today

The sound of speaking to you

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We have all experienced “that feeling”. The whispering rise of the unknown but exciting, something. A personal example would be the first time I tried roasted banana with ice. I knew it tasted something, and that it was interesting, but since it was so different from anything else, I couldn`t say if I liked it or not. I simply had too little information, and like Piaget wrote: When we experience something that doesn`t fit into existing schemas, we might create a totally new one. The new schema will then add new examples, thereby expanding our view of the world further. In terms of neuroscience, this would be described as new networks of neural connection that fire and wire together.

For me, much of life`s meaning is captured in these experiences. They can be uncomfortable, because it IS uncomfortable when you don`t know what`s going on. When the dust settles, I need to find out more about it.

Back to the example of banana and ice; The new experience woke my curiosity, and I discovered a new world of exciting tastes. Having an inclination for salt in my childhood, my palate wasn`t  well-developed, and for many years I was sceptical to food I hadn`t tried before. Now I always order something new. I still eat my favorite food in reverence, but less often.  I have even tried to cook myself, but my memories from school`s cooking classes, make cooking a low priority. Instead, I use my need to understand and create at work, socially or when I`m scrapbooking or writing. I found I`ve discovered so many interests that lay dormant for a while, these last years. I wasn`t much interested in classic literature, music or art, but now I try to soak in what I`ve missed.

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“—if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you.”

― Donna TarttThe Goldfinch 

The Sound of Nature

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bird song

Natural sounds such as birdsong and the sound of water have been used in stressful situations like surgical procedures, and have demonstrated stress-relieving effects via the autonomic nervous system (Annerstedt et al., 2013).

A randomized study by Bauer and colleagues (2011) found that nature sounds and music, compared to no sound, had the potential to reduce pain and stress significantly in cardiovascular surgery patients. 

One study found that nature sounds, compared to noise, facilitate recovery from stress after a stressful mental arithmetic task. Stress levels were measured by people’s skin conductance levels (Alvarsson, Wiens, & Nilsson, 2010).

Another study found that sounds of a soft wind and a twitter during epidural anesthesia, compared to no sound, reduced stress. Reductions in stress were reflected by a decrease in salivary amylase activity (Arai Y-C et al., 2008).

A recent experiment by Annerstedt and colleagues (2013) found that participants, exposed to natural sounds in a virtual natural environment, showed enhanced stress recovery after a virtual stress test.

The authors used cardiovascular and saliva cortisol data, and they found that natural sounds, combined with a virtual natural environment, increased stress recovery by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Photo: timku

The sound of walking on eggshells

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Walking on eggshells

Female_Life_Expectancy

Aunty is chronically angry. From time to time, she is relaxed and jolly, but not often. Mostly, she is angry. In fact, she is angry so much of the time that anger seems to be her personality.

At the same time, she also had her 60th birthday this week, and I don’t think she likes getting old. Sixty is not old, but she lives in a country where the mean life expectancy is only a few years away from that. So for her, it is.

She has been a black cloud ever since.

I think I also drive her particularly crazy. Because I refuse to be drawn in. If she doesn’t feel like talking, I don’t talk to her. But otherwise I go about my daily tasks in the same calm and cheerful way. “Good morning, Aunty,” I say with a smile, when she comes into the bedroom where I’m writing in order to start on the laundry. She mumbles something unintelligible back or, if she’s really in a bad mood, scowls in a fixed kind of way–looking, but without making real eye contact. As if you aren’t a person and hadn’t spoken.

I am relentless, in fact, my tone never changing, the smile always there. If I were her, I’d be thinking of murdering me. What right do I have to be so happy? Especially when she is feeling so glum.

You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

Life, clearly, is just not fair. I say that with a degree of irony. She grew up pampered and spoiled–”kept in cotton wool” she says. And you know how I did. My happiness was not a gift, handed to me. I fought for it–tooth and nail. That’s one reason I won’t let go of it.

I’m also using the medium chill technique on her: polite, upbeat, steady, distant. And I’m not doing it specifically to yank her chain, but for the benefit of my own sanity.

However, I am also inclined to placate her, to be careful of her preferences, and to do exactly what she says even if I’d rather not or if it makes no logical sense. Now, this is not my house, and my own belief is that you should be able to have things done as you like in your own home. But in addition to that, I’m also aware of the pull to not make things worse, or to try not to make things worse if it’s possible.

The effect is something like walking on eggshells.

