less than happy Monday given the events in France last week. Peggy Noonan wrote a wonderful opinion piece in the weekend Journal titled “Salman Rushdie Meet Charlie Hedbo.” The subtitle says it all – free speech is not a tradition, it is the basis of civilization, and it is certainly one of the founding principles of our country. By its definition, terrorism is a frightening thing, but the consequences of giving into it are even more frightening. The full article can be found here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/salman-rushdie-meet-charlie-hebdo-1420763547?autologin=y
As you know, the subject of my weekly emails mainly relates to the state of women in finance. Women are in the minority in this industry so I believe access to relevant information can make us feel less alone and more inspired to continue on in a business we love in spite of the challenges we face. That said, many women in the world do not even enjoy basic rights – in Saudi Arabia, women have been charged with terrorism for driving a car (now I know all the women driver jokes, but terrorism? Really?); in 2014 Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls, many of whom are still missing today. Their crime? Getting an education. So as you go through your day, I would ask you to take a moment to consider the plight of these women.
On a note to inspire you: this is how young boys react to being asked to slap a girl: http://aplus.com/a/slap-her-children-react-to-violence And another one, listen to the fearless message of educated young women with their voices raised through the power of social media: http://www.empoweringwomennow.com/videos/3-fearless-girls-queen-latifah/
On the subject of women’s voices, there was a great article in the NY Times “Speaking While Female” by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant detailing studies that show that if a man talks in a meeting, he gets a hearing. A woman gets interrupted. The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/opinion/sunday/speaking-while-female.html?_r=0
And on the productivity front, there was a great email detailing the evils of being a slave to your email all day. One study showed that by checking your email just four times a day (instead of constantly) produced a reduction in stress equivalent to learning a relaxation technique! The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/opinion/sunday/stop-checking-email-so-often.html
Regulators at both the state and federal level have recently shifted the focus of their investigations, recognizing the inherent value of bringing enforcement actions against individuals, as opposed to simply the companies that employ them. If you become the focus of a government investigation or lawsuit, even if you are only called as witness, are you really protected? Heidi Lawson will join us in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue we all face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm. This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!