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Shattering Our Own Glass Ceiling
By Susie Orbach

Consumer Trends & Insight ,Culture
shattered_glass_ceiling

It’s easy to pin the blame – if blame it is – on women for tripping themselves up, holding themselves back, for creating their own glass ceiling at work and not sufficiently ‘leaning in’.

It’s easy to pin the blame – if blame it is – on women for tripping themselves up, holding themselves back, for creating their own glass ceiling at work and not sufficiently ‘leaning in’. It’s a mean and rather vicious spin of an old age story of individual women being responsible for their fate as though that fate takes place outside of a context, a historical and psychological moment that shapes their longings and the conflicts that intersect with them.

Of course we are all somewhat responsible for our fate but women are not a different species than other human beings. They don’t spring fully born into the world with every opportunity and every pore tuned to climb to the top. They arrive at adulthood following a long apprenticeship in what it means to be a woman.

From their earliest days they will have been observing and interacting with the women who raised them, who nurtured and guided them, who scolded them, who showed them how to be, who taught them their spelling and arithmetic and told them about the world and its wonders, and read or made up stories about girls and what they could be doing. They had women teachers and aunts and parents and siblings who will sometimes have encouraged them and other times thwarted them, implying that certain activities were off limits and others prized. Raised in a family, they will have watched the ‘mothering’ person(s) manage her own life and absorbed the moods and the tensions which have gone along with that.

As they dreamt about their lives to come they will have found role models from the worlds of fashion, politics, movies, literature, TV, medicine, sports, and science. They would have tasted some of these identities in their mouths, trying them on for size and feel. And if they weren’t ridiculed while fantasizing, they will have put those together with their other desires such as wanting to fly to the moon, write a hit tune, be the belle of the ball and find the love of their life.

So far so good. So far so normal. Only normal isn’t normal anymore. The rules are being rewritten. Normal isn’t seen as good enough. Only extraordinary and out there and awesome seem to count. Working well, being a good enough partner and parent are somehow being characterized as insufficiently ambitious, as being an ‘oh-so-last-century’ woman.

But is it true? As she observed her own mother working and caring, as she saw the frustrations and pleasures that life brought, as she took on the ambitions Mum had for her and her siblings and counted her own, she may have rejected the idea that she had to be the next Sheryl Sandberg, Mary Portas, Susan Greenberg, Shami Chakrabati or Marjorie Blackman. She may have admired these women and appreciated their voices in the world but she may have thought, what’s most important to me is what I do. I don’t have to be them. I can do my work, my relationships, my family well enough for me.

Paradoxically and cruelly, the notion that you’re inadequate if you are not right up there achieving every minute and besting everyone is infiltrating women’s sense of herself. It is inducing feelings that they should be doing more. Along with having to have the perfect body, perfect partner, perfect home, perfect hostess skills, perfect children, the capacity to flourish is being undermined and it is no wonder that when surveys ask women about their accomplishments, they set them in terms of their failures, not in terms of their satisfactions.

Certainly many women are frustrated by the glass ceiling. There’s the internal one that stops them feeling sufficiently entitled and legitimate to dare to go for what they want. There’s the inner worry that moving ahead might cut one off from other women leaving the individual to feel isolated or as though she is sticking out too prominently. Certainly many women are frustrated by the actual and not so subtle discriminations at work which favor long hours with scant regards to responsibilities at home. Certainly some have unhelpful bosses, who like to promote people who they see as similar to them (yes, men). Then again sometimes female bosses are threatened or harsh and seem to close the drawbridge after them. Certainly the style of many workplaces is too macho to make a woman who had confidence going in, feel anything but wobbly about a personal style which may be less confrontational than the culture at work.

There are many reasons why women don’t progress as they either imagined they would or desired to. I come across many women in their late sixties who led the charge into the formally male bastions and who may well have been the best person for the foreign correspondents job or the leader of the orchestra or the engineering group but somehow, they just weren’t chosen. The ones who did ‘make it’ were the exception. Often when they did make it, they did so in institutions a little less rigid like publishing or family businesses.

The women in their twenties and thirties and forties are the children of these women as well as the women who didn’t go into the workforce. Whatever their mother’s stories and whatever their mothers conveyed about the importance of having a good job, the daughters couldn’t have helped but absorb the unstated views and feelings of their mothers who lived their own experiences. A mother’s overt ambition and support for her daughter will always be shaded by what the girl has herself picked up about mother’s own experience. These felt experiences would have formed a template for what was possible for the daughter herself. What an individual feels is doable for her sense of self, is formed early on in childhood. It doesn’t mean she won’t challenge the multiple and confusing messages she’s taken in. Of course she will. We all do, but we do so with the history of our moment which still despite all the advances has not quite made women hosts in the workplace.

By Susie Orbach

Susie Orbach is a psychoanalyst and writer. Her many books on women’s psychology include Understanding Women, What Do Women Want and Between Women, love, competition, envy and anger.

Most of the Media Will Be OK
By Richard Edelman

Culture ,Media
Wall_St_Journal_6AM

Yesterday morning, William Lewis, CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, had breakfast with the Executive Committee of Edelman. Edelman President and CEO Richard Edelman explores his belief that there is a sustainable business model for mainstream media.