Nearly everyone walks on eggshells with her. And this makes me think.

People who are chronically angry tend to exploit others for the benefits they can provide rather than engage in caring, reciprocal relationships. They often see others as objects and use them accordingly, the way you would use a coffee maker or a car. Perhaps their anger makes any other kind of relationship impossible, or perhaps their view of others as objects is what is making them so  angry in the first place–after all, I’d get really frustrated if my coffee maker started making its own decisions about when and how it wanted to make coffee. So I can understand.

But when we tiptoe around difficult people, it make objects out of them a well. It is as if we are saying, “You are not a person, but something like a delicate machine or a rickety bridge–something to be careful of rather than engaged with.” And I wonder about that.

The sound of swirls

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I throw my heart out,

and watch it spin down

in beautiful oblivion

You usually take care of them. You heed them and notice them if you let them roam. You protect them, but try to give them freedom. You experiment with them, think about them and stifle them. You seldom love them, but when you prepare to shape them so they will be just right, you sometimes do. When they flutter in the right way, put themselves after one another in the correct sequence. When they follow your intake of breath exactly, and linger at the right spot, you smile.

But not always.

Have you ever seen a blender the size of a house? How much do you think it can take? What can escape its crushing force? Would you want anything other than fruit in there?

Words are precious. Without them, we`d feel afraid. Today we can live thousand lives just by letting them in after turning a page. Today we can collect and remember them. Make them our treasures.

blendWhen we learn to express them, someone must listen. Without reply, they fall. Some begin their ride on the rollercoaster, until they flurry into someone`s ear. We wait in anticipation. Will they smile back as us in wonder or disgust? Or will their faces be blank? What if these words got in the sickening blender, gyrating around until their shape`s contorted? What if the forceful whirlpool made them dizzy, so they no longer knew what was a and what was b? Imagine how they twirl around, faster and faster?

Meet the swirling blender. So nice to look at, with its shiny exterior. Useful and every girl`s dream. But sometimes it makes a mess out of thing. What was whole and complete before,  shredded and distorted until its unrecognizable.

 

Be careful, dare one. Your words might get in there, too.

 

 

The sound of one car in the night

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Fra inatt:

 

……………………………………………………..

 

The night is my lover, right now (written tonight, 01:00). Its blackness filled with city-light, and its silence comforting. A sound now and then as cars drive by, lonely riders delivering the products and dreams of others. My brain has slumbered for weeks now. Some bouts of energy have quickly fallen to sleep again, hibernation taking over. Is it the balmy air of spring calling me ? I think the answer is straightforward: Next week I have a “writing leave”, and I`ve already written and read a lot of what I need to get through (I am writing a specialist article about EMDR and how it influences the brain). That opens up time for other activities, and my projects, so far in sleep mode, have started to jump up and down like crazy cheerleaders again. The bouncing produce energy, and as we all know: Energy can not be created or destroyed, it can only be changed.

 

 

I have three main projects at the time. Sometimes it`s hard to know what to do first, so maybe you can help?

 

 

Where the kindness
project started

 

– Kindness to a stranger, that focus on encouraging people to do ONE kind act toward others. I have started to interview people and will work on interviewing “famous” people in Norway to see how they think about kindness.

 

Project: Kindness to a stranger | Free psychology

 

 

– My work:

 

Doing science on EMDR and planning a course on emotions

 

 

– My facebook group “Aktiviteter i Førde

 

On this group people can post what happens in our city, and I also organize some activities.

 

 

Many of the tasks will involve chatting with people. I love that part of it; Meaningful conversations that feel like they matter. I can do small talk, but it never has been my greatest strength, and I do notice my tendency to zone out when people start to talk about the weather. Sometimes I wish I could be more NORMAL. Just be pleased with everyday life; Enjoying good food, focus on friends and family more, travel and talk about everyday life. But I would feel like I didn`t follow my dreams, and people are different. Some find it satisfying to follow their dream about a calm life with all its benefits, and some dream about changing the world (I still remember how one girl in my psychology class told me she wanted to do exactly that, and I know she actually does, every day by just being herself).

 

I am happy people can be satisfied with different things, since that makes the world better, But that also leads to responsibility: One cannot and should not ignore ones dreams, because some aren`t meant for exactly what parents or society expects. Some must explore different locations or venues, since their dreams are a bit harder to achieve in normal settings. That doesn`t mean that dreaming about a home, a family, a place to eat lunch and talk about the weather, is unworthy. I am grateful that some people love these things, as there would be chaos if not. It’s actually the glue of society, and vital for me and everyone else. But this week I will dedicate myself to writing (like I should) but also planning and organizing some of my projects. I will also try to update my blog more than I`ve done the last couple of weeks, and look forward to meeting new people with good ideas!

