Feminism, Attacking the Press, Trees, & Bill Gates – Thoughts & Learnings #10

Hello everyone,

Hope you’re having a good week! Here are my thoughts and learnings from this week.

Five Things To Share

1. Leadership & Feminism: Away Luggage’s CEO forced to resign after “abhorrent” behavior & a different female CEO uses this opportunity to attack the press

About ten days ago, the Founder & CEO of Away, a $1.4B luggage company, was exposed by The Verge for repeated, horrible, and inhumane treatment of employees. It’s an interesting read and the blowback was big enough that she resigned four days after the story was published.

A different tech CEO took this opportunity to publish an article in TechCrunch calling out the press for treating female CEOs unfairly while simultaneously acknowledging that the Away CEO’s behavior was “abhorrent.”

It’s one of the most bizarre thought pieces I’ve read in a while. Particularly because the Away exposé was written by a woman, almost all of the whistleblowers were women, and the TechCrunch author didn’t present any supporting data to back up her claim of unfair gender treatment.

As someone who’s a strong supporter of gender equality, I believe this is a somewhat destructive thought piece. And in this particular instance, I understand the frustration that some have with the extreme left around the concepts of “equality, but only when it suits me” and “free speech, but only when it doesn’t offend me.”

2. Thought: Basic self-defense is something that every child should learn

I watched a two minute, viral video on Twitter of a woman teaching self-defense techniques. It got me thinking that basic self-defense is something that everyone should learn, especially people who feel vulnerable.

I know a lot of women who feel somewhat powerless and learning basic self-defense would certainly give them more confidence and less fear.

Many fighters, including Joe Rogan, credit learning to fight as a turning point for them in regards to self-worth and confidence.

3. Climate Change: Raising $20M to plant 20M trees

I just donated to a campaign to raise $20M to plant 20M trees and I hope you will too!

While the impact of this campaign on fighting climate change isn’t too significant, I view it as a symbolic campaign to reinforce that humans will rise to the occasion when called upon.

4. Documentary: Takeaways from the 3 hour Bill Gates special on Netflix

I thought the Bill Gates documentary was good but not amazing. I was hoping that they would do a deeper dive into how his brain works (it’s called Inside Bill’s Brain) but instead they focused much more on what he’s doing.

Some interesting learnings:
a) He reads 150 book pages per hour and can crush ~15 books in one vacation. He also spends one week per year locked away in a cabin, reading by himself.
b) Much of his success is credited to his insane work ethic. When faced with major challenges, he works harder.
c) He’s passionate about eradicating diseases and fighting climate change. That’s how he’s spending his time/money now but he hasn’t generated the results or change that he’s hoping for.

5. Quote: Tenzin Palmo

“One of the advantages of being born in an affluent society is that if one has any intelligence at all, one will realize that having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or even relationships: The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from the outside.”

Thanks for reading mis amigos! Until next week!


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I started Need Change to write about important issues regarding society, politics, media, climate change, COVID-19, psychology, and racism. My work has been featured by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the U.S. & U.K. Governments. Keep reading to hear the perspective of someone who grew up in America, has lived in 15+ countries, and is deeply passionate about uniting humanity and improving the world. Feel free to click the chat in the bottom right if you ever want to talk! I'm friendly :).