The Encore – AVIS: Commit to Being Prepared – Driver and Vehicle


Have you ever reached for the gear shift on the steering column when in actuality it was on the center console? When you rent a vehicle in the course of doing business, it requires focus, attention and preparation every time.



  • Be mentally ready to drive.
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Look around before putting the vehicle in gear. Know what’s in front, beside and behind you.
  • Pedestrians come first – Yield!
  • Upon arrival, put the vehicles in park. Turn vehicle off and don’t forget the keys.
  • Be physically ready to drive.
  • Taking allergy, cold or other meds? Know how they can affect driving so you can plan ahead.
  • 90% of a driver’s reaction time depends on vision. When did you last have yours checked?
  • Passengers are ready and wearing a seatbelt.


  • Doors closed.
  • Trunk and hood closed.
  • Put on your seatbelt. Any seat – every time.
  • Adjust seat.
  • Locate wipers, turn signals, all gauges, window controls and temperature control.
  • Adjust mirrors.

TIME: 10 Powerful Women on How #MeToo Has Changed the Fight for Equal Pay



The last year has proven to be a transformational one for women in the workplace.

Starting last October, women (and men) in industries around the country began coming forward with stories of sexual harassment and and assault in the workplace following a slew of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein — driving greater awareness to the #MeToo movement and creating initiatives like Time’s Up. Now, companies are scrambling to clear house of employees who have used their power to sexually harass or assault their colleagues — and, in some cases, have replaced the ousted men with women.

But dismissing bad eggs doesn’t fix the culture that enabled them. On Equal Pay Day 2018, which falls on April 10, women still earned $0.80 on the dollar compared to their male counterparts — and that pay gap is more pronounced for women of color. Executives and workplace leaders cite power as the key dynamic that can lead to the sexual harassment and targeting of employees — and money, as some say, is power.

Debra Lee

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Network

On how barrier-breaking women can help solve the wage gap: I think younger women are expecting more. I look at my 24-year-old daughter, and she grew up in a different time than I did, so she saw the steps I was able to make and the accomplishments that I was able to do. But she also has her own expectation of what women should be in the workplace. I think each generation is a little bit more demanding in terms of work-life balance or how they were treated in the workplace. I look at my mother’s generation and, well, she had to work. My sister’s generation, they made a decision between work and being a mother. My generation, I think was the first that said, ‘Hey, we can do both. We can be mothers, and be married, and have families and have careers.’ I just can’t imagine what this next generation’s going to do because they’re so much more self-confident. I just have really high hopes for them, that they’re going to really set this world on fire. Because of all of these things they’ve seen happening, they’re just not going to let it happen anymore. When you think of the number of women who have been quiet through #MeToo moments, and now all of sudden people have the courage to speak out? Well, hopefully this will be a signal to all of our daughters that you never have to take anything like this again. I’m optimistic that each generation gets a little bit more equal and we’ve got to keep moving the ball down the court, and hopefully there won’t be any setbacks.

On her work for Time’s Up on creating more diverse board rooms: The board is the starting point for having women especially be seen as an important part of a company. It’s a statement to the shareholders, it’s a statement to employees and executives at the company, that the company is committed to women’s advancement.

On the importance of elevating the voices of women of color: We have to include the voices of women of color. I think with the #MeToo movement, it was important to go back and say, ‘Now wait a moment, this black woman came up this term 10 years ago.’

You don’t want young people feeling like if you look a certain way or if you come from a certain place, your issues are going to be taken more seriously. All of these issues are important, and as you said, with women of color making less than white women, that’s an issue we should talk about . We should have the voices of a diverse group of people. Just like all of the other issues, it’s just really important to make sure we hear from different kinds of people.

Patty McCord

Author and former Netflix chief talent officer

On how female-dominated departments can fix the wage gap: What are the three typically most-female dominated in a company? Sales and marketing, finance and HR. I say: Fix pay? We own it. We’re in charge of our destiny. Find your power, and do something about this. It’s called writing checks. I think pay is so fundamental, and, you know, everything else gets very nuanced.

On how #MeToo and #TimesUp have empowered women to demand equal pay: I tell people, look, I’m about to get all shrill on you. I’m going to be aggressive. I’m going to be assertive. I’m going to be bossy. I’m going to be a nasty woman. I’m going to persist. Because I’ve had it. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t pay attention to the soft stuff, I don’t. But we gotta fix pay. Right? You’re going to feel a hell of a lot more powerful, and a hell of a lot stronger, and a hell of a lot more able to stand up for yourself when you’re paid fairly. Right? And then the search for equality is about that: equality.

