Meet The Women Leaders Fighting COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced the health tech industry to a situation it has never experienced. Through contact tracing, predictive analytics, and telemedicine, the industry has risen to its essential role. Richa Rai, AWIP Ambassador and Kaiser Permanente’s Portfolio Management Leader, states that “this might be the time when society steps forward and embraces telemedicine, government eases restrictions, and laws get expanded to include telemedicine benefits.” Kerry Jessani, J.P. Morgan’s Managing Director and National Head of Healthcare, Higher Education, and Nonprofits, sees the growing acceptance of telemedicine as a positive long-term trend that will “increase interconnectivity throughout the full continuum of healthcare.”

But despite the positive aspects that health tech plays in dealing with COVID-19, women’s general healthcare should remain in focus. Many responses to the COVID-19 outbreak have already shown that women are uniquely vulnerable during this pandemic, and that advancements in gender equality will be erased. During all health crises, women’s basic health services are generally strained. For example, during the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak, Doctors Without Borders reports, “thousands more lives were lost when safe delivery, neonatal, and family planning services became inaccessible due to the outbreak.” 

One of the best ways we can remain focused on women’s health is by increasing the number of women, and in particular minority women, in healthcare leadership positions. Women “make 80 percent of buying and usage decisions” in healthcare, according to consulting firm  Oliver Wyman, and yet they are only represented in “30 percent of C-suite teams and 13 percent of CEOs.” Chrissa McFarlane, Founder and CEO of Patientory, Inc., Amy Yu, Founder and CEO of Antlia Systems, and Colleen Cucliffe, CEO and co-founder of Pendulum Therapeutics, are three women leaders who use their STEM education to contribute to important developments in health tech.  All three leaders emphasize the need for women to find mentors while advancing in their careers.

Chrissa McFarlane’s Patientory, Inc., which she founded in 2015, pioneers blockchain technology for healthcare. It allows patients and healthcare providers to access and transfer healthcare data. McFarlane stresses that health tech is vital because it “improves the quality of healthcare delivery, increases patient safety, decreases medical errors, and strengthens the interaction between patients and healthcare providers.” As a Black woman, she sees the potential of health tech in decreasing health disparities in the Black community. Health tech can address “underserved populations that oftentimes are overlooked because of the high costs of medical care in [the United States]. Tech innovations can help increase awareness and education in order to decrease many preventable diseases.”

Amy Yu’s Antlia Systems, which she founded in 2019, is a leader in the biosecurity industry. Biosecurity refers to protecting humans and animals against disease, and is an especially

Central Florida women could sway 2020 election. Meet 8 of them.

As women go to the polls on the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving them the right to vote, their political might could be on display come Election Night.

And candidates know it.

At a campaign stop in Ocala last week, President Donald Trump touted women’s support.

“Do they like Donald Trump? Yeah, they like Donald Trump,” he said. “You know why? Because they want safety and security. And they don’t want low-income housing built next to their beautiful suburban dream.”

But nearly every national poll shows women favor Vice President Joe Biden by a double-digit margin over Trump.

In Florida, likely the most critical swing state determining who will control the White House, women outnumber men statewide and in Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties.

A poll of Florida women by the University of North Florida this month found women going for Biden, with 56% statewide saying they planned to back the former vice president, with 39% breaking for Trump.

As campaigns hit their apex and early voting is already under way, the Orlando Sentinel spoke with eight women representing a range of political beliefs, socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities from across the I-4 Corridor, providing a snapshot of the key region’s viewpoints.

Briana Ross

For Briana Ross, 18 and voting in a general election for the first time this fall, the choice is clear.

“I am voting for Joe Biden,” she said.

Ross, who attends the University of Central Florida and lives in Kissimmee, said she’s paid more attention to current events and politics during the past couple of years.

“As a voter, being a minority, a woman and an African American, there’s a lot of different factors that come into how I vote,” she said. “I want to pick somebody who will put everybody first, but will not overlook minorities – that is the thing that President Trump does.”

She was disappointed by Trump’s response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed.

“It seemed like he had no remorse for what happened to George Floyd, and that’s something that really impacted my point of view,” Ross said.

People of color, she said, pay taxes and deserve “equal and fair treatment” under the law.

She also worries about the lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic and said Trump is unfairly blaming China for the spread of the disease in the United States.

“I believe our country should have closed sooner,” Ross said. “We should have taken more precautions earlier. We should’ve started social distancing earlier, wearing masks.”

Trump, she said, acts like “wearing masks is not such a big deal, when it is.”

“It protects us and the people around us,” she added.

While Ross said she appreciates Kamala Harris’ historic nomination as the first woman of color running on a major party ticket, she said she’s concerned about Harris’ track record as a prosecutor. The vice presidential candidate had a reputation

Meet the entrepreneurs creating a membership-based platform to help women of color succeed at work

Navigating your career as a first, only or one of very few is a common reality for many women of color, especially those in executive seats. In fact, women of color today make up 18% of entry-level positions, but just 3% of the C-suite, according to Lean In and McKinsey & Company’s 2020 Women in the Workplace report.

