FIRST THOUGHT: The Importance of Cultivating Creativity
When I was in third grade, I finished a spelling test with time to spare. I was an excellent speller, if I do say so myself. With 15 minutes left, I drew in the margins, looping intricate flowers beside numbers and words.
During my parent-teacher conference a couple weeks later, my teacher pulled out the A-plus test. Rather than pat me on the back for a job well done, she (nicely) reprimanded me for my artwork.
My parents laughed in sheer disbelief. They told me to never listen to anyone who tries to stifle my creativity. And I never have.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 3 Percent
Women account for 80 percent of consumer spending. That’s not just at Sephora, either. This means we usually shop for everything from groceries to school supplies for the kids.
I’m no mathematician, but if women make up about half the country, and we do most of the shopping, the odds are pretty great that we will also hold the majority of creative-director positions. After all, creative directors work with designers, advertisers and others to deliver products that consumers want to buy.
Now, guess the number of female creative directors. I suggest you low-ball. Three stinkin’ percent.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Ayah Bdeir, Founder of littleBits
We use engineering feats every day. We glance at photos on our cellphones. We turn on our curling irons. We watch news on the TV. We drive to work in our hybrids. But most of us wouldn’t have the faintest idea about how to reproduce any of these things.
Ayah Bdeir wants to change that. I dare say she’s the next Steve Jobs. In 2011, Bdeir founded littleBits, an award-winning company that aims to make engineering accessible and appealing, not only to kids, but also to those in artistic fields, like graphic design.
While she was studying engineering, Bdeir found that the subject stifled creativity. So she developed a concept that demonstrates that the right brain and left brain can coexist and create totally awesome things.
littleBits provides electronic building blocks that are easy to use. What this means is that anyone can hit the ground running to invent something revolutionary—no engineering degree necessary.
Blocks connect with magnets and each block represents a single element: light, sound, motors and sensors. Check out her TED talk for a demonstration.
What Bdeir has crafted is more than just blocks; she’s created a way to empower those with all kinds of backgrounds into building something that’s only limited by the imagination.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Us ladies are builders. We’re makers. We’re movers and we’re shakers. Abolitionist and writer Harriet Beecher Stowe said it best:
“Women are the real architects of society.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.