AOL was proud to continue the bold and important conversations started at the 2010 TED Women conference by live-streaming TEDxWomen yesterday. Hundreds of AOLers gathered in 17 offices worldwide to watch luminaries such as best-selling author Rachel Simmons and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof speak on combating continued gender inequality.
The speakers hailed from a variety of backgrounds, giving audiences a wide look at what people are currently doing to help both men and women be happier, healthier and more effective. Cedars-Sinai Women's Heart Center director Dr. Noel Merz dazzled the audience with her revolutionary approach to female cardiac health, showing us that even stem cells have drastic gender differences. Renowned activist Gloria Steinem applauded the gathering, reminding the audience that feminism's success requires a strong community.
Tan Le (a must-see speaker, to watch another one of her talks click here) had tears in her eyes as she delivered her incredible and moving story of escaping poverty in Vietnam by taking a dangerous boat ride towards a more promising future in Australia. Her story of international success as an entrepreneur is an inspiration to anyone who wants to bring about change.
Finally, Jennifer Siebel Newsom had a crucial message for those of us in the media industry. If we want girls to grow up with the same ambitions as boys (a hurdle sometimes more insidious and pervasive than lack of opportunity), we have to portray both genders as having the same potential in the media. "We can't imagine what we can't see," she reminded us, underscoring the outsized effect that mainstream media's obsession with youth, beauty and materialism has on young girls. This is a particularly important takeaway for all of us at AOL, where we can have a huge impact on gender representation in the content we're creating.
For those of you that missed the talks, be sure to check back regularly on the TED website where the videos will be posted. You can also follow yesterday's conversation on Twitter under the hashtag #tedxwomen.