Rha Goddess et al. posing for a picture: nFormation founders Deepa Purushothaman and Rha Goddess.

© Provided by CNBC
nFormation founders Deepa Purushothaman and Rha Goddess.

In an effort to increase this representation and offer more support for high achieving women of color, entrepreneurs and business leaders Rha Goddess and Deepa Purushothaman created nFormation, a first-of-its-kind membership based app to help women of color succeed at work.


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The platform, which will officially launch in January 2021, opened its registration waitlist this October so that anyone who self-identifies as a woman of color can apply or nominate another woman of color to apply for membership on its website. According to Purushothaman and Goddess, applicants will be vetted based on career experience and information provided via an intake form or a LinkedIn profile before they can officially join the app. For now, Purushothaman and Goddess say nFormation is geared toward established women of color leaders and executives, though younger women, who they call “up and comers,” can sign up to learn more about future rollout plans that will cater to their needs.

The idea for nFormation, Purushothaman tells CNBC Make It, is to “create a safe space, brave space and new space for high-performing women of color” to network and grow in their careers.

“Coming out of the gate,” she adds, “our real focus is on creating a platform for women to come together and really talk about how we can really make change in the world and recreate structures and cultures [in the workplace], but also help these women get placed on both boards and in more senior positions in corporate and organizational spaces.”

Rha Goddess et al. posing for a picture: nFormation founders Deepa Purushothaman and Rha Goddess.

© Provided by CNBC
nFormation founders Deepa Purushothaman and Rha Goddess.

Their urge to create nFormation, Goddess and Purushothaman explain, was inspired by their own experiences in corporate America. When the two women met a little over five years ago at a women’s summit, Purushothaman was a senior partner at Deloitte and Goddess had left her more than 20-year career in the chemical industry to focus on helping leaders find their passion, purpose and calling in life. Both women say their corporate careers consisted of them being the first, only or one of very few women of color in their position or on their team.

“[nFormation] isn’t just about traditional networking,” Goddess says. “I think the space that we’re looking to create is about safety and really recognizing and understanding that women of color in corporations are grappling with the intersection of a series of tremendous issues that have everything to do with their identity [and] that have everything to do with corporate America’s readiness for sharing power.”

Outside of creating a space for high-achieving women of color to meet other like-minded

Meet swimsuit model Kathy Jacobs who’s ‘not ashamed’ of being sexy over 50

At 56 years old and 5 feet, 3 inches tall, Kathy Jacobs is breaking down barriers in the modeling world. But of course, there are some haters along the way.

“People say horrible things to me all the time,” Jacobs told TODAY Style. “I recently started getting fat-shamed as well, because I do these lives (videos) where I am baking. Apparently, I don’t need a scale because I have Instagram. But it’s crazy … when I get a mean comment, it’s usually a woman.”

Kathy Jacobs (Chris Pizzello / AP)Kathy Jacobs (Chris Pizzello / AP)
Kathy Jacobs (Chris Pizzello / AP)

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Critics also tell Jacobs that a woman her age can’t be sexy but the model rejects that sentiment. “I do wanna be sexy and I don’t give an f-u-you know what because I feel that one of the biggest obstacles for women over 50 to overcome in this world is not seeing themselves as sexy anymore. So if people see me as objectifying myself as being sexy, heck yes!”

The outspoken wife and mom of one is about to have her own magazine spread in the 2021 issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine after winning a rookie contest in this year’s issue. But about one year ago, she was sweeping the floor at a Drybar hair salon, working for minimum wage before she started getting modeling gigs again. That hard work has informed her relentless attitude and unfettered determination.

Kathy Jacobs poses on a sandy beach for Sports Illustrated. (Yu Tsai / Sports Illustrated)Kathy Jacobs poses on a sandy beach for Sports Illustrated. (Yu Tsai / Sports Illustrated)
Kathy Jacobs poses on a sandy beach for Sports Illustrated. (Yu Tsai / Sports Illustrated)

“You have to understand, I am grateful for any amount of success I have,” Jacobs, who lives in the Los Angeles area, said. “I have been over 50 working a kiosk in the rain on Hollywood Blvd. for Valentine’s Day. So having someone criticize me because I got some sort of fame or am in Sports Illustrated is definitely not going to get to me like someone who may be 26 who has only experienced the good in their life. I have been down, so I appreciate being up.”

Not only is Jacobs’ upcoming appearance in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit making headlines, she recently went viral on TikTok when a user shared a video of her walking a runway during a show, and captioned it, “Granny still got it.”

While she is not a grandmother yet, being called a granny really doesn’t faze her because she has learned to not take herself so seriously. Plus, the memes that feature her help her reach more people. “I’m not offended because honestly, you can’t even imagine the people, the women, the ladies my age, who direct message me and leave comments and say, ‘Oh my God, thank you so much for representing us,” she said. “Or the young girls who say, ‘I don’t care about getting older because of you. Thank you for doing this.’”