William Lewis, CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, had breakfast with the Executive Committee of Edelman yesterday morning. Afterward, I walked him to the elevator with a big smile on my face. He believes that there is a sustainable business model for mainstream media. As he said confidently halfway through the meeting, “Most of the media will be ok.” A bit later, he said, “It has never been more important to have a moral purpose in journalism. We provide valuable information to our customers; we aim to be the most accurate news provider in the world.” To all of this I say, three cheers and more, as those of us in public relations need a vibrant media business. Here are highlights of the discussion:

1. From Products to Platforms — Everything at The Wall Street Journal is being re-made for mobile devices. “We are in the constant knowledge business. We provide content as and when the customer needs it, “ Lewis said. “The digital suite of products is now refreshed. We have cut the download time for our content. We are innovating furiously; our Newsmart product is for people who don’t have English as first language.”

2. Social Media Strategy — “Many of our journalists are using social channels to cross-promote their stories. We are also creating our own social networks. For example, our Newsmart community will enable a 25 year old South Korean in technology to connect with a 25 year old Brazilian in the same industry to share experiences.”

3. Be First — Our integrated newsroom aims to be first with notifications to customers, building on our newswires heritage.

4. Advertising Matters — There are many sectors that need to reach the influencers who read the WSJ, from financial services to technology to professional services. Lewis insists on maintaining a strong price point for a full page ad or a home page takeover. Programmatic advertising is becoming substantial and the company now can position the ads across its full product breadth. “We have new products, such as a real estate service called Mansion Global that connects buyers and sellers from the US, China and Spanish speaking nations.”

5. Bespoke Content — This is a possible area for PR firm cooperation with the WSJ. Recently the advertising department developed content on the All-Blacks rugby team from New Zealand for sponsor AIG.

6. Newsroom on Fire — “There is swagger in the newsroom. This produces better journalism. We break the big stories such as the corruption at FIFA. We just won a Pulitzer.”

7. Three Legged Revenue Model — “We have strong revenue in both advertising and circulation. We also make money from information services such as Factiva. We are enabling Factiva to give you the latest information on a senior executive you are calling on for new business.”

8. Dynamic Paywall — “We are thinking about the next generation paywall, more dynamic, harder in places, softer in others.”

Lewis is very much open to PR firms and corporate PR departments coming with ideas to Dow Jones/WSJ. He wants to do more with the conferences such as WSJ Eco or the D Conference. He believes in intelligent sponsored content that enhances the reader experience. He sees the world as a continuum, with two thirds of the WSJ print readers also involved with the digital product via mobile or desktop. Therefore, those of us in the PR business have to adapt, to offer clients our classic service of intelligent relationships with WSJ journalists, but also offer short form video, GIFs, and smart events that enable Show and Tell.

This article originally appeared on Richard Edelman’s 6A.M. Blog.

Written by: Richard Edelman, President and CEO at Edelman

Queen's Speech 2015

Government Affairs
westminster_queens_Speech

The first fully Conservative Queen’s Speech since 1996 contained few surprises – unless you count the fact that Labour MP Dennis Skinner, who by tradition fires off a quip at Her Majesty’s representative Black Rod when he arrives to summon the Commons, was uncharacteristically silent.

The first fully Conservative Queen’s Speech since 1996 contained few surprises – unless you count the fact that Labour MP Dennis Skinner, who by tradition fires off a quip at Her Majesty’s representative Black Rod when he arrives to summon the Commons, was uncharacteristically silent.

David Cameron is watching the Labour leadership contenders fight it out while seeking to enjoy his overall majority for as long as he possibly can – but it won’t be easy. Despite his unexpected outright win at the election, the Prime Minister only has a majority of 12. The honeymoon period will soon be over; the news that the plan to replace the Human Rights Act is running into trouble is proof of that. The political uncertainty of the last few years may be replaced by simply not knowing whether the Government will win key votes week to week, while Mr Cameron tries to keep his MPs’ focus on the European referendum.

To guide you through the implications of the Queen’s Speech, Edelman has created a short briefing which can be found here.

Cinemagraphs: Bringing life to photography

Entertainment ,Media
photography_camera

In the ever-changing world of media, we are constantly innovating and searching for new ways to present information. An effective way to achieve this is sometimes, quite simply, to make it look nice. From Infographics to GIFs, graphical presentation of information is ever more popular.

In the ever-changing world of media, we are constantly innovating and searching for new ways to present information. An effective way to achieve this is sometimes, quite simply, to make it look nice. From Infographics to GIFs, graphical presentation of information is ever more popular.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and cinemagraphs are an exciting addition to the digital world. They are a medium in which individual moments of film are blended with a static image, creating a visually stunning and almost hypnotic juxtaposition.

The Digital Artist duo, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck were among the first to realise their power as a new, more refined method of creating beautiful images

We don’t have to look very far to see the implications that this magic has in the world of communication. There is a huge amount of creative potential for cinemagraphs within content strategy. These unique new ads convince people to stop scrolling and pay attention to the image for longer, allowing the viewer to have more of a lasting impression.

Cinemagraphs: Frederick Haydn-Slater

Written by: Frederick Haydn-Slater, Assistant Account Executive at Edelman

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