Weekend Watchlist: TED Talks For Women by Women

Luvvie Ajayi, who spoke at the TED Women 2017 conference. Image source: alecdonovan.com

There’s nothing better than a lazy Saturday morning spent in bed, bingeing on countless episodes of… well, anything, really. It’s an important ritual of self-care, after all – regardless if what you’re bingeing on is mindful or mindless.  We at MissMafia love sharing our weekend playlists with each other, and so decided to share our top picks with you too, for your Saturday morning viewing pleasure! Our new bi-monthly piece called Weekend Watchlist will feature all our weekend viewing favourites, both of the educational and blissfully non-educational variety. Our first-ever Weekend Watchlist (WW) falls the day before the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2018, so it is only fitting that our first WW showcases the best TED Talks given by some of the leading women in their respective fields. Here are some of the best TED Talks by women that you can watch:

1. The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage, a talk by Susan David (2017)


“The conventional view of emotions as good or bad, positive or negative, is rigid. And rigidity in the face of complexity is toxic. We need greater levels of emotional agility for true resilience and thriving.”

2. An Interview with Mauritius’s First Female President, with President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and Stephanie Busari (2017)


“We’ve seen that whenever there was diversity, whenever there was openness, whenever there was dialogue, this was the time when societies have been most productive. When we talk about the Arab Golden Age, we cannot not think of Ibn Sina, al-Haytham, Averroes, Maimonides. This was a time when cultures, religions — they were talking to each other. They were at peace with each other. And this was a time when they were highly productive. So I would say: bring down these walls.”

3. Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume, a talk by Regina Hartley (2015)


“In a study of the world’s most highly successful entrepreneurs, it turns out a disproportionate number have dyslexia. In the US, 35 percent of the entrepreneurs studied had dyslexia. What’s remarkable — among those entrepreneurs who experience post traumatic growth, they now view their learning disability as a desirable difficulty which provided them an advantage because they became better listeners and paid greater attention to detail. They don’t think they are who they are in spite of adversity, they know they are who they are because of adversity. They embrace their trauma and hardships as key elements of who they’ve become, and know that without those experiences, they might not have developed the muscle and grit required to become successful.”

4. 3 Lessons on Success from an Arab Businesswoman, a talk by Leila Hoteit (2016)


“You see, as a young woman in these situations, you have two options. You can either decide to internalize these negative messages that are being thrown at you, to let them make you feel like a failure, like success is way too hard to ever achieve, or you can choose to see that others’ negativity is their own issue, and instead transform it into your own personal fuel. I have learned to always go for option two, and I have found that it has taken me from strength to strength. And it’s true what they say: success is the best revenge.”

5. How We Can End Sexual Harassment At Work, a talk by Gretchen Carlson (2017)


“Sexual harassment doesn’t discriminate. You can wear a skirt, hospital scrubs, army fatigues. You can be young or old, married or single, black or white. You can be a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent. I heard from so many women: police officers, members of our military, financial assistants, actors, engineers, lawyers, bankers, accountants, teachers … journalists. Sexual harassment, it turns out, is not about sex. It’s about power, and about what somebody does to you to try and take away your power. And I’m here today to encourage you to know that you can take that power back.”

6. Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable, a talk by Luvvie Ajayi (2017)


“People are so afraid of these acute consequences, not realizing that there are many times when we walk in rooms and we are some of the most powerful people in those rooms — we might be the second-most powerful, third-most powerful. And I firmly believe that our job in those times is to disrupt what is happening. And then if we’re not the most powerful, if two more of us band together, it makes us powerful.”

7. Know Your Worth, Then Ask For It, a talk by Casey Brown (2017)


“Just imagine what life could be like, how much more we could do, how much more we could give back, how much more we could plan for the future, how validated and respected we would feel if we could earn our full potential, realize our full value.”

8. We Should All Be Feminists, a talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2017)


“I am angry. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change; but, in addition to being angry, I’m also hopeful. Because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better.”

About Sunita Soh

Hello! I’m Sunita, a proud “dan lain-lain” Malaysian with a passion for feminism and really good char kuey teow. When I’m not rescuing cats or making endless playlists on Spotify, you can find me with my nose buried in a book or glued to my laptop watching cooking tutorials.

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