Louise Guido: Pedal to the Metal

May 13 - On The Dot
 
It’s a great day to be a woman! Melinda Garvey here as your voice, with the mission to give women everywhere a place to be heard and tell their stories. We’d love to hear from you!

FIRST THOUGHT: No Excuses

Today is all about figuratively lacing up your tennis shoes and going. If you’re like me, you have a million reasons why you shouldn’t: Well, I’m tired today. Well, I don’t like my workout clothes. Well, the new episode of The Good Wife is on.

As the Nike saying goes, “Just do it.” No more excuses. Take out your to-do list and check something off. Whether it’s organizing your closet or organizing your business plan, get to it.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 1,370

If you need motivation to get up and go, this might help. More than 200 Buddhist nuns bicycled 1,370 miles from Kathmandu, Nepal to New Delhi, India—a distance equal to biking from Austin, Texas to Los Angeles. They stopped in cities along the way to promote gender equality and environmental preservation. I mean, can it get any more awesome than that?

They’re known as the Kung Fu Nuns because the head of the Drukpa Buddhist monastic order taught them kung fu as a way to gain confidence and for self-defense.

Already making great strides, these Kung Fu Nuns plan to double the distance of their trip next year. Peddle on, sisters!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Louise Guido, CEO of ChangeCorp, Foundation for Social Change, Living Abroad LLC and SmartWoman Project

Louise Guido thinks about the big picture. A few years ago, Guido wrote an article about empowerment. She said women care about a lot of things, but they’re especially focused on financial security. Guido believes women will feel empowered through education, and mobile technology has the ability to make that happen.

After working in advertising and publishing for magazines like Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, Guido developed a few businesses that affect change on a global level. For Guido, it’s all about helping women.

One venture is the nonprofit Foundation for Social Change, which focuses on female education throughout the world. They equip women and girls with skills that can translate into life and business, thus increasing the odds that they will feel financially sound.

Through this organization, Guido created an education program called “eLife – Economic Empowerment and Leadership for Women and Girls” to provide this type of training in a handful of countries, such as Columbia and Nigeria.

Another of Guido’s businesses is ChangeCorp, which offers access to free basic internet to women, families and entrepreneurs in emerging markets, and is a partner for internet.org by Facebook. She’s also just partnered with the Empowering a Billion Women movement. Look for more to come on that.

A super cool thing Guido is doing is The SmartWoman Project, a mobile app created by ChangeCorp. No matter where users are in the world, if they have a smartphone, they can access expert advice about everything from parenting to leadership. It allows users to ask members questions and even participate in polls geared toward women.

Guido doesn’t see language or distance as a limitation. Her life’s mission is to teach and empower as many women as possible through the use of technology. It can’t get more inspiring than that.

QUITE THE QUOTE

I’ll leave you with some advice about career confidence from Michelle Zatlyn, the co-founder of a tech company called CloudFlare:

“People don’t take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side unsecure. Too many people are overanalyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it.”

That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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