Tag Archives: women

Being a Modern Woman: 5 Best TED Talks Ever

keep calm - change the world

I am a TED talks addict. Here, I have said it and – I know I am not the only one. But at least is for a good cause – I learn something every time!

It’s worse right now because TED talks are being held right now in Vancouver, for the first time away from their usual location in California. Our city has been vibrating welcoming so many interesting people who are interested in what others think – both attendees and presenters. And EVERYONE around me is into sharing what their favorite TED talks are – of all time, on a given topic, by a given presenter…

So – all this made me think to share the TED talks that I have found most interesting lately centered on the theme of being a modern woman and a parent. Here are the 5 most interesting talks, in the order I recommend you view them:

If you have not personally felt the need to consider this entire line of thought, just open any business magazine and count faces – any magazine still contains a ration of 5 to 6 times the smiling men to women, and the Canadian Medical Association just send me a “Future Practice” magazine without a single female physician profiled, referenced or even just photographed.

We need to notice this, gently alert ourselves and our male colleagues and guide society towards a better place where people can do what they are passionate about without gender (or race, age, religion etc) being an obstacle, a deterrent or a challenge.

The trend has been historically to under represent women leadership roles and it’s both pull and push. Many young women opt out when they consider the giant burden of doing it all and being Type E – Everything for Everybody. Only through our own awareness of this remaining a challenge and some firm and gentle action will this situation ever change, as all research shows that the imbalance of genders is created by omission (‘failure to think and/or act”) rather than “commission (“intending to cause”).

We need to notice omissions, consider them and call for action on these “missed opportunities”. Watching these five TED talks is a great way to get up to speed in less than half an hour, and not just for women – I really think change will happen when these TED talks on women become a #mustsee for all.

And yes, I have a line up like that on modern men too… you just need to wait for the blog post!

Alexandra T. Greenhill, mom of three, CEO founder of myBestHelper, woman, human


3 best International Women’s Day stories you may have missed

International Women’s Day March 8th came and went this year, somewhat subdued by being on a Saturday as it happens. I am always intrigued by what stories emerged that helped recognize its significance in some memorable or novel way. This year, these 3 stories emerged as #mustsee:

– Most Awesome: Video of WestJet saluting women in aviation, especially a week after a male passenger left a napkin in one of their planes complaining that he wasn’t told the pilots on his flight were women – priceless!

– Most Novel: Infographic re: the 10 women adventure travelers – lots of names I had not seen before.

– Fun to watch: the IWD Google Doodle. Ryan Germick, Google doodle’s team leader explained it was a quick glimpse into what some women across the world are doing. It’s a really fun video and concentrates on the universal positive aspects.

And last but not least, I #loved #loved #loved the call from @starwars on Twitter to change this to the Intergalactic Women’s Day:


Alexandra T. Greenhill, definitely proud to be a woman 😉 any day and every day

Celebrate women and mothers!

International Women’s Day is today – a moment designed to make us pause to celebrate achievements in the greater cause of gender equality and identify areas where further action is required. 

I recenty wrote an editorial about this for a newsletter for women in medicine, but the question applies well beyond the health care field: When and how do you remember becoming aware that you are a WOMAN? 

For me, that moment came when I became a mother. Until then, it was never a question of gender – more of interests and capabilities. My pregnant state suddenly made some clinical things impossible (like intubating someone after my belly reached its sixth month fullness) and impacted my non-clinical activities (when someone assumed that I would no longer be interested in serving on a national medical committee so found me a replacement without first even checking with me). It got worse from there – how could I practice normally when I was on duty in the ER while my precious bundle was crying or really sick at home? Or when I had to stop doing day shifts when the only daycare I could find was across town and only opened at 8am and the department was not willing to allow we the exception of starting at 8h30am. This created the odd dynamic of having to do evenings and weekends only, which was not easy on family life. Then friends who had done women’s studies started pointing out  things that I thought were random or unexplainable, and showed me evidence of patterns that I could then recognise in real life. My “female condition” suddenly was revealed to have more of an impact on my career, thinking and perspectives that I had ever imagined.

I gradually become more aware of the challenges we still face today, the number of mothers at home or only working part-time and not by choice, the number of talented woman leaders not given the kind of opportunities they deserve. Because it should really all be about capabilities and choice – not about gender. Then I learned more about the history of how far we have actually come – which was energising – but so much more remains, and even more so in the developing world. 

A view of my own has emerged over these exchanges, a perspective untainted by the bigger polarising questions of feminism or post-feminism. A simple perspective on what makes one’s life better. The clarity and courage to decide that authenticity requires being who one is and not conforming to system’s expectations in an effort to advance. The need for working together with women and men interested in making the necessary changes happen.

Even more so, I have come to really appreciate the pricelessness of the connection to a network of girlfriends who understand the unique challenges and who provide support, advice and lend a hand when one is needed. 

myBestHelper was born out of these reflections. A tool to help mothers and families cope, manage, thrive. Also a tool that helps protect the women providing care by giving them more knowledge about who is going to hire them. At almost a thousand users, we are thrilled to see the response from our community and I have no doubts we will accomplish great things together, just as stated in my favorite quote from Margaret Mead: 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Happy Women’s day to all women!

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MOM, MD, CEO and Co-founder myBestHelper