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Thriving in the Gig Economy: A Primer for Women

This post is based on a webinar hosted by Dr. Denise Reading. It’s the first in an ongoing series of workshops, webinars, and for-credit courses offered by the Institute for Women, Wellness and Work to help women explore freelancing, consulting, and solopreneur opportunities as a path to a satisfying and successful professional experience.   “Gig economy” is a phrase you’ve probably heard a lot, especially in the last couple of years. It refers to the part of the workforce (more than half!) that doesn’t work full-time for one employer, but instead takes on multiple opportunities from different sources. The term got its start in the music industry. Musicians generally refer to a performance they’re hired for as a gig. That terminology has spread to other industries,…

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Why Women Thrive in the Gig Economy

Women are thriving in the gig economy. A silver lining of the pandemic is that it forced us as a society to reassess how we approach work. It’s long been said that the 40-hour work week is arbitrary, and the pandemic proved that to be true. It also proved that business can be done without having to sit in an office and be around coworkers. From this, the gig economy was officially born, and it enabled women in particular to wield autonomy like never before. What is the Gig Economy? Digital platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork (among others) allow people the world over to sell and buy gig services. The gig economy, “according to one definition, is a labour market characterized by the prevalence…

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Want to change something in your life? Here’s how to train your brain.

How do you become that person who works out three times a week? The one who doesn’t get distracted when she’s trying to get something done? The one who manages to read for pleasure or get enough sleep or start a new side hustle? You get there by building habits.  When you turn exercise, going to bed early, or carving out time for reading into a habit, that’s when you end up sticking to it. Getting there, however, is the tricky part because change is hard, even if it’s good for us. Sometimes especially if it’s good for us. We spoke to Julie Jones, Mental Performance Coach and Institute instructor, to get some insight into making those positive changes a little easier.  “Change happens for…

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Intersectionality and longevity: who gets to live the longest, healthiest lives?

Intersectionality is a term that describes the overlapping inequalities many of us face as women, as people of color, as older adults, as members of the LGBTQ+ community, as those who are differently abled. The lived experience of a Black woman, for example, is different than that of a Caucasian woman or a Black man. And the experience of a Black woman over 65 is different yet again – she faces an additional “layer” of inequality.  Read more: What is intersectionality and why is it important?  Intersectionality considers each of us as having a combination of social identities that impact the opportunities available to us, the power we hold, and the discrimination and oppression we may face.   Most people probably don’t think of intersectionality in…

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The retirement conversation – planning with your partner

Retirement. It’s that magical moment when you leave work behind, sleep in every day, and travel as much as you want. Or wait, maybe it’s an opportunity to finally start that business you’ve always dreamed of, or be there for your grandkids, or go back to school to get your master’s degree or start training for that marathon. You may know what YOU want out of retirement, but do you know exactly what your partner wants? As you get closer to an age where you’re looking to leave 9 to 5 behind, it’s important to sit down together and talk about what those years will look like.  This survey by Fidelity Investments is a few years old, but the findings hold true.  There are significant…

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Kakeibo: The Art of Financial Mindfulness

By Gina Messina, Ph.D. About a year ago, a friend introduced me to Kakeibo, the Japanese art of budgeting and applying mindfulness to our spending, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. You see, I am a major contributor to our consumeristic culture. I see something shiny and I think I have to have it. A friend jokes that she hates going shopping with me because I have to pick up and touch everything on the shelves (although I’ve eliminated that practice due to COVID!).  Like so many of us, I am easily persuaded by marketing tactics. Now that we so rarely spend cash, it feels like I can simply swipe a card, click a button, or use my fingerprint and suddenly I have a new…

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