Kabir talks about how diversity makes us smarter, and how women are seen and not heard in fairy tales.
“HOW DIVERSITY MAKES US SMARTER”
I want to start with the first segment and talk about the first article we have this week. It comes from Scientific American and it’s by Katherine Phillips. It’s a great article. It’s called “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter” and it’s really good title as well. And I love this focus on how having diverse team whether it's gender, diverse teams, whether it's racially diverse, you win. Diversity allows you to win. And she touches on this at the beginning of the article, how there’s been quite a few macro studies that talk or look at the performance of companies over a number years and what their upper management looks like. And companies that have more racial diversity, companies that have more gender diversity, companies that are just more diverse period perform better than companies that don’t. And so, that has been shown over and over again, but what she talks about is that there is a difference between correlation and causation. What she talks about is what I’m calling micro studies, so much smaller groups of people, but studies that have been repeated over and over again. What these studies shows that when you have socially-diverse groups of people, you cognitively prepare in a different way, in a much more creative way to persuade that group to come to a consensus. As a result, you get better outcomes. She specifically goes through some of these studies, but it was really fascinating to just show that when the team that you’re on looks different, then you perceive them as having different experiences than you, then the way that you act and the way that you prepare is different, and its better, and it makes you more creative and innovative. Really great article, definitely check It out. Like I said, it’s the first one on our newsletter this week and we tweeted it on Wednesday or Thursday.
“UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER: HOW WOMEN BECAME SEEN BUT NOT HEARD IN OUR FAVORITE FAIRY TALES”
The second article from our newsletter this week is actually from Huffington Post, and it’s really, really nicely laid out. If you can look at it in a browser you should. It’s amazing work that they’ve done. It’s as if they are testing out a new way of telling a story which is great. It’s called “Unhappily Ever After: How Women Became Seen But Not Heard in Our Favorite Fairy Tales.” I love fairy tales; I love mythology stories, so this one was really enjoyable to read. What it talks about is that if you sort of look at fairy tales from each country across Europe and across the world, there are common elements that you see. And obviously storytelling was oral and what happened was this game of telephone that went across the world and these stories had bits and elements that are very similar, but what they touch on is that the people telling these stories normally were women. And so really that begs the question, why if women are telling these stories are then so many fairy tales these damsels in distress? [There are] story tales that need a prince or a man to come rescue them. And what this article touches on is that the source for fairy tales which they chose were the Grimm fairy tales (they are considered the source of most fairy tales). Those collections were put together and there were edits made. There were changes made. And those changes that were made, sometimes they were small. Sometimes they were subtle. Sometimes they were quite dramatic. It created these everlasting stories where women are seen, not heard. One of the things they touch on is what happened is that there were elements that were included, and most of the time those elements were violent and specifically violence against women. And that violence in the stories, the way that it is told, it is some sort of fact of life. A woman dies in childbirth or she’s sent out to the forest and that’s how things went. And then other elements were not included or changed where women were then perceived as not as empowered or reduced from any sort of speaking role. What they show in the article is that when the first Grimm fairy tale was adapted by Disney (“Snow White”) and did commercially well, it created this domino effect where you were continuing to sort of formalizing the stories. Women were continued to be ignored and these fairy tales then were adapted in that same way. What I love towards the end of the article, they actually talk about now how people are relooking at these story tales and fairy tales and retelling them in a different way with much more empowering female characters. Like I said, check it out in a browser if you can. It’s really nicely done and the story is great.