 

 

 

How should I use my time the next days?

Energy law

Kind3

Kindness to a stranger group. Be kind and become the winner of 500 euros! Rules can be found on the event

 

mirrorgirl

Just like a pill

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Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good

As with benzodiazepines in the 1980s, the UK is prescribing SSRI antidepressants at a staggering rate – and to no good effect
'More than 53m prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in 2013 in England alone.'

‘More than 53m prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in 2013 in England alone.’ Photograph: travel-and-more/Alamy
We appear to be in the midst of a psychiatric drug epidemic, just as we were when benzodiazepines (tranquilisers) were at their height in the late 1980s. The decline in their use after warnings about addiction led to a big increase in the use of the newer antidepressants, the SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors).
Figures released by the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, which was set up to challenge many of the assumptions commonly made about modern psychiatry, show that more than 53m prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in 2013 in England alone. This is almost the equivalent of one for every man, woman and child and constitutes a 92% increase since 2003.
Sales of antidepressants have skyrocketed everywhere and are now so high in my own country, Denmark, that – if the prescriptions were equally distributed – every citizen could be in treatment for six years of their life. The situation is even worse in the US, where direct advertising of prescription drugs to the public is permitted and where more psychiatrists were “educated” with industry hospitality than any other medical discipline.
I began to realise the scale of the problem when I was persuaded seven years ago to become a tutor for a PhD thesis on whether history was repeating itself, by comparing benzodiazepines (“mother’s little helper”) with SSRIs. This research has established that people get as hooked on SSRIs as they did on benzodiazepines, and 37 of 42 withdrawal symptoms were the same for SSRIs as for benzodiazepines.
It is hard to believe that so many people have become mentally disturbed and that these prescription increases reflect a genuine need, so we need to look for other explanations. There seem to be three main reasons for the huge growth.
First, the definitions of psychiatric disorders are so vague that many healthy people can be diagnosed inappropriately. Second, some of the psychiatrists who wrote the diagnostic manuals were on the industry’s payroll, and this may have also led to significant diagnostic inflation. Third, the companies’ behaviour has been worse in psychiatry than in any other area of medicine, with billion-dollar fines paid for the illegal marketing of psychiatric drugs for non-approved uses. The rise in sales reflects patient dependency on these SSRIs: they may have great difficulty stopping even when they taper off the drugs slowly. Withdrawal symptoms are often misdiagnosed as a return of the disease or the start of a new one, for which drugs are then prescribed. Over time, this leads to an increase in the number of drug-dependent, long-term users.
Another major problem with psychiatric drugs is that they can cause the symptoms they are supposed to alleviate. Unfortunately, psychiatrists tend to increase the dose or add another drug when a patient reports negative effects.
The problem is that many of these drugs simply do not work as people suppose. The main effect of antidepressants is not the reduction of depressive symptoms. They are no better than placebo for mild depression, only slightly better for moderate depression, and benefit only one out of 10 with severe depression. In around half of all patients, they cause sexual disturbances. The symptoms include decreased libido, delayed orgasm or ejaculation, no orgasm or ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Studies in both humans and animals suggest that these effects may persist long after the drug has been discontinued.
The US Food and Drug Administration has shown that antidepressants increase suicidal behaviour up to the age of 40, and many suicides have been reported even in healthy people who took the drugs for other reasons (for example, for stress or pain). Another report also said that, among people over 65, antidepressants are believed to kill one out of every 28 people treated for one year, because they lead to falls and hip fractures. Indeed, it is not clear whether antidepressants are safe at any age.
My studies of the research literature in this whole area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: the way we currently use psychiatric drugs is causing more harm than good. We should therefore use them much less, for shorter periods of time, and always with a plan for tapering off, to prevent people from being medicated for the rest of their lives.

Sun Norway

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The sun is shining and I`m at work. I haven`t done much today, but managed to finish a book about eating disorder, from a blogger Kristine Getz. 

