One of the best things about the TED app is the suggested Playlist. COOKGIRL’s go-to is “10 talks by women that everyone should watch” for two reasons. First, it is a way to hear the voices of thought-leaders on women’s issues. Second and more importantly is the message that shines through: these are not “women’s” issues, but rather human issues; these are not challenges facing women but challenges facing society. From Anne-Marie Slaughter to Sheryl Sandberg to Paula Johnson, the message is clear: change needs to happen and to get there we have to change our work places, our policies and our culture, not just for the benefit of women but for the benefit of humankind.
Having said that, there is a uniquely female perspective that is hilariously conveyed in a TED conversation between legendary duo Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda and moderated by Pat Mitchell. With a focus on what it means to live well and women’s role in the future of our planet, the message is that women’s friendships are a a renewable source of power. We have a sisterhood that can make the world what it should be.
We are in the midst of a third wave feminist movement that includes all generations of women and, most significantly, includes men. Gender equality is in fact a tide that lifts all boats.
In the culinary world, the support for the advancement of women comes from harnessing our power as a sisterhood. The best news is that men support this sisterhood and absolutely recognize that having more women achieving at high levels in the industry is simply good for the industry. Interestingly, even with everyone on board the change is not immediate. With a decades-long structure that is patriarchal, there is still work to be done and attitudes to change and industry adjustments that provide for more balance. But the great news is that the change will benefit everyone.
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