Link List: Stories Around The Web To Add To Your Reading Agenda

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Aug. 22 2013, Published 2:30 a.m. ET

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I’m back with another edition of online clips and articles that are absolute must-reads!

“YOU HAVE TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD: Everything has a trend to it; I don’t care if it’s appliances or engines. I always ask: What has a company done in the past five years that somebody’s noticed?”

When I saw J. Crew President and Creative Director Jenna Lyons on the cover of a recent issue of Fast Company, I snatched it up immediately. I’ve been a die-hard fan of the store since the eighth grade and I love the fact that the brand’s style and substance are both so progressive. Though the Lyons interview is full of great gems of wisdom, Drexler has an interesting history: after being fired from an ever-expanding Gap, he worked tirelessly to salvage the failing J. Crew brand. His fifth tip seemed absolutely indispensable no matter what industry you’re in: Progress is essential; Moving forward is mandatory.

This investment in education makes sound economic sense. While the youth unemployment rate has remained high, post-recession, the more education you have the more likely you are to work.

This was a quick read, but an interesting one. Based on a recent study, more and more millennial women are staying in college longer or working whilst going to class, essentially earning higher level degrees. The “to grad school or to not to grad school” (“grad school” here being the operative–and pricey–verb) debate is one that I’ve had a lot in recent months, and this piece highlights a trend that I hadn’t really considered.

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More important, while the participation and contributions are significant, and progress of women’s entrepreneurship is substantial over the past 15 years of the GEM studies… it is really shocking to see that [some] major media chose to frame this report in the negative—for example, headlines with phrases like “Women Lack of Confidence”  “Women Entrepreneurs have Fear of Failure”.

This read is slightly longer than the rest, but I couldn’t resist the gem it produced. I loved the semantic analysis of reporting female entrepreneurship… a headline that reads “Overall, Women Gaining Confidence in the Workplace” has a completely different vibe to it than the dull, pessimistic “Women Lack Confidence” lead. This is a trend that I’ll definitely be watching in the future. How does the representation of successful female entrepreneurs in the media affect our progress?

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Andrew Briggs, a recent Northwestern grad, built the site and launched it this week. “It’s not like the talent isn’t there,” he told The Atlantic Wire in an email. “I don’t for a minute think that theTimes sets out to feature two or three times as many men as women, it’s just the kind of thing that happens if people aren’t thinking about it.”

A great three minute read that packs a lot of punch. On August 1, 2013, the New York Times homepage featured 23 male writers and only 7 female, a clear injustice in a reputable, progressive institution. Maybe this hit me especially hard because one of my career goals is to be on staff at the Grey Lady by the time I’m 30, but I thought Briggs offered a very simple but important piece of analysis: these sort of inequalities often happen when people forget to look out for them, a status quo that does not work in the favor of our success… something to definitely keep in mind.

So here’s the question I’d like to propose you ask yourself throughout your day: What can I do, right now, that would be the most powerful use of this moment?

What can I say? What action can I take? What question can I ask? What issue can I bring up? What decision can I make that would have the greatest impact?

If there’s one article you read this week, one piece of text you skim over your lunch break or between meetings, make it this. Honestly, you won’t regret it, and the article’s message needs no commentary. If you’ve ever felt like you’re not maximizing your time or your potential, this is the advice you’ve been waiting for.

Ambition Delivered.

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