I cycled to work today, which was some task since my tires seem to not function. I got a cancellation, so I am wondering about leaving early since I had some  compensatory time to use. Would be nice to cycle and feel the sun on my skin. I have also done a lot of scrapbooking lately, and it`s been great. I found some card tutorials on the net, and have made two cards already. Not to anyone in particular, more because it`s fun. I had a lot of time, that the eastern bunnies brought in their baskets. Time is valuable, so there could be no better gift for busy souls thirsting for time to sit down and CREATE something.

Here you can see some cards I`ve done:

 

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Saw this in Copenhagen
Inspiration from Copenhagen

Tutorial: http://stampartic.blogspot.no/2010/11/folding-card-tutorial.html

The sound of shining

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One light, without shining. Black, white, but you cannot see them. Your shine is curled away; twisted, lonely and painfully. Listen to steps, coming towards you. How do you feel ?

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The sound of gentle steel

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When a finer member of our species becomes the part of an all-men group, the results are obvious – better focus on the job at hand, a far more effective team, higher levels of decency and a groundswell of chivalrous overtures.

Chamaiporn Uerpairojkit

Chamaiporn Uerpairojkit

Better still, if she happens to be a CEO, we have a boardroom which is painted a deeper shade of pink, thereby driving away the boredom from the drab proceedings. We also have a crackling company which is more result-oriented and has better empathy while dealing with diverse stakeholders. We are also likely to get a greener and cleaner business entity which believes in corporate ethics and good governance.

In the Pink of Health

Several studies done in far-flung countries such as USA, France and Vietnam have shown that companies led by women deliver better financial results. A McKinsey study compared the top-quartile of companies in terms of share of women  in executive committees against companies that have all-male executive committees. It found that the former companies exceeded the latter by 41% in return on equity and by 56% in operating results.

Two studies have shown that companies with significant numbers of top women managers do better when compared to competitors in the same sector. The improved performance is in both in terms of such organizational aspects as innovation and accountability as also in terms of profit.

Wang Feng Ying

Wang Feng Ying

The tipping point is the key: At three members of the board, the benefits of women start to make a real difference. It appears that with that critical mass, female board members are more likely to come up with challenging questions and encourage the entire group to arrive at a more inclusive and better decision.

There are also studies which negate this view. The Credit Suisse Research Institute, acknowledging that it is hard to make sense of the many confusing and contradictory findings, came up with its own analysis. The study suggested that better performance by companies with female board members does not necessarily suggest that the women led to the stronger performance; it could also mean that companies that are financially successful tend to be more inclusive. Nevertheless, the authors concluded that “more balance on the board brings less volatility and more balance through the cycle.”

Eva Chen

Eva Chen

The Global Scenario

A Grant Thornton International Business Report released earlier this year concluded that 49 per cent of CEOs in Thailand are women, which is the highest proportion in the world. The global ratio was reported to be 24 per cent of senior management roles filled by women, up from 21 per cent in 2012 and 20 per cent in 2011.

In general, ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific regions are ahead of the global average with 32 and 29 percent female proportions, respectively. Vietnam and the Philippines are in the top 10, with 37 per cent of senior posts in the Philippines being held by women, down by two percentage points from 2012.

Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita

Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita

The G-7 economies appeared at the bottom of the league table with just 21 per cent of senior roles occupied by women. This compares to 28 per cent in the BRIC economies and a remarkable 40 per cent in the Baltic countries.

Japan was the worst performer with just 7 per cent of senior roles occupied by women. UK (19 per cent) and the USA (20 per cent) were reported to be within the bottom eight countries for women in senior management. In contrast, top of the table for women in senior management – not only CEOs – is China, with 51 per cent.

The report also revealed that proportion of women in senior positions depends on the sector under consideration. More than double the number of positions in the global healthcare sector was occupied by women than in construction or mining. The most popular top management position for women was reported to be chief financial officer, while chief information officer was the least.

If Thailand has Chamaiporn Uerpairojkit as a President of Henkel, Australia has Veronica Johns heading Fiat Chrysler’s operations down under. Di Humphries takes care of Pumpkin Patch in New Zealand, whereas Wang Feng Ying looks after the Great Wall Motor Company in China.

Eva Chen is the CEO of Trend Micro of Japan. Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita oversees the operations of Arcelor Mittal South Africa Limited.

Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala

Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala

Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala fusses over Group Modelo in Mexico.

