Research Alert: Why Women in Biz Are Using Fake Male Assistants

A recently revealed trend of female entrepreneurs using fake male assistants demonstrates how gender norms play out in business communication.

Kelly Doody of Social School. (Image Credit: Club Innovation Conference)

It is no surprise that women in business, especially those who are themselves entrepreneurs, face unique difficulties. A number of women have spoken out about this. A few women have even come out to reveal how they navigate these issues. 

One way they have found helps their work is by having a fake male assistant who handles certain tasks. 

Kelly Doody and Jandra Sutton are two such entrepreneurs who utilize this tactic. Doody is the CEO of Social School, and Sutton is a podcaster. Sutton revealed her use of a fake male assistant in a tiktok that went viral, seen here

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Teresa Bonner on Ageism, Othering, and Ending Broken Systems

 Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Teresa Bonner, Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies.

Teresa Bonner, Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies. (Image Credit: Teresa Bonner)

What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

The short answer is “everything!” By the time I began working for foundations, I had spent about ten years on the public charity side of the table, and prior to that, I worked as an attorney for a number of years. When I reached the philanthropic stage of my career, I had quite a bit of experience in the workplace and in the nonprofit sector. Despite that, I had no idea that private foundations were subject to many more rules and requirements than public charities are, or that institutional philanthropy had its own established culture and norms.

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Educating a New Tech Generation in Cambodia with Sisters of Code

Sisters of Code is the first female coding club in Cambodia, where the field of technology is heavily male-dominated. The program was established in 2019 to empower female students and support them through education so that they can reach their full potential and grow a new generation of digital creators. 

sisters of code
Sisters of Code is bringing coding skills to young women in Cambodia. (Image Credit: Sisters of Code)

“Girls can often hear that technology is not a career path for a lady,” said Mrs. Natalja Rodinova, Sisters of Code founder. “But why would we exclude 50% of the population not even giving a chance? That is what Sisters of Code wants to challenge.”

Women often feel unwelcome in the tech industry. They get negative comments about their skills, they don’t have enough role models, and they don’t get enough support. Sisters of Code helps girls grow confidence and challenges long-held gender stereotypes by providing an environment where young women can learn directly from other female instructors, encourage each other, and share in their accomplishments.

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After the Forum: How Do We Ensure Results from #GenerationEquality?

This summer saw the return of events around the world dedicated to feminist funding, and chief among them was the annual #GenerationEquality Forum, held online and in Paris from June 3oth to July 2nd.

generation equality
Image Credit: UN Women, Facebook

Topics ranged from progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the pandemic’s impact on women’s empowerment to notes on our progress from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The ultimate attitude of the Forum was one of anticipation and excitement: as the impact of the pandemic lessens around the world, we can look forward to a time of progress toward #GenerationEquality goals and recoup the social losses from COVID-19.

Over the three days of the #GenerationEquality Forum, a combination of fundraising efforts, corporate pledges, nonprofit campaign announcements, and other donations resulted in a total of $40 billion pledged to women and girls.

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Gates Divorce Update: If Not Working in Two Years, Bill Gets Foundation

Editor’s Note: The New York Times reports that Bill Gates scores big in the divorce – if he and Melinda cannot work together in two years, he will gain full control of the Foundation, with Melinda receiving additional payouts for her work there.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is destined to be fully under Bill's control in two years if the couple cannot learn to work together. (Image credit: Unsplash)
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation may become fully under Bill’s control in two years if the couple cannot learn to work together. (Image credit: Unsplash)

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates have at times referred to the foundation they established together as their “fourth child.” If over the next two years they can’t find a way to work together following their planned divorce, Mr. Gates will get full custody.

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Rajasvini Bhansali: Democratic Future of US Not Guaranteed

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Rajasvini Bhansali, Executive Director of Solidaire Network.

Rajasvini Bhansali
Rajasvini Bhansali, Executive Director of Solidaire Network (courtesy of Rajasvini Bhansali)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I wish I had known to counter any external and internalized messages about individual leadership accomplishments with the recognition that we are deeply interdependent on others for our success. I would have been even more vulnerable and drawn strength from my community and led in a way that created conditions for even greater connectedness amongst different organizations, networks, and alliances. Sometimes I focused on my own team and organization’s needs over all sectoral, movement building and ecosystem level concerns.  But if the ecosystem doesn’t thrive then each organism within it also suffers. So as feminist leaders, we have to continuously nurture the whole ecosystem.