On knowing your worth: Understanding your worth — what your worth — is a really important financial decision that all of us should be thinking about and not just being passively waiting for it. It’s more about getting information and data to help inform you about what you’re worth, because you’re worth what somebody else will pay you to do what it is you know how to do. It’s a market. It really is a market system in most places, but it’s not if you’re inside of a corporation with a fixed compensation scheme that traps you inside of it. For example, if you go out and interview — which is one of the ways I recommend you find out what you’re worth, and a good exercise to do anyway — it keeps you limber. It’s a skill you should keep up.

Claudia Mirza

CEO and co-founder of Akorbi, a global language translation company

On the importance of having diverse boardrooms: You need to be really thoughtful about diversity in the boardroom. Boardrooms do not necessarily have a lot of diversity in them, so I would say in order to promote equal pay and equal opportunity to women at work, it goes more than that. The diversity of the boardroom is extremely critical, but also diversity in the executive level. I remember that I was the only woman at work in the executive team, and really the executive team was not that exciting. We were working and everything, but the moment we added a woman to the room, we realized it really changed.

On how #MeToo and #TimesUp show a company’s strength is in its principles: It goes back to the foundation of a business. Going back to diverse boardrooms, where women are involved and women and male are equally — and also, community, and diversity, people with disabilities — we have the opportunity to hear their equal perspective. But also creating the right avenues for people to report them[...] You have to create different avenues and workflows for people to be able to report irregular activities.

On the power of teaching negotiation strategies early on: Negotiation has a technique, and we cannot be victims of negotiation tactics in order to evaluate the value of ourselves. It is important for us as women to understand how to value ourselves and bring those negotiation tactics, and that’s by building that. We need to teach our girls to be bold, to not to think they are less than a man and empower them from childhood to believe that everything is possible.

Click here to read more.

Huffington Post – A Different Kind Of Gender Gap: 7 Places Where Women Earn More Than Men

By Tim Henderson

CHAMBLEE, Ga. — This Atlanta suburb is a lot like other metropolitan suburbs around the country. A manufacturing economy is giving way to new apartments and tech enterprises built around a quick commute to Atlanta.

And as in other communities, there’s a measurable pay gap between its working men and women. But there’s something different about Chamblee: Here it’s the women who earn the higher wages, typically $1.37 for every dollar brought home by a man.

That’s astonishing in a country where — nearly universally and in nearly all of the 2,700 locations reviewed by Stateline — men earn more than women. Nationally, the pay gap is wide: Women still earn less than 80 cents for every dollar men take home.

Of the 2,700 locations in the United States with more than 10,000 workers, Stateline found, there are just six municipalities and one county that flip the script in a statistically significant way.

A Stateline review of census data on earnings across the country found that women also make more in Lake Worth, Florida; the cities of Plainfield and Trenton in New Jersey; Inglewood, California; the village of Hempstead on Long Island, New York; and the Washington, D.C., suburb of Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Most are diverse suburbs in large metro areas. All are majority-minority, and many have low-income neighborhoods as well as the economic benefits of proximity to vibrant cities.

The reasons for the pay differences are complex and uncertain: Pay may be relatively higher for young millennial women who have landed jobs in big cities and found affordable housing in commuter suburbs such as these. And the communities’ high numbers of single male laborers, many of whom are immigrants working without documentation, can also hold down male income, which makes female income relatively higher.But there are also some hopeful signs for all women in these places: Women in Chamblee, for instance, earn more than women in the Atlanta area as a whole, and out-earn men in some lucrative, male-dominated fields, such as computers and engineering, with the help of female business entrepreneurs sensitive to the need for flexibility to attend to family responsibilities.

In Chamblee, one of those women is Lindsey Cambardella, an attorney who grew up in the area and yearned to run a business. She applied last year for her dream job, running a national language interpretation and translation firm. She was married, in her 30s, with no kids — and worried about that impression.“I was very up front,” Cambardella recalled recently. “I said, ‘I’m planning to have children — and soon. I don’t want you to have any surprises.’”Fortunately, the business owner was also a woman, one who had built the firm up by herself over 20 years after a career in sales and state government, while also raising a son.“She immediately shot back: ‘That doesn’t scare me at all,’” Cambardella, 34, recalled. “I think I was lucky in that she was open-minded and not worried about it.”

Cambardella now makes more than her husband, an urban landscape architect who took a step down in pay recently to take a job with the city of Atlanta.

Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University economist, argued in a 2015 paper that more flexible hours would go a long way toward solving the gender pay gap, which she said is often caused in part by women working fewer hours and stopping work at times, often to raise children.That’s one reason Shear Structural, an engineering firm started by three women in Chamblee, prioritizes flexibility, said co-founder Malory Atkinson.

“They say a lot more women study STEM fields than actually end up working in it,” she said, “so we’re very cognizant of that, and we do whatever it takes to be accommodating.”

The gender pay gap is especially wide for women with children and women who are married (because employers suspect they will have children). Men, by contrast, tend to get paid more after marriage based on the assumption it will make them more ambitious.“Marriage adds a premium to a man’s income, and it’s a drag on women’s income,” said Ariane Hegewisch, study director for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington.

Click here to read more.

Walmart Launches Fight Hunger, Spark Change Campaign.

Walmart launches its “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, a nationwide initiative that encourages the public to join the fight against hunger. Working with Discover card and five suppliers, which represent some of the nation’s leading food companies – Campbell Soup CompanyGeneral MillsKellogg CompanyThe Kraft Heinz Company and PepsiCo – Walmart is offering three easy ways to take action against hunger and help a local Feeding America food bank through social, online and in-store participation.

  1. Buy participating products: 1 item purchased = 1 meal secured on behalf of a local Feeding America Food bank.
  2. Donate money to the local Feeding America food bankat any Walmart store.
  3. Make an online act of support: This includes using #FightHunger on Twitter and Instagram, sharing and liking campaign posts on Facebook, and using unique Snapchat filters nationwide on April 21. For each online act of support, Walmart will donate $0.90 to Feeding America – enough to help secure 10 meals on behalf of Feeding America member food banks – up to a maximum donation of $1.5 million. See further details.

With the USDA reporting that 42 million people in America, including more than 13 million children, struggle with hunger, the ”Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign is part of Walmart’s larger commitment to provide meals to those in need, helping ensure every family has access to affordable, nutritious and sustainably-grown food.

As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is in a unique leadership position to positively impact the issue of hunger in the United States. In October 2014, Walmart announced a commitment to create a more sustainable food system, with a focus on improving the affordability of food by lowering the “true cost” of food for both customers and the environment, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain. This commitment includes a goal of providing four billion meals to those struggling with hunger in the U.S. by 2020.

To learn more about the campaign, visit 

The Women Presidents’ Organization would like to thank Walmart for providing this week’s sponsor blog content. 

Harvard Business Review: Women Entrepreneurs Are More Likely to Get Funding If They Emphasize Their Social Mission

By: Matthew Lee and Laura Huang

Over the last decade, new ventures across industries have framed their businesses in terms of social impact. We observed that a disproportionately high number of ventures that emphasize social impact seem to be founded by women. This could be because female founders are more likely to care about social issues than men. But we also wondered if something else might be going on: perhaps the women who started social enterprises were more likely to get funding than women who started traditional businesses.

In our forthcoming article “Gender Bias, Social Impact Framing, and Evaluation of Entrepreneurial Ventures”, published in Organization Science, we find that for female founders, highlighting the social impact of their ventures leads to more positive perceptions. In short, social impact framing reduces the discriminatory effects of gender bias.

To explore this idea, we carried out two studies. In the first, we partnered with an entrepreneurship incubator that supports businesses with a social mission to study real-life venture evaluations made by potential funders and other supporters. Because all founders had a social mission, they had a choice about whether to emphasize their social impact in presenting their venture. Some devoted more than a quarter of their business plan to the venture’s social impact, while others barely mentioned it at all.

Across 43 ventures and 421 evaluations, we found that on average, female-led ventures were perceived as less viable than male-led ventures. However, female-led ventures that more heavily emphasized their social impact managed to avoid this gender penalty. (Male-led ventures were unaffected.) These patterns were the same regardless of whether evaluators were male or female.

To dig deeper into what was happening, we conducted a second study in the form of an experiment. We developed two entrepreneurial pitches that described a fictional venture. Both discussed the commercial objectives of the business, but only one also emphasized the social mission. Each pitch was recorded in audio format by either a man or a woman, resulting in four versions that were evaluated by a total of 224 MBA students. Consistent with our initial findings, the “commercial only” version was viewed more positively when pitched by the man, whereas evaluations of the “social + commercial” pitch were equally likely to be positive, regardless of whether it was recorded by a man or a woman.

