Thursday, 21 March 2019

Women, Our Success May Rely On One Another

Success and Support

Together is always better!

What if our female network can help us not just in imagining career possibilities or in opening up opportunities in the workplace but in our everyday work too?Getty
Research exploring women in the workplace already highlights plenty of compelling findings. In one study looking at female leaders, organizational power and sex segregation the results suggested that women in higher levels of organizational power may be key catalysts for change. Evidence such as this is supported by findings from the World Economic ForumTheir data showed that female leaders hire more females. We also know that same-sex friendship significantly predicts course taking in all subjects for young women. For women, having role models and female mentors impacts the paths they go on to take and the work they choose to do. But what if our female network can help us not just in imagining career possibilities or in opening up opportunities in the workplace but in our everyday work too?
New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that women who had a female-heavy “inner circle” were more likely to move up the career ladder into higher-ranking leadership roles. Those who found themselves entering these roles also had expansive social networks with connections to peers in similar roles. However, it was their “distinctive inner circle of women in their network” along with their weaker but expansive ties - something the researchers referred to as “dual connectivity” - that was important for women’s success. These “strong and weak ties” appeared to help provide women with a diversity of job-market data, information and connections key to job searches and negotiation. All of which are extremely helpful when trying to forge a successful and developing career. 
One key question is how do we know these findings can't be attributed to men and women? Well, the researchers of this study found a clear gender divide. Men who find themselves in higher level positions also have an expansive network of connections, however, the divide shows when looking at the gender patterns of those networks. The gender composition of a man’s social network doesn’t appear to have any significant effect on them moving into higher ranking positions. Meaning it doesn't matter how many men or women make up their social network. Whereas for women it does. So while both genders appear to benefit from this network, the gender composition and a female heavy inner circle significantly predicts a move up the ladder for women.

Research such as this shines an interesting light on the value of our social networks. It also reminds us of how valuable building and maintaining strong professional relationships can be. It gives us the opportunity to appreciate the ties and relationships we already have and develop more moving forward with women and with men. Because although as women our success may rely on one another working towards professional, respectful and supportive workplace relationships with everyone can only be a good thing.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Program Helps Women Get Past The Blame Game

How To Get Past The Blame Game

 Inspiring Report!

Karin R. hasn’t had a drink in seven months.
That might not seem like a big deal if alcohol has never been your thing, but from the time she was 12 years old, Karin needed it to get through the day.
Karin is 25 years old now, and so when she thinks about where she’s been and where she is now, she can’t help but cry.
“Everything I wanted – peace, love, acceptance – I looked for in a bottle,” she told me. “I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d find it all here in Jesus at Gilgal.”
I’d venture a guess that few who’ve entered here ever expected to reclaim their lives. The majority came because they had limited choices.

