Feminist leader and Ms. Magazine founder is honored with historic and eponymous Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers.
[Alison] Bernstein, who was the director of Rutger’s Institute for Women’s Leadership, began a dogged effort to create the chair in 2014—hoping to establish a multidisciplinary teaching role across fields of media and social change as well as honor a living feminist icon. (The chair is the first academic position named for a living feminist.) “Endowing chairs, centers and programs ensures a permanent institutional presence for women’s studies,” Bernstein wrote, “especially in perilous budgetary times. Individuals able to give major sums will make a huge difference, but so, too, do smaller donors, because university leaders are influenced by the sheer number of donors committed to a program or faculty… The good news is that women are increasingly moving into the forefront of philanthropy as individual donors, in a position to put their funding where it can do the most good for the greatest number of other women.”
She is in your friendship circle, hidden in plain sight.
She is 55, broke and tired of trying to keep up appearances. Faking normal is wearing her out.
To look at her, you wouldn’t know that her electricity was cut off last week for non-payment or that she meets the eligibility requirements for food stamps. Her clothes are still impeccable, bought in the good times when she was still making money.
I first learned of Lizzy when I read her essay of the same title on PBS’s Next Avenue. I was elated when I found out she lives here in DC. So, I emailed her to tell her how much I loved her article and how excited I was about her book. We agreed to meet for coffee at Potter’s House (highly recommend!) and talked about her experiences, her book, and the “new normal”. Lizzy has tapped into something of a groundswell here and we anticipate a growing interest as more and more people come out of the shadows to talk about their new reality.
You should also look for a two part series about Lizzy and her book on PBS over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, here’s a talk she gave recently on the topic at the Institute for Career Transitions:
I am pleased to announce that Fifty Five, Unemployed, and Faking Normal will be the OWL Network’s Book Club inaugural selection! Lizzy has graciously offered a 15% discount for members of the Book Club. Sign up here to join the club and receive the discount code and link to purchase the book. We will meet next month to discuss the book and meet the esteemed author herself! (details to follow).
We are raising money to keep the network alive. We want to give every woman the tools she needs to step into her role as a leader. We need money to help secure teaching materials, stem overhead costs, update technology, professional head shots for websites and interviews, and workshop space.
We’d like to give our women a chance to start 2017 off with the confidence she needs to take it all the way to the C-Suite, the board room, and beyond.
There are so many women who have been out of the workforce because they have been raising children, or taking care of a family member, or maybe never recovered from the recession. Some have been stuck in a dead-end job and have been tirelessly banging their head on that “glass ceiling”. Still others just are simply lacking the comfort level to step into a leadership role.
I know these women. They come to me for help. I want to help them reach their potential. I want to see more women in leadership roles. Now more than ever.
Jodi L. Ochstein
Founder and Executive Director,
Five Things You Can Do Right Now To Make 2017 Amazing.
Admittedly, the bar is pretty low. 2016 may go down as one of the worst years in history. We lost a lot this year and it’s time to rebuild, rebrand, and get back to work. Apart from hiding under the covers with wine and chocolate, your only other option is to come out swinging and take 2017 by the balls (see how this works? There’ll be no “pussy grabbing” in 2017).
So, drag yourself out of bed, brush the crumbs of 2016 out of your hair, jump into a nice hot shower, and get ready— 2017 is about to be amazing!
1. Build Yourself a New Website. Nothing says “rebrand” like a brand new website! Forget about blogging. We’ve all expressed ourselves enough the past few years. Facebook and Twitter are there if you need to tell the world anything. In 2017, you need to define yourself. Show the world who you are, what you want, and name your price. Do not be shy. This is your site, your place, your terms, and your rules. If you don’t have a website of your own, you’re not really in the game, are you? If you don’t have the time or skill to build your own site, hire someone who can. Spend some time reflecting on what you really want to create in the next year and then add “.com”.
2. LeanIn to Linked-In. Yes, it matters. Just do it. Clean up wordy job descriptions. Weed out jobs you had more than 10 years ago, nobody cares. And rewrite your Summary already! If you copy/pasted it from your resume, I don’t even want to know you.
3. Headshot! Time for an amazing new headshot. Invest in a professional photographer and good haircut. Show 2017 you mean business. Use this photo for your new website and updated Linked-In profile. Hell, get a Warhol-esque portrait made while you’re at it!
4. Get A New Workout Routine. Forget about Yoga. No more walks in the woods. We’re pissed off this year. Take a fitness class that focuses on self-defense or martial arts. You’ll feel stronger and you’ll be healthier. If 2016 almost kicked your ass, show 2017 you’re coming at it, full throttle.
5. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. Seriously. Don’t let them get to you. You do you. As a wise woman once said, “When you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”