We theorize that this may be due to a link between social impact and the perceived personal warmth of the entrepreneur. Previous research has shown that for women to be perceived as competent, they must be perceived as warm; men don’t need to be seen as warm to be seen as competent. Sure enough, when we asked our subjects to rate the male and female entrepreneurs on warmth, both were perceived as “warmer” when using social impact framing, but crucially, this only translated into a more favorable evaluation of the business for the female entrepreneur.

In some respects, we believe our findings offer good news for female entrepreneurs. Many we’ve talked to have held back from sharing their goals to impart social impact because they fear that they may not be taken as seriously, and that their business would suffer as a result. Our research suggests very much the opposite: Women entrepreneurs with social impact goals may actually benefit from talking about them freely.

On the other hand, this is also somewhat disappointing in that it confirms other recent research showing that women have to conform to gender stereotypes to be perceived as competent. The fact that this is happening is a consequence of persistent gender biases that continue to play an outsized role in venture capitalism. While this research reiterates that women are judged differently than men, the silver lining is that those in the field of social impact can use this to their advantage.

Such framing can also backfire. If it is not authentic, or if over-used, social impact framing might be viewed with skepticism. Social impact framing may help to mitigate the effects of gender-based discrimination in the short-term, but it is unlikely to change the stereotypes that underlie discrimination, and may even reinforce them. To solve the larger issue of gender discrimination, entrepreneurs, investors and others in the entrepreneurship ecosystem will all need to continue confronting some very deeply-held biases.


Forbes: The Infrastructure That Makes Women Entrepreneurs Unstoppable

Many talk about the old boy’s network (here in the South it’s the good ole’ boy’s network) that helps develop, elevate and advance their peers. In the #MeToo environment, many think this network needs to be burned to the ground.

I personally think any network that develops and advances people is good, but perhaps we need more networks that help more kinds of people.

I met with Lisa Schiffman, the Brand, Marketing and Comms Director of EY Americas Growth Markets who helped launch EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women. Upon marking the 10-year anniversary of this group, she was understandably looking back and looking forward on what has led to the greatest success for women entrepreneurs.

What did women entrepreneurs need ten years ago?

Ten years ago was 2007, just before the market crash. Female entrepreneurs at the time may have been focusing on their business concepts, but they quickly needed to pivot to a broader degree of savvy as it related to funding and scaling in cutthroat times. They needed a network to help get them through.

At the outset of the EY Women program, they did a problem analysis to determine what was lacking for women entrepreneurs. Those things included:

  • There weren’t enough female entrepreneurs so they needed peer role models.
  • They didn’t have access to the networks needed to scale their companies.
  • The women were experts at ‘what they did’ but lacked the financial background or experience working with VCs and private equity.
  • In some cases, they weren’t thinking big enough. They may have been sitting on a gold mine, but they weren’t thinking big or bold enough.

Awareness is the first step to making progress

It seems for years everyone has talked about the problems and the lack of female representation on boards, in the C-Suite and among entrepreneurs. Awareness is the first step to changing the dynamic. But awareness is not enough.

It takes a plan to change the dynamics at play that have kept women entrepreneurs from breaking through. I don’t say ‘held them down’ because I’m an optimist, but without question, the infrastructure has been missing that would help women rise up.

Access to information, resources, and leadership

In the case of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, they picked a selection of promising entrepreneurs and brought them to the 2008 EY Strategic Growth Forum. They held a private lunch and introduced them to people that might help them. Some were looking for professional CEOs, some were looking for capital, and all of them were looking for support opening the right door to lead to their next stage of growth.

Schiffman says they underestimated the amount of community interest that would develop around these able, sharp women who lacked a network.

Ten years later they have 430 entrepreneurs in 50 countries now in the program. The diversity of industry, culture and stage of scale has added to the richness of the experience for the women who undoubtedly regard the EY network as instrumental in their growth.

Click here to read more.

Fast Company: 8 Women Executives Share The Book That Changed Their Lives

By Lindsay Tigar

From little-known finds to best sellers, women across industries explain how their favorite book shaped their lives both personally and professionally.

Career advice is easy to find. Good career advice, less so. But the most impactful takeaways might come from successful professionals who have waded through the trenches.

We’ve asked eight women executive and entrepreneurs across several industries to share the most meaningful book that’s shaped their lives—professionally and personally. From little-known finds to best sellers, they explain why these page-turners are worth a read.