In the years since Val Cater founded the nonprofit she calls the Women of Gilgal, nearly 600 age 18 and over experiencing homelessness due to drug and alcohol addiction have called this place home.
If you happened to spend any time in Sunday school, you might remember that Gilgal is on the eastern border of Jericho, where the Israelites encamped immediately after crossing the Jordan River. There, they erected 12 stones as a memorial to the miraculous parting of the river where they crossed on dry land.
Joshua, the story goes, called the place Gilgal because God said: “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.”
RELATED: ‘I’m Amanda Davis and I’m an alcoholic’
Cater told me she didn’t come looking for this. It came for her.
After graduating in 1981 from the University of Alabama, she thought she’d live her life teaching mathematics. After all, up until then, she’d spent her life around the kitchen table solving math problems with her parents, who were both educators.
“Math came easy to me, then I met a boy during my freshman year who thought I was cute and smart,” Cater recalled with a twinkle in her eyes. “He was a senior at the time and began working at IBM when he graduated.”
Tommie Cater would soon convince her to apply for a position with the technology company.
“I interviewed on Tuesday and started working on Wednesday as a co-op student,” she said.
Cater remained with IBM 13 years before starting her own technology company, selling backup and storage systems.
She was focused on that and raising two children when her husband in 2004 announced she “should do something for women.”
Cater’s answer was no, but a few weeks later, he was at it again. Do something for women.
This time she prayed, asking God to send flashing neon lights if this was part of his plan for her.
“Things just started to happen,” she said.
Cater was in a Bible study called “Believing God.” In one chapter titled “Getting to Gilgal,” she said the lesson centered around breaking the cycle of defeat. Women of Gilgal settled in her gut.
Each week, Gracie Bonds Staples will bring you a perspective on life in the Atlanta area. Life with Gracie runs online Tuesday, Thursday and alternating Fridays.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Meanwhile, her husband had already purchased property; when a friend with whom she shared her vision of helping homeless women overcome addiction introduced her to someone at United Way, the neon lights went off.
It was “exactly” something in which United Way wanted to invest. The nonprofit gave Cater a startup grant, and the neon lights began to flash.
Two years later in 2006, Cater opened the Women of Gilgal in a cul-de-sac just off Metropolitan Parkway in southwest Atlanta’s Sylvan Hills community.
“If you’d told me I’d be doing social services, I would not have believed it,” said Cater, a longtime member of First Baptist Church Atlanta. “Aside from my love relationship with Jesus, the only thing I knew about helping women find solutions to the issues they faced in life was a lay counselor at church.”
Gilgal is essentially two residential recovery homes, where women spend a year — six months at each — reclaiming their lives.
How are they able to do that?
RELATED: Children who attend religious services are happier adults
“From my standpoint, through an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ,” Cater said. “If they are able to do that, I know that he is able to change their lives because when they walked in the door, he already knew their past and he already had provisions for their future.”
Val Cater is the founder of the Women of Gilgal, which helps homeless women experiencing drug and alcohol abuse overcome their addiction and live independently. GRACIE BONDS STAPLES / GSTAPLES@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
During the first six months of the program, called the healing stage, the women receive individual assessments and case management plans. They attend daily classes and participate in group and individual counseling, Bible study, and personal reflection. If they need it, they can get connected to comprehensive medical and mental health services.
“I want them to focus on what’s spiritually, emotionally and physically possible,” Cater said. “I need them to own their stuff because as long as they blame someone else, they can keep doing what they’ve been doing.”
Women who successfully complete the first phase move to a second residential home and enter Gilgal’s Homeward Bound program, ready to begin the search for a career and ultimately independent living.
When we talked early this month, Karin R., 25, was days away from entering this phase.
But up until last August, she was convinced she’d be a drunk for the rest of her life.
“I wanted to stop but I couldn’t,” she said.
Then through an inexplicable mix of circumstances, she arrived at Gilgal with “no desire to believe in Jesus. I didn’t even know he was a real person. I just wanted to get sober.”
Weeks later, she was sitting with Gilgal’s program director blaming everyone for what was wrong.
“She grabbed my hands and for two hours shared what God had done in her life,” Karin said. “He showed himself to me and I’ve been sober seven months, the longest since I was 12 years old.”
On Nov. 4, she was baptized at First Baptist. Karin R. had crossed her Jordan, and the shame of living as an alcoholic had rolled away.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Heart attacks can happen to young and fit women – as South Jersey mother learned

Heart Attacks In Young Women

 Important article highlighting the danger of heart attacks in young women!  Click the link above for the full article!

Knowing the symptoms can be crucial to surviving SCAD

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice
Brianne Callahan, 38, of Moorestown, New Jersey, suffered a heart attack from Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection, commonly known as SCAD, while skiing with her family in Vermont.
Brianne Callahan noticed the symptoms. After all, it was difficult to miss the feeling of an elephant sitting on her chest.

But she initially failed to recognize the serious message they were sending, figuring she was still getting back into shape after having her fourth child a few months earlier.

Despite experiencing shortness of breath and pain in her right arm during a family trip last year, Callahan told herself to push through the pain. She skied a Vermont mountain for another two days.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Have You Seen the Safety Warning Hidden Inside Your Cellphone?

Cell Phones

This is an interesting article which highlights the dangers of Cell Phones!

Story at-a-glance

  • A little-known warning from the manufacturer hidden within your cellphone manual advises you to keep the device at a certain distance from your body to ensure you don’t exceed federal safety limits for radiofrequency (RF) exposure
  • Depending on the manufacturer, you need to keep your cellphone at least 5 to 15 millimeters away from your head and body at all times to avoid exceeding the safety limit for RF exposure
  • In the real-world, most people carry their phones close to their body, usually in a pocket or bra. When popular cellphones were tested in direct contact to the body, they all exceeded the safety limit
  • SAR is a measure of how much RF energy your body will absorb from the device when held at a specific distance from your body (ranging from 5 to 15 mm, depending on the manufacturer). It’s important to realize that the SAR value is not an indication of how safe your phone is
  • SAR testing, which is modeled on a very large male head, was devised before cellphone usage became commonplace among toddlers and young children, whose skulls allow for far greater RF energy penetration

Friday, 15 March 2019

New Weapon Against Breast Cancer | Newswise: News for Journalists

New Weapon Against Breast Cancer | Newswise: News for Journalists:

 New research from the University of Delaware suggests pairing two forms of minimally invasive, light-triggered therapy may be a powerful new option in combatting a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer.

