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Welcome to Webgrrls Wisdom, a blog to find commentaries about women's careers, business, technology, and the industry.

Posts written by maria

The face of female leadership throughout time – 75 women leaders

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Business,Education,Leadership,Mentors & Motivators,Technology

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March is Women’s History Month, the theme is empowerment through education. As I started to consider what I knew about the role of women leaders throughout history, I decided to come up with a list of 75 inspirational female leaders through time, some of these are for fun others are truly admirable women …. Some I knew of, others I got to know while researching this list – ALL are fascinating and brave who have contributed to our history.

Please share this list with your friends, sisters and daughters – and come up with one of your own, the more we know about women, the more we are empowered with “her-story”.

  1. The women in my family who emigrated from Cuba with nothing, and managed our family in exile :)
  2. Asmaa Mahfouz (1987 – ) Egyptian activist, founder of the April 6 Youth Movement
  3. Sheryl Sandberg (1971 – )
  4. Arianna Huffington (1950 – )
  5. Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, Supreme Court (1954 – )
  6. Zaha Hadid, First Woman to Win a Pritzker Prize (1950 – )
  7. Michelle Bachelet (1951 – ) Ms. Michelle Bachelet Under-Secretary-General Executive Director of UN Women, former President of Chile  
  1. Angela Merkel (1954 – ) Chancellor of Germany
  2. Kazuyo Sejima (1956 – ) SANAA Japanese architect 
  3. Wangari Maathai (1940 – 2011) Founder of Green Belt Movement and 2004 Nobel Peace prize
  4. Hillary Clinton (1947 – ) US Secretary of State, former First Lady
  5. Madeleine Albright (1937 – ) Former US Secretary of State, first woman.
  6. Isabel Ayende (1942 – )
  7. Benazir Bhutto (1953 – 2007)
  8. Mother Theresa (1910 – 1997)
  9. Margarret Thatcher (1925 – )
  10. Gloria Steinem (1934 – )
  11. Sirivamo Bandaranaike (1916-2000) Sri-Lanka, First elected woman prime minister
  12. Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers (U.F.W.) (1930
  13. Antonia Coello Novello first Latina Surgeon General of the United States.
  14. Julia Child (1912 – 2004)
  15. Princess Diana (1960 – 1997)
  16. Margaret Mead (1901 – 1979)
  17. Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005)
  18. Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India (1917 – 1984)
  19. Golda Meir (1898 -1978)
  20. Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, USNR  (1906 – 1992) Computer pioneer
  21. Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954)
  22. Gertrude Stein (1874 – 1946)  
  23. Valentina Tereshkova (1937 – ) Cosmonaut, first woman in space
  24. Amelia Earhart (1897 – 1937?) 
  25. Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910) 
  26. Juliette Gordon Low (1860 – 19270 Founder of the Girl Scouts 
  27. Marie LaVeau (1801 – 1881) Voodoo Queen of New Orleans and famous herbalist.
  28. Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)
  29. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 – 1896) 
  30. Pocahontas (1594 0 1615) 
  31. Joan of Arc  (1412 – 1431)
  32. Madame Curie (1867 – 1934) The Nobel Prize in Physics 1903
  33. Wilma Mankiller  (1945 – ) First woman to lead the Cherokee Nation
  34. Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906)
  35. Clara Barton (1821-1912) Founder of the Red Cross
  36. Frances Perkins (1882-1965) First woman member of the presidential Cabinet 
  37. Mary Lyon (1797-1849) Founder of Mt. Holyoke College, first college for women in the US
  38. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1651 – 1695) Mexican poet, writer
  39. Anne Bonny (1698-1782) Female pirate 
  40. Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793)
  41. Isabella I of Castile Queen of Spain (1451 – 1504)
  42. Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901)
  43. Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 - 1204)
  44. Elizabeth I Queen of England (1533 – 1603)
  45. Queen Sukda of Mandara (Cameroon) (Around 1500)
  46. Regent Dowager Empress Eleni of Ethiopia (1507-1516)
  47. Governor Sayyida al-Hurra of Tetouán (Morocco) (1510-1552 )
  48. Maria Theresa of Hapsburg (1717-1780) Empress of Austria
  49. Queen Regnant Anacaona of the Maguana (early 1500) Taino Tribe Hispanola
  50. Catherine the Great Empress of Russia (1729 – 1796)
  51. Verónica I of Matamba ruler of Ndongoand Matamba (1681-1721)
  52. Lady Isabel Xipaguazin Moctezuma of Tacuba (1525-1550) Mexico
  53. Regent Dowager Duchess Chiara Giorgio of Athenai (1451- 1454) Greece
  54. Female King Atotoztli of Tenochtitlán (1466-1472) Mexico
  55. Princess Regnant Bigum Hatun of Qara Quyünlü (1435-67) Iran/Iraq 
  56. Governor Lucrezia Borgia of Spoleto and Foligno (1480 – 1519) Italy
  57. Queen Regnant Paccha of Quito (Cara) (1487-1488)  (Ecuador)
  58. Empress Theodora  (500 – 548)
  59. Wu Zetian (690 – 705)
  60. Cleopatra (69 – 30 BC)
  61. Makeda, Queen of Sheba (10th century B.C.)
  62. Chieftainess Sharifa Fatima of the Zaydi (Yemen) (1450-1500)
  63. Taoist Priest Empress Zhang in China (1493 – )
  64. Empress Liu (Wu) (318–349)
  65. Kubaba (only queen on the Sumerian King List) (2500-2330 BC)
  66. Sapho (580 – 570)
  67. Esther from the bible
  68. Deborah was one of the Judges of Israel