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Who Gets to be Princess? Art Exhibit Deconstructs Oppression

Editor’s Note: Sometimes art can be restorative and help us, as donors and activists, to see the world in a new light. The following exhibition by Vickie Pierre provides much-needed artistic attention to issues related to women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.

The Divine Feminine Interventions of Vickie Pierre

Totems For My Sisters (We Are Illuminous!), 2019. Latex and metallic paint, metal, resin and wood shelf sconces, wooden ship bookends, decorative plastic wall plaques, Avon glass perfume bottles, plastic foliage, jewelry, silk doll hair, hand-strung beads, shaped MDF panel and vinyl lettering. 

Vickie Pierre: Be My Herald of What’s to Come  

On View June 9 through September 5 at the Boca Raton Museum of Art Like the town crier in a fractured fairy tale, “Be My Herald of What’s to Come” rings in Vickie Pierre’s premiere solo museum show at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Grounded in the Arts and Crafts movement, her installations have a storybook feel. A fractured fairy tale is, after all, a new twist on an old story, reimagined and restructured for a contemporary sensibility. Just as fractured fairytales can be more subversive than the traditional fables, the playfulness and whimsical flourishes of Pierre’s assemblages are underscored by her pull towards the beautifully grotesque

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Sonal Sachdev Patel: Read This Post, Then Get Some Rest

Editor’s Note: The following essay from Sonal Sachdev Patel, CEO of God My Silent Partner Foundation, discusses the poor quality of life that many professionals in the nonprofit sector live with, and ways to improve that quality of life.

We live in a society that too often equates money with power – and there are very few people with more money than MacKenzie Scott.

get some rest
Sonal Sachdev Patel, CEO of God My Silent Partner Foundation. (Image credit: GMSP)

That’s why I was delighted to read her latest Medium post in which she makes the case for philanthropists getting more done by ceding power and getting out of the way.

That is, providing long-term, unrestricted funding to high-impact nonprofit organizations so they can get on with the important work of making positive change.

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Ms. Foundation Welcomes Rene Redwood and Four New Board Members

The Ms. Foundation welcomes Rene Redwood, Gwen Chapman, Charline Gipson, Diane Manuel, and Pamela Shifman to its Board of Directors.

The Ms. Foundation has announced the return of Rene Redwood (bottom left) and the addition of Diane Manuel (top center), Charline Gipson (top right), Gwen Chapman (bottom center) and Pamela Shifman (bottom right) to its Board of Directors. (Image credits: Ms. Foundation for Women)
The Ms. Foundation has announced the return of Rene Redwood (bottom left) and the addition of Diane Manuel (top center), Charline Gipson (top right), Gwen Chapman (bottom center) and Pamela Shifman (bottom right) to its Board of Directors. (Image credits: Ms. Foundation for Women)

Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women announced the return of Rene Redwood and Gwen Chapman, Charline Gipson, Diane Manuel, and Pamela Shifman as new members of its distinguished Board of Directors. These additions bring background in finance along with expertise in environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG) through the lens of gender and race equity. 

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Co-Impact Announces Launch of New One Billion for The Gender Fund

Editor’s Note: The following announcement is from Olivia Leland, founder of Co-Impact, and the Co-Impact team.

Co-Impact has announced the launch of a new fund, The Gender Fund, to focus grantmaking on gender equality and women’s leadership. (Image credit: Co-Impact on Twitter)

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Partners,

As we begin the Generation Equality Forum, a key moment and platform to lay out joint agendas and commitments to action around gender equality, we have a chance to do something truly transformative – to be catalytic to a degree not previously possible and to re-imagine a world that serves all people equally.

That is why I am so excited to write to you today to announce the development of Co-Impact’s second fund – the Gender Fund – which seeks to raise and grant US $1 billion over the next decade to accelerate progress towards gender equality and advance women’s leadership.

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