Newswise — Two University of Delaware researchers have developed a new approach to attack cancer, using two light-activated treatments that appear to be more effective together than when applied independently. More research is needed, but the findings point to promising new approaches against an especially challenging kind of cancer — triple negative breast cancer — which was the focus of their recent studies.
Triple negative breast cancer is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer that accounts for 10 to 20 percent of patients. It is called triple negative because the cancer cells do not have three biomolecules commonly found on other breast cancer cells – receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone and another receptor known as HER2. This means there are no targeted treatments for triple-negative breast cancer, so it is usually managed with surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Each of these options has negative side effects with less than ideal patient outcomes.
Now UD researchers Emily Day, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Joel Rosenthal, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and their labs have shown that a combination of two minimally invasive therapies could give doctors a more powerful weapon against this cancer as well as others.
Both treatments are activated by near-infrared wavelengths of laser light, but each accomplishes its mission differently. One — called photodynamic therapy (PDT) — uses light-sensitive agents called photosensitizers to produce a lethal form of oxygen (singlet oxygen) to accomplish a combustion-like destruction of the cancer cells. The other therapy — called photothermal therapy (PTT) — uses light-sensitive gold nanoshells that heat up when irradiated with light and can essentially ‘cook’ cancer cells to death.
Because the cancer-killing effects of these treatments are achieved only when the photosensitizers or nanoshells are combined with light at the tumor site, both phototreatments can be directly and selectively applied to tumor sites and cancerous tissues. As a result, they are expected to show fewer side effects than more conventional radiation or chemotherapy treatment options.
“Photodynamic and photothermal therapy are not new concepts and there are probes and nano-based materials that have been developed and used for such applications, but there are limitations and drawbacks associated with  those existing systems,” Rosenthal said.
Some are not effective in deeper tissue because the necessary light cannot reach it, while others can damage white blood cells or cause problems in other nearby healthy tissue.
When used together, though, the UD team found that these treatments show powerful synergy, meaning they provide greater than an additive therapeutic effect when compared to the individual treatments. Together, they required lower dosages and produced more natural cell death (apoptosis) than the kind of cell death caused by injury or disease (necrosis). The latter, which can often trigger harmful inflammation and lead to recurrence of disease is a cell death mechanism that Day and Rosenthal were actively trying to avoid.
This dual approach has not been used in clinical trials yet and more research is needed before that step can be taken. The agent used in the photothermal therapy is already in use in clinical trials, Day said. But the PDT agent — a water-soluble biladiene complex synthesized in Rosenthal’s lab — is new.
The connection between these two UD labs started about two years ago when Day heard a presentation by one of Rosenthal’s doctoral students, Andrea Potocny, during the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Student Seminar Series. Potocny was discussing efforts to develop water-soluble molecules to use in photodynamic therapy.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) works by turning the regularly stable oxygen molecules (triplet) within a cell into a more energetic form (singlet) that rapidly reacts with and degrades organic material. This therapy has been used to kill viruses and bacteria and treat some kinds of malignant cancers.
Rosenthal’s lab had developed a complex that would produce the toxic singlet oxygen that could trigger destruction of cancer cells. They needed a water-soluble molecule that could be used in a real tumor in its regular biological context.
Day, whose lab was working with nanoparticles for photothermal therapy (PTT), realized she could help. She had extensive experience working with models of triple-negative breast cancer with which to test the new PDT approach, as well as examine its combined application with PTT.
It was a remarkable success – a hat trick of advances, including easy preparation, biological compatibility and excellent potency. The new biladiene complex was effective in a small dose and had a much higher phototoxicity score than PDT agents in current use.
Upon demonstrating that the biladiene PDT agent developed by the Rosenthal lab was both extremely safe and effective, another question emerged – what would happen if they combined the photodynamic therapy with the photothermal therapy?
That work led to uncharted territory and two  publications – one in the journal Inorganic Chemistry on the new PDT approach and one in the journal Nanomaterials on the combined PDT and PTT approach.
To combine the two approaches, the labs used nanoshells (silica spheres coated with thin, gold shells) to enable photothermal therapy and used the biladiene photosensitizer developed by the Rosenthal lab to enable photodynamic therapy. The treatments were applied either independently or together to cell culture models of triple-negative breast cancer, and their safety and efficacy were then examined.
An undergraduate student in Day’s lab — senior Rachel O’Sullivan — noticed unexpected results.
“When we were testing the treatments, out of the blue I noticed that when we put them together it was more effective at killing cells than each on their own,” she said. “I went and talked to Rachel [Riley] in the lab about it and she was surprised. I asked her if I did something wrong and she said, ‘No! If it’s working synergistically, that’s really good!’”
Further studies by the Day and Rosenthal team demonstrated this was indeed the case. The combined therapies could synergistically inhibit triple-negative breast cancer cells.
Support for the research came from the University of Delaware Strategic Initiative Grant, the Delaware Federal Research and Development Grant Program, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, a University of Delaware Graduate Fellowship and the American Association of University Women.
About the researchers
Emily Day is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, who earlier won a National Science Foundation Early Career Award. Her research focuses on nanomedicine, gene regulation, photothermal therapy and translational cancer research. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Oklahoma, her doctorate in bioengineering at Rice University and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University before joining the UD faculty in 2013. The students in her lab who worked on this project include Rachel O’Sullivan (a senior undergraduate in biomedical engineering) and Rachel Riley (a 2018 doctoral graduate from biomedical engineering who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania).
Joel Rosenthal is an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and associate chair of Graduate Studies and Research. He is an expert in photochemistry and electrochemistry and through his research seeks to address issues related to catalysis, molecular energy conversion and the improvement of human health. He earned his bachelor’s degree from New York University, his doctorate in inorganic chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as an NIH postdoctoral research fellow at MIT before joining the UD faculty in 2010. Among his awards to date are an NSF Early Career Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and selection as a Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholar. The student in his lab who worked on this project is Andrea Potocny, a doctoral student in chemistry and biochemistry.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