Do you know another woman leader that I didn’t mention? please let me know in the comment section.

Parlodel

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Collaborate to innovate, in your business and beyond

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Business,Career,Leadership,Social Media,Technology,Women in Technology

Last week during a conversation with a potential client, I was asked what aspect of my business I enjoyed the most – I didn’t hesitate a second and answered – COLLABORATION! Working together, as a team with the best people, who are subject matter experts in their fields can make for amazing, and sometimes unexpected results – and I find that fascinating and exhilarating. No doubt this has been an important part of my life, even during my EMBA program at Thunderbird, one of our mantras was “collaborate so you can graduate”.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TRADITIONAL HIERARCHY AND COLLABORATIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTS

In my business, ideas evolve and grow in COLLABORATION with our peers and subordinates – I have often worked with teams spread all over the globe, and the dynamic of collaboration can be real “magic” when everyone takes pride of ownership and responsibility. Being open to all ideas, and understanding that the next great one could come from a customer or a subordinate is really empowering. Unlike popular belief, however, working collaboratively doesn’t mean always playing nice and signing the same tune, it isn’t like group therapy – yeah, sometimes thing get messy when egos get in the way – this is when a strong and nurturing leader needs to step in and wrangle the cats errr… I mean team …

When I work with teams, our communication is open – unhindered by formality and “structure”. The point of this is to create an environment of mutual respect, where the interaction of diverse perspectives leads to an exchange of ideas leading to an an effective solution. This doesn’t mean that it is a “free for all”, there is always a clear leader, but the input of each member is valued equally. The leadership skills needed in a collaborative business environments are very different, somewhere between a kindergarten teacher and Margaret Thatcher, the goal is to guide the flow, and get the BEST out of each team member.

The distinct difference between collaborative groups and formal groups, is that collaborative groups function on the basis of shared power and management among peers, rather than an absolute directive from the top – think of it as managing horizontally rather than vertically.      

And thanks to the world of online communication COLLABORATION has grown even more in certain industries – writers often work in a team with an Art Director, Animators with Producers, business strategist with writers, Engineers with art directors, Directors with Producers and clients…. not all located in the same place but technology makes it possible to do work smoothly in COLLABORATION. 

To me, working COLLABORATIVELY is the only way to get the best ideas and results – collaborate to innovate – but this is NOT the way most business work today, and I wonder WHY? 

The practice of COLLABORATION, which is so common for some businesses hasn’t gone mainstream, most traditional businesses never get “it”, and still allow their executives to engage in more territorial and competitive practices – these often lead to what I call sandbox “turf wars”…… unlike COLLABORATIVE leaders who share control and give credit for ideas, and who facilitate the process of problem solving through diplomacy – refer to my previous comment about Thatcher. COLLABORATION is not common, but what if it where?

Some companies like Mozilla, Linux, eBay, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Amazon, are structured around collaboration and team leadership that really works, so what makes for this difference in leadership?

TOP QUALITIES OF A COLLABORATIVE LEADER

Continue Reading “Collaborate to innovate, in your business and beyond”

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Creativity in Business

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Business,Career,Leadership,Marketing,Technology,Work-Life Balance

I work in a creative business – the business of creativity to be exact, and I see how difficult it is for some business people and academics to understand HOW a creative approach can help a business grow. But in today’s business environment, I can’t imagine a thriving business that is not looking at their business in a creative way.

The subject of creativity in business has been on the forefront lately, discussed in business blogs and articles in serous publications. There is no question that the termCREATIVE” is getting some major traction, according to LinkedIn (based on 135 million professional profiles in several languages), in 2011 “CREATIVE” was the most overused buzz word on user profiles in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, UK.  But what the heck does it REALLY mean in business ?  

What does creativity mean in business?

Does this mean that executives should immerse themselves in afternoons of finger painting in order to find their inner creative mojo? (I am sure this wouldn’t hurt in the least). For the most part business people have been indoctrinated to draw inside the lines, and to ask them to reverse this way of doing things is quite radical, so how can you change this?.