And while Jacobs is breaking down barriers for older women in modeling and acting, she is

Meet the Black women defying the stereotypes of country music

Rissi Palmer was fed up with reading music articles that mentioned the same five country artists of color over and over again, seemingly erasing the expansive history of Black and brown artists’ contributions to country music.

That’s why Palmer, a successful country artist who has performed at the White House, Lincoln Center and the Grand Ole Opry, started her Apple Music radio show, “Color Me Country.” The show aims to recognize and validate the presence and history of Black and brown women in country music, including Mickey Guyton, Tiera, Miko Marks and many others.

“There are so many people out there that look like me — or are Latina or Latinx or Indigenous or whatever — that want to be in the industry,” said Palmer, who is Black. “And sometimes it just helps to just see somebody that looks like you.”

Palmer’s radio show is named after Linda Martell’s 1970 album “Color Me Country.” Martell was a trailblazer in country music when, in 1969, she became the first Black woman to perform solo at the Grand Ole Opry. But Martell’s contributions to the genre, as well as those of other Black and brown country artists, have largely gone under the radar.

Women of color have long faced a culture of exclusion in country music, a genre that has typically favored white men, even though its roots are linked with early Black American music. Since country music’s founding in the 1920s, only four Black female solo artists and one all-Black female group have charted on a country music chart. On the Billboard list of 50 Top Country Artists in 2019, only four are female solo artists and one is a female group, and none are Black.

Country music never had a reason to change, but now with an increasingly diverse audience and more recent cultural reckonings over gender and race, change may be inevitable. The genre’s gatekeepers remain reluctant to accept the growing numbers of diverse country artists and listeners. Even so, some performers of color are forging their own paths anyway.

Erased history

Country music wouldn’t be what it is today without the contributions of African Americans, Palmer said. Hank Williams Sr. learned to play guitar from Rufus “Tee Tot” Payne, a Black musician, and The Carter Family learned their guitar riffs from Lesley Riddle, also a Black man. A lot of country music’s early style came from the gospel music sung at Black churches in the South.

“Black people and brown people have always had an interest in country music — they’ve always played it and always enjoyed it,” said Amanda Marie Martinez, a doctoral candidate at UCLA, who has written extensively about race in country music.

The roots of Black artists in country music are even in the instruments themselves, Martinez said: The banjo is an African instrument, and the fiddle was played predominantly by slaves. The music played by African slaves was borrowed and implemented into the music of white Southerners.

Even though Black and

Meet Giggle Moon Clothing – Boutique Girls Clothing Line for Special Moments

Giggle Moon is a designer brand of boutique girl's clothing for babies, infants and children. They create adorable clothing that is wonderfully detailed and so feminine, frilly and fun. From party dresses and swing sets, to coveralls for baby girls, every piece bu this boutique girl's clothing is designed to make children feel special. The designers add fancy details and vintage touches such as lace, ruffles and silk flowers. And because it's made from high-quality stretchy cotton blend, it's super comfy and kids love to wear it.

Every season, Giggle Moon clothing releases several new looks with a unique personality based on color, fabric and style. For example, the Morning Glory Swing Set from the Spring 2014 collections features hot pink and bright orange with green and white stripes, oversized flower accents and tulle frills. It feels so fresh, pretty and happy. In contrast, the Fall Blossom (Fall 2013) collection is crisp and warm, like pumpkin pie. It features dark brown, orange chevron and ivory lace, with deep red and sage green which is great for pictures. The Fall Blossom Tutu Dress with Leggings is soft and stretchy with layers of frills, perfect for twirling and playing in the autumn leaves.

Looking for something special? Giggle Moon clothing is perfect for parties, holidays, and photos. For example, you can find a gorgeous tutu dress and leggings for your daughter's birthday party. Or a cute Giggle Moon swing set, which consists of a ruffled swing dress with matching ruffled pants, for family photos. How about a sweet little coverall for the baby just in time for the holidays? And a beautiful dress with pants for the first day of school. You can complete any outfit with a matching, handmade headband. Each boutique collection is available in sizes from newborn to 8 years old.

This beautiful girls clothing line is lovingly designed by a group of six fun-loving women who call themselves the Giggle Moon Baby . Their office located just three blocks from the beach in Oceanside, California, near San Diego. While working on their designs, they love to indulge on their favorite snack foods – popcorn, candy (especially peppermint), and Diet Coke. The designers all share a passion for creating boutique clothing that girls (and their parents) will enjoy. And they have such a great time doing it, they can't help but laugh and sing throughout the day. All of these traits come together and inspired the official company motto – LOVE JOY LAUGHTER.

The Giggle Moon Girls are also influenced by God in their life and work. Michelle, one of the Giggle Moon Girls, says that the names for the collections usually come to her mind from Bible verses. For Dance for Joy (Fall 2013) and Streams of Water (Fall 2013), she was thinking of the collection and was inspired by her prayers. They also use Bible verses to describe their brand and products, such as "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord" Psalm 127: 3.

Giggle Moon …