The Secret To Women's Empowerment Is Women

Women Empowerment

The Secret To Women's Empowerment Is Women
Post written by
Keemia Ferasat
Keemia Ferasat is the Founder and CEO of Style Salute, a mission-driven digital media company focused on the positive power of women.
What a year it has been already.
Record numbers of women are making their voices heard in Congress. There are almost 75 million of us in the U.S. workforce. We are educated like never before, earning more than ever, and starting business and philanthropic empires that are changing the world.
We’ve come a long, long way, baby … but we have more work to do to change perceptions and ensure gender equality for future generations.
Lean In and McKinsey recently released research showing that despite all the “leaning in” we have done, there has been virtually no advancement of women in business. As the study put it: “Progress isn't just slowed — it’s stalled.”
Depressing, right? It's not the best news, but I am hopeful about our fate because we are finally talking about the issues that hold us back and collaborating on how to confront them.
I believe that one way forward is to make sure that women support each other. How can we expect women to succeed if we're not directly involved in the effort? Women comprise almost 47% of the workforce, we control up to 80% of consumer spending and we own more than half of the investable assets in the United States. But somewhere, somehow, we became convinced that we needed men to empower us.

We are the solution.
The combined voice of women is powerful and it can uplift our communities. We should be standing up for other women at work, telling success stories and banding together so that we can't be ignored.
In honor of Women's History Month, here are three steps women (and men) can take to continue to move the needle closer to equality.
1. Sponsorship at work matters, especially for women. 
It has been said that the biggest decisions about your career are often made when you are not in the room. So, what can you do? Forget the mentor — get yourself a sponsor.
While mentors guide you and give you advice, sponsors go beyond traditional social, emotional and personal growth and advocate on your behalf. For women especially, it takes more than meeting expectations and getting the work done to get noticed. you need a sponsor fighting for you. Too often, women make the mistake of assuming mentors and sponsors are interchangeable.
Sponsors can also offer career coaching and guidance that enable other women in their organization to make more strategic contributions. Many trailblazers, including the Tory Burch Foundation, Broadway Angels and Female Founders Fund are setting up networks to help women find sponsors and advance professionally.
2. Invest in women.
As Elastigirl said in The Incredibles: “Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don’t think so.” Sallie Krawcheck often mentions this quote when she's talking about her digital investment platform Ellevest. (Full disclosure: Ellevest is a partner of Style Salute.)
There is a growing number of impact funds that allow investors to power social and economic change by advancing women globally. How do they work? Say you invest in a fund that provides loans to women-owned businesses in a community. You can potentially earn financial returns from the fund, and it enables other women to grow their businesses.
And when those businesses grow, they create new opportunities and more profits, leading to financial growth and a more robust economy. Studies show that women reinvest 90% of their income back into their families and communities. In other words, when women thrive, we all thrive. Investment funds that pursue above market returns through investing in women include Golden Seeds LLC and Ellevest Impact Portfolios. 
3. Standing up makes a big difference.
One roadblock to equality is women's tendency to stay silent. We have all been there — we witness something at work that isn't OK, and we ignore it out of fear, jealousy or ambivalence. We need to change that. We can all speak up as individuals. When you witness "mansplaining" or a woman being given "office housework," say something about it in whatever way makes you and everyone else feel comfortable.
Supporting each other will help us advance at work, start businesses, buy dream homes, reach our big life goals and achieve even more. This matters for all of us and for our communities.
None of us are operating in a silo. Advancing women in our own communities and offices and providing opportunities for them to reach their potential is important both for attaining gender equality and also for meeting a wide range of international development goals.
We can bridge the gender inequality gap by sponsoring women, investing in them and standing up for them. My mantra: empowered women empower women. When we support each other, when we work to make women stronger, when we break through taboos to speak up — if we do it together — everyone wins.