Many female firsts are lifetime dreams come true. But some are more a matter of chance, the happenstance of finding something you’re good at when barriers are coming down.
The latter was the case for Sarah Thomas, the first woman to be an NFL official. “I was working as a paralegal when my older brother said one day that he was going to a football officials’ meeting,” she recalls. “I thought it could be a way to give back to organized sports—I’d played basketball in college—while earning some extra cash.”
Immediately, she was enthralled. “It’s actually funny, because as an athlete, I hated the officials and they hated me,” Thomas says. “But I fell in love with studying the rulebook. It’s fascinating.” Read More →
Take a young woman coming of age in the 60s, when many careers were closed to her gender. Mix in political awareness from having fled communist Cuba as a child and add courage and flexibility from forging a new life with her family in New York. What you get: a college dropout, a 31-year-old deputy mayor of Boston, a top executive at one of the largest communications firms in the world—as well as a Massachusetts Conference for Women Board member.
In other words, you get Micho Spring, whose name ought to be under “maverick” in the thesaurus. Be inspired by the most unconventional career path of Weber Shandwick’s chair of global corporate practice and New England and the lessons she learned along the way:Read More →
What’s really holding women back in technology? You may have read about the “pipeline problem”—girls don’t study science, technology, engineering or math in equal numbers to boys—but that’s a red herring, says Gina Helfrich, founder and organizer of Feminist Hack ATX.
“The biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is poor retention numbers,” Helfrich says. “Research shows that more than half of women in technology leave the field by mid-career.” Read More →
Happiness is largely a choice. That may sound like magical thinking or like what no-guff grandparents meant when they said to buck up, but it’s actually the finding of a field of scientific study called positive psychology.
“Many people think they can’t be happy right now because of their biochemistry or their job or life situation, but research has shown that we are not just our genes and environment,” says Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness and co-founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research. “We have a different picture of what it is to be human. We can train our brain to become more optimistic and thus happier.”Read More →