Lauren Gemmell

Food, Fitness, and Technology

Month: July 2018

We Should All Be Feminists

This morning I got up and the sun was shining, normally a rare enough occurrence in Scotland, but for the last couple of weeks a startling daily reality. I put on shorts and a t-shirt to make the most it for my morning Whisky walk.

The t-shirt was on the top of my drawer, and I didn’t think about it as I put it on. It has

We Should All Be Feminists

in large type on the front.

As I headed out the door, Matt (who bought me the t-shirt) said,

“If anyone gives you any hassle in that, beat them up”.

I dismissed the idea out of hand, and strode out the door.

Being a Saturday morning, Whisky and I took a slightly different route, to a different park than our usual. He was having a great time, meeting new dogs, smelling new smells, and generally running around like a crazy thing.

As usually happens I got speaking to the other dog owners, in this case two men. We talked about the weather, looking at the beautiful blue sky.

Man 1: “The sky used to be bluer than that. See those airplane trails, know what they are?”

Man 2: “Are they dumping fuel?”

Man 1: “Who would dump fuel? No those are chemicals. Who knows what they are.”

Nervous laughter, and as he continues, it becomes obvious that the guy is deadly serious. Maybe he has issues. Or maybe he’s right – who knows.

Man 1: “The real question is what they are hiding up there. Maybe space ships…”

More nervous laughter from me and Man 2. Our dogs continue to play.

Man 1: “Anyway that’s my rant over for this morning.”

Me: “It’s always good to get these things over and done with early,” I say and smile (it’s not even 9 am).

Man 1: “What’s that written on your t-shirt?”

Me: “We Should All be Feminists.” I say, again smiling

“Man, the world is crazier than I thought,” he replied.

Audio Books and Podcasts for Tech Women and Entrepreneurs

For the last year or so I have been listening to many Audio books and podcasts. It started for two reasons, I realised that I wasn’t taking the time to learn new things (outside of work) and I wanted to use time out walking a young Whisky pup more effectively.

After a year, here are some of my favourites:

  • Being Boss. Podcast for creative entrepreneurs, but generally useful for anyone that wants to get stuff done.
  • The Creative Penn. Podcast for author entrepreneurs, aimed at self-published authors and how to grow their business and multiple streams of income.
  • The Sell More Books Show. Podcast for author entrepreneurs, again aimed at self-published authors, but more focused on recent developments.
  • Tech Forward. Podcast about diversity in technology, this is a newer one on my list, but I love the blend on entrepreneurship across many industries and roles.
  • The Read to Lead Podcast, about the books on leadership you should be reading, each episode is a 30 minute overview with the author on a different leadership topic. I have bought so many audiobooks because of this one podcast!
  • FT Startup Stories, another podcast of interviews but this time with founders of startups. Episodes cover a range of startups – not just tech ones.
  • The Guilty Feminist. A great slice of feminist humour, I’m a feminist but…
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It’s sort of obvious from the title, I read this to understand myself and others better, it was gaming changing for me.
  • Ego-free Leadership: Ending the Unconscious Habits That Hijack Your Business this book again helped me understand why work or personal relationships have conflict. Understanding my own pinch-points has been super helpful in trying to move past them.
  • Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity The first book at our Manager’s Book Club at work. Made me think a lot about the sort of boss I want to be, something I come back to time and time again.
  • The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win. While this may not be as relevant to the sort of team I run, maybe there are similarities with different divisions in tech organisations, could you get similar benefits if you merge tech and product teams?
  • The Sales Acceleration Formula I switched roles earlier this year, and am now building out tools for internal teams, not quite sales, but close. I wanted to understand more about these functions and the sort of tools that help or hinder. But also how do you measure success?
  • The Multi-Hyphen Method: Work Less, Create More and Design a Career That Works for You. To be honest I am not really clear how I ended up buying this book (surprisingly Ctrl Alt Del is not one of the podcasts I regularly listen to), but I am glad I did. If the world of work is changing, and what people expect from their jobs is too, it’s really interesting to hear more about how we should adapt.
  • Being Boss, not the podcast this time but the book. I haven’t finished it yet, but I am already altering my boundaries, sticking up post-it note mantras and experimenting with my personal processes.

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