Women on Top

Globally, women have made it to the top in diverse sectors of businesses, ranging from IT, FMCG, chemicals, social media and banking. According to a Deloitte study, women comprise 12.5 percent of board directors on ASX 200 companies in Australia. Fortune lists an impressive array of powerful women, globally as also in USA. Think Ginni Rometty of IBM, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Ellen Kullman of DuPont, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo and you get a part of the picture in USA alone.

The European Commission proposed new rules last year to require companies listed in EU countries with more than 250 workers to have 40 percent of women on their boards by 2020. But Germany and other EU countries resisted, arguing that rules should be set at the national level.

Ginni Rometty

Ginni Rometty

According to German media reports, women currently hold about 12 percent of corporate board seats. Among the 30 largest DAX companies, women have 101 of the 488 board seats, or 22 percent, according to the DSW, Germany’s largest association of private investors. Coalition compulsions have now made the Angela Merkel government to introduce a legislation that will require German firms to allot 30 per cent of their non-executive board seats to women from 2016.

Norway, which is not an EU member, imposed a 40 per cent quota in 2003, a target reached in 2009. Norwegian companies can be liquidated if they fail to reach the target. However, a recent study by two University of Michigan professors shows that a government mandated quota led to younger and less experienced boards, thereby putting the businesses to higher risk.

In UK, the Cranfield report came up with the assertion that women hold more than one in five (21.8%) of non-executive FTSE 100 posts but still only account for little over one in 17 (5.8%) executive roles. That means there are just 18 women executive directors in Britain’s top boardrooms, against 292 men. Perhaps more alarming still, the Cranfield study found, among the broader top management tier at FTSE 100 firms – the key decision-making groups, known as executive committee members – the representation of women had fallen dramatically, down from 18.1% in 2009 to 15.3% today.

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi

Susan Vinnicombe, co-author of the Cranfield report, suggested this shrinking pool of top-flight women managers made it harder for progress to be made with chief executive and finance director appointments. “Despite women dominating the fields of human resources, law and marketing … [executive positions in the boardroom] are still going to men, who are being promoted internally over experienced female candidates.”

Annika Falkengren heads SEB, a Swedeish Bank. Angela Ahrendts takes care of Burberry in UK, while Jonella Ligresti oversees the operations of Fondiaria-SAI of Italy.

Wanted: Women Directors in India

In India, men make up 94.7 per cent of the boardroom. A survey conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) earlier this year, across Commonwealth countries, found that India has one of the lowest percentiles of women in senior management positions, second only to Pakistan among the countries surveyed. In many cases, even when women are present in the board, they usually tend to be “sleeping partners”.

Kalpana Morparia

Kalpana Morparia

With the new Companies Act coming in force in India, mandating women’s representation on boards, companies are searching far and wide for good candidates. Naina Lal Kidwai of HSBC, Kalpana Morparia of JP Morgan and  Renuka Ramnath of Multiples Alternate Asset Management are all busy running their own companies. It does not help that top women bankers like Chanda Kochhar and Shikha Sharma cannot be tapped because RBI rules do not allow bank CEOs to be on the boards of other companies except by rare special permission.

The first woman to head the SBI in its 206 year old history, Arundhati Bhattacharya, recently made headlines by joining the elite group of women who control banks and financial outfits in India.

Mallika Srinivasan is a well-known thought leader and strategist, heading TAFE. Vinita Bali heads Britannia, whereas Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw steers Biocon. Roshni Nadar takes care of HCL Corporation. Debjani Ghosh heads Intel’s operations in South Asia.

Chanda Kochhar

Chanda Kochhar

One of the highly respected business groups from India, Tatas, is already on a gender-diversity overdrive. Falugni Nayar, Vishakha Mulye and Ireena Vittal have recently joined select companies of the group.

A case in point is that of ICICI Bank where winds of a subtle change are blowing. Chanda Kochhar is making the company transform its work culture from a stress-ridden one to a more relaxed one. She has drawn an internal road-map to make the bank a service-led and not a distribution-led organization. One of the key challenges the bank is handling is to tone down aggression without losing its USP of being a dynamic and result-oriented organization.

According to information available in the public domain, out of India’s top 100 listed companies, 34 do not have any women directors. Demand for proven, independent women who are well experienced in board service, possess the required domain or functional skill experience and fit the culture of a company far outstrips supply.

Mallika Srinivasan

Mallika Srinivasan

In India, gender diversity is more pronounced in the banking sector. By nature, men and women are not better bankers. The conditioning by society perhaps plays a more important role in shaping up women’s skills in money management. One, they carry the burden of balancing the household budget. Two, they tend to be thrifty because they have to manage the household affairs within the resources provided by the bread-winner of the family.

