8 inspiring must-reads for your weekend

Know Your Value's weekly roundup of stories about amazing women — guaranteed to kickstart your weekend with a dose of female empowerment.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Jennifer Lopez, Lea Michelle.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Jennifer Lopez, Lea Michelle.Reuters, TODAY

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By Halley Bondy

J. Lo and the power of 50

Jennifer Lopez caused a stir with her risqué Superbowl halftime performance. And while the 50-year-old was criticized for her show, she was also widely praised by viewers on social media who believed she was owning her age in a new way, according to the New York Times. Lopez and Donatella Versace concocted her outfits, which included a mirrored bodysuit which took more than 700 hours to make.

How one of the most powerful women in tech beat Uber in China

Jean Liu is president of Didi Chuxing, a rideshare company in China that hosts 30 million rides per day, which is 10 million more than Uber. Liu is the daughter of Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi, but she earned her own fame in tech when she joined Didi, and later acquired Uber China, its biggest rival. Bloomberg profiled Liu and explained how she bested Uber, and why her business might be at risk in spite of past successes.

10 women who will shape what you watch, see, and read in 2020

Harper’s Bazaar listed 10 women in the arts who are releasing important projects in 2020. Author Zadie Smith, known for her fiction, will be publishing her first play called "The Wife of Willesden" this year. Performance artist Marina Abramović is hosting a retrospective and showing new work in the U.K., while Phoebe Waller-Bridge — writer and star of “Fleabag” — is releasing a new HBO comedy thriller series called “Run.” Other artists on the list include “The Good Wife” actress Cush Jumbo, “Black Panther” prequel director Cate Shortland and Céline Sciamma, a director who gained acclaim at Cannes 2019 for her film “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”

How Lea Michele learned to shut down critics who said her look was "too unique" for tv

Before she was Rachel Berry on “Glee,” actress Lea Michele was told that her look was “too unique” for TV. She was even pressured into having a nose job at age 13 (she refused). Michele spoke with Know Your Value about how she overcame these criticisms to become a massive star. The Emmy and Golden Globe nominee, who was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, also discussed how she learned to prioritize her health above all else.

Forget golf courses and cigars: a new networking startup is focused on executive women

Like men, female senior executives need a place to gather, speak confidentially and also have fun. Carolyn Childers is CEO Chief, an exclusive networking group that maintains two clubhouses in New York City, with new ones coming in Los Angeles and beyond. Chief raised $22 million in a recent funding round, and it has 7,000 women on the waitlist. Members include executives from Spotify, Walmart, and Johnson & Johnson. Childers called the experience of Chief “elevated,” well beyond network events that feature cheese and “warm white wine.”

Russell Wilson, Ciara deliver inspirational speech on National Girls and Women in Sports Day

To honor National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb 5, singer Ciara and her husband, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, met with the female high school flag football players at Miami Senior High School. They said some inspiring words: "As a woman you make me proud, as a young woman you make me proud, as a mom you make me so proud because you are really going after your dreams," Ciara told the girls. The couple has been a huge proponent of women in sports, with Russell Wilson becoming chairman of NFL FLAG, a co-ed flag football league.

Finland's women-led government has equalized family leave: 7 months for each parent

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sanna Marin and a women-led cabinet, Finland has extended its family leave policy to seven months for both moms and dads. Previously, new mothers in Finland were granted four months of leave, while fathers were granted two. The goal of the reform is to curb declining birth rates and increase gender equality in the country, according to Finland’s Minister of Health and Social Affairs.

Elizabeth Warren: in 2020 we can and should have a woman president

On Wednesday during a CNN town hall event, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was asked whether her male opponents had a better chance of winning due to their gender. Warren responded: “I believe they think so, but they’d be wrong.” Warren argued that the American landscape has changed since President Donald J. Trump was elected, and that women are in a position to lead now more than ever.