In one of my favorite business books, Daniel H. Pink’s A Whole New Mind , Pink suggests, that the era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which “right brain” qualities-inventiveness, empathy, and meaning-predominate. But how do we make this change that Pink describes? How do we transition from the predominance of the left brain into the right brain?

Continue Reading “Creativity in Business”

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Money doesn’t buy happiness – or maybe it does ????

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Blogs,Business,Career,Leadership,Technology,Work-Life Balance

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. ~ Jane Austen

Money doesn’t buy happiness – or maybe it does ???

This is a question that has been on my mind, because I have noticed a widening chasm between the happiness of the “haves, and those that have less”. People who are comfortable financially and are financially stable seem to be MUCH happier than those who are not, they seem unscathed from the stress of these difficult times. Is their money like an invisible shield that keeps unhappiness at bay?

As the middle class dwindles, and the overall happiness rating in the US drops, I wonder if happiness will be reserved for the 1% of our country OR will we be challenged as a society to redefine happiness? 

There is no doubt that across the board a desire to be happy is prevalent in not just the US, but in our Western culture, and a happy life is very much the preferred life. People who are considered successful, have influence, economic power, stability and tend to be happy.

In a study conducted in Britain, by the Institute of Economic Affairs called “The Pursuit of Happiness”, determined a direct correlation between happiness levels and the amount of wealth a person has accumulated. The study goes as far as to say that CASH can make us happy – and that CASH, is the most important factor in a person’s happiness.

Another study conducted at Princeton, goes as far as to claim that the threshold in the US for happiness is a $75,000 household income (even in high-cost cities), the study analyzed information gathered from 450,000 responses to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (GHWBI).  

Money is human happiness in the abstract; he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete devotes himself utterly to money.
~ Arthur Schopenhauer

The big question is - Does happiness lead to success or does success lead to happiness?

Continue Reading “Money doesn’t buy happiness – or maybe it does ????”

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Some of the Best LISTS of 2011

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Blogs,Business,Design,Education,Events,Marketing,Social Media,Technology,Women in Technology

In that weird time between Christmas and the start of the next year, I love reviewing the year. My 2011 has been quite remarkable, I accomplished many goals and ticked off a few things on my bucket list, including graduating from Thunderbird in Europe, attending Sundance, visiting India and Germany – and overall, just had a wonderful time of travel, friends, and family throughout. 

Now it’s time to read the Top and Best of lists for the year, and as 2011 winds to an end, and we start to get a peek at 2012, it’s time to review what 2011 brought us…. and some of the lists it has spawned.

Here is a list of some of the Best Of lists of 2011 that I have found… I would LOVE to hear some of yours!

  1. 50 Economic Numbers From 2011 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe
  2. 19 Biggest Social Media Moments of 2011
  3. 2011 Top Ten Global Topics
  4. Top Selling DVD’s
  5. 2011 Best Companies to work for
  6. The Best Movies of 2011
  7. The Best Artists of 2011
  8. Top 10 Songs of 2011
  9. The Best Games Of 2011- Awards
  10. The Best of Ted Digital
  11. The Best Cocktails of 2011 and where to drink them
  12. Top Cars of 2011
  13. The Top 10 Marketing Infographics
  14. Best Photos Of The Year 2011
  15. The Best of 2011 by Discovery
  16. 10 Best Commercials of 2011
  17. 2011 Year in Review: Best in art
  18. 50 Best iPhone Apps 2011
  19. 2011 Top Ten TV Shows
  20. The 50 Best Websites of 2011
  21. Best Books Of 2011
  22. 2011 Best Dressed Celebrity Women
  23. Forbes Most Powerful People
  24. Best Of 2011 Pop Culture’s Tastiest bits
  25. Best of 2011 – The Superficial
  26. Forbes Most Powerful Women
  27. The World’s Best Hotels 2011
  28. Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs
  29. The Best Mixtapes of 2011
  30. The Best of 2011: Job Search and Recruiting
  31. The Best of 2011 – AOL
  32. Best of 2011 Brands and Films
  33. Most Admired list of 2011
  34. Top 10 Wines of 2011
  35. 2011 Best Places to live
  36. The Most Viral Fortune 500 Brands

So the Myan calendar ends in 2012. So what? My calendar ends in December. I just buy a new one. ~ Mr. Youngblood Geography teacher

And in 2012, pending that the world won’t end, here are some interesting lists of things to look forward to.

  1. Color of the year 2012 – Tangerine Tango
  2. The Top 10 Franchises for 2012
  3. Where to Invest 2012
  4. 2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won’t End?
  5. The List: 2012

Now as I am thinking ahead to 2012, making my resolutions, planning, strategizing and imagining what the year ahead may bring… I wish you all an amazing 2012.

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