The Glass Ceiling of Corporate Frauds

A study reported in one of the recent issues of the American Sociological Review found that only 9 percent of people involved in high-level financial  corporate conspiracies are women. The study also shows that female criminals stole less than their male counterparts. The study proposes that this could be happening because men see women as less criminally competent.

However, according to a survey of nearly 1400 global fraud cases from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, at the lower levels, women

Roshni Nadar Malhotra

Roshni Nadar Malhotra

made up 45 percent of the culprits. But at all levels, women steal less than their men counterparts. The difference lay in that women do it for a specific reason or purpose, whereas men tend to do it for longer periods, more as a habit of sorts. Women are brought up with an ‘ethic of care’ which means they are less likely to behave in a manner which hurts others.

Have Daughter, Be Gentler

In another study covering more than 10,000 Danish companies, a study done by Michael Dahl, Cristian Dezso and David Gaddis Ross found that CEOs paid lesser salaries to their staff after having had a son. But there was no reduction when they had a daughter! The hypothesis appears to be that daughters tend to make fathers more gentle and caring.

Studies led by Alice Eagly demonstrate that women tend to give more than their male counterparts in close relationships than men.

The Pink Shades of Philanthropy

Bill Gates believes that his mother Mary and wife Melinda are behind his philanthropic initiatives. At a wedding in 1993, Mary read out a letter she had written to Melinda: ‘From those to whom much is given, much is expected.’

It is quite likely that with more women at the helm of affairs, organizations may take their environmental and social responsibilities more seriously.

The Gender Bender 

Women tend to be more balanced and meticulous in their approach. Giving care and offering empathy comes naturally to them. Look across various companies and one would notice that most HR departments are wo-manned.

Annika Falkengren

Annika Falkengren

When it comes to the impact of women heading organizations, the jury is perhaps still out. Recently, professors at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the University of Edinburgh examined two thousand firms and found that larger companies with bigger boards were more likely to add women. In other words, better performance was not necessarily due to women power in the top echelons.

In India, the challenge is to keep up a continuous supply of leadership talent of the delicately nurtured. This can be met only by progressive HR policies of organizations which proactively offer a level playing field to women enabling them to break the corporate glass ceilings.

Just as the Norway example has shown, it is debatable whether introduction of a government mandated quota is a good move. Yes, it does force

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

companies to do some soul-searching and ensure better succession planning while placing greater emphasis on gender parity. A positive beginning gets made. Over the long run, such steps would surely improve corporate governance levels and possibly check the cancer of graft and corruption nibbling away at the roots of India’s vibrant democracy.

Gender bias is deep-rooted in our psyche. Cultural bias and stereotyping restrains women from realizing their full potential. With her book ‘Lean In: Women, Work and Will to Lead’, Sheryl Sandberg has recently brought back the agenda of gender inequality on the global conversation map.

From Capitalism to Idea-ism

We are rapidly moving from capitalism to ‘idea-ism’ where the definition of capital is getting enlarged with each passing decade. The term capital covers not only the material and financial resources but also its softer and gentler variety – intellectual resources. In a world of this nature, gender parity can bring in a hitherto latent capital. A more efficient use of the same would be a key driver of competitiveness in the days to come.

The moves to paint our ‘bored-rooms’ a deeper shade of pink are endeavors in the right direction. Howsoever long it takes to achieve gender parity in business circles, the journey has begun.

Red world

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Tulips. Red heads, hanging as if dragged down by tiny chunks of lead. Sometimes slim petals drift away, landing in front of feet. Looking down, you see them.
Looking up, you see the drooping heads. They’ve witnessed so many, shuffling back and forth.

A girl comes next. Blue eyes, blond, braided hair. One step before the next, breathing in and out. She is holding her hand closed, clasping a object tightly.

How shall we judge others crossing our path?

The girl was never one to judge, but one day she did. Spikes of laughter drizzling over him, as he didn’t get it right. He ripped out his heart, but the petals kept raining, burying it forever.

The tulips are red. They watch the world from above, easy when their heads dip low.
They can easily judge, but that is not the way of flowers.

The girl can’t walk anymore. Every step is echoed on the marble
floor. Darkness around her, with a porch-light as her spot-light. She is tired, and so is the world that she carries in her hand. She puts it one a red petal and leaves it there for someone else

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