During graduation season, you see this beloved classic move to the front displays at your local bookshop, but its lessons extend far beyond the early days of your career, according to the managing partner of Cambridge Companies SPG, Polina Chebotareva. “So much of this book involves life’s lessons and almost a spiritual insight to life’s balance for a go-getter who dreams big. The story was simple, yet so relatable. As I kept reading, I applied lessons to my own life, like embracing fear, living in the present, and being brave enough to take a leap of faith,” she says. “It shaped new ideas, new feelings, new goals, and drive within me. It transformed me from a cautious observer to more decisive leader. It left a forever mark on me as a person, a forever-inspired entrepreneur and a seeker of knowledge.”


A fully equal work/life balance is more a fable than a fact. That being said, fine-tuning your approach and your expectations is key for success—and  sanity. For Marsha Firestone, the president and founder of the Women Presidents’ Organization, this book was instrumental in navigating family and career. “Fiercely independent, Margaret Mead came to symbolize a new kind of woman, one who successfully combined marriage and motherhood with a career,” she says. “She embodied, for me, many of the successful female entrepreneurs who are looking to accelerate the growth of their companies. They are passionate about what they do, and determined to take the companies they started to a new level of success.”


As every entrepreneur or executive knows, no path to success is smooth and traffic-free. Rather, it’s the congestion and the U-turns that usually land you in a better place, as long as you manage your road rage. For the CEO and founder of Base Culture, Jordann Windschauer, this read helped her realize the vast importance of the journey, even if you have a fair share of fender benders. “Prior to reading this book, I perceived challenges or failure as something to avoid. Now I understand that it’s only through these troubling times that growth and success is found,” she explains. “What’s radical is that it applies equally to life and business. If we don’t allow ourselves to face obstacles with fear of failure, we would remain stuck, rather than learning, revising, and growing.”


While quick wins benefit your ego—and inflate your numbers—it’s the investment in the endgame that ultimately moves the needle. In her early 20s, Leigh Rawdon, the founder and CEO of Tea Collection, read this book and changed her approach of merely getting by to setting “big, hairy, audacious goals.” “There is integrity in building a company that will stand the test of time. It isn’t about a quick flip or succeeding against someone else’s metrics. The principles of this book have consciously and subconsciously guided the business and our brand since the very first day,” she says.


Especially during those quarters when your “high priority” list just keeps doubling (and tripling), staying present in the day to day becomes more of a struggle. Even so, those who are the most fulfilled by their careers prioritize a positive mind-set. When Liz Eglington, the founder of Snapper Rock, first read this best seller, she applied two ideas to her company. “I learned that days are long, but years are short. This is an active reminder to enjoy each day because they whiz by. And I learned that if it takes under a minute to do something, then just do it, because it takes away the clutter and buildup of things to do the next day. Both of these I follow actively each day,” she explains.


Throughout her career, chief marketing officer at ClassPass Joanna Lord has not only read and reread this book, but she’s gifted it to dozens of her employees. She says it has a big impact on nearly everyone who reads it, extending beyond the office and into their social lives. In addition to the brutally honest writing, she adds that it pushes professionals to get crystal clear on how they want to feel every day versus what they want to accomplish. “Reframing all the goals swirling around in my heart in this way helped me focus deeply on the life I want to live instead of the boxes I want to check. It’s one of those books that smacks you in the face with the brutal honesty your heart is dying to hear,” she explains.


Before starting her career, Shaz Kahng, board director and chief executive at Ceiling Smashers, found inspiration from this famous novel. As an nontraditional pick for a professional development read, Kahng explains the storyline reminded her of the importance of remaining true to your vision, even if it ebbs and flows. “Regardless of the difficulties the character faced and despite the many temptations to just do what everyone else wanted, he stuck to his vision and held his integrity above all else. It was the first time I read a story where someone was doing pioneering work and bringing innovations to a field, and was ultimately able to succeed in their own way and with their integrity intact,” she shared. “It taught me to be fearless in innovating, and that if you believe in yourself, you can succeed with honor.”


It’s not groundbreaking news that women have a different experience in the office than their male counterparts. Considering a wage gap still exists, understanding how to negotiate salaries, ask for the title you deserve, and build your confidence in meetings is an all-too-relevant and timeless task for many females. That’s why the president of the NYC chapter of the National Organization for Women, Sonia Ossorio, says this book is a must-read. “Women gaining more power to lead, green-light projects, and innovate does not come at the expense of men. In fact, women at the table make more successful businesses. This book gives you straight, practical liveable advice about how to navigate the workplace, put your best self forward and maintain your resilience, creativity, poise, and humor,” she explains.