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Germany’s diversity influencer and advocate, Tijen Onaran, has amazing eye earrings that are watching you!

Roles models of all forms inspire on the ‘gram

While catching up on an Instagram Live Session (my version of attending events in this new reality,) I chanced upon a conversation between GDW Global Digital Women founder, author, investor (and one of my online heroes,) Tijen Onaran, and a new-to-me woman behind the Instagram account schoenwild. Their discussion in German was fun to translate on the fly, but I decided to extract some of the messages here in English because what they had to say is especially important in light of recent news events. Namely, what we say to each other (online) matters.

How I tackled 2020 might help you thrive in 2021

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Beautify your world: children’s rainbow artwork in a public park in Berlin during the COVID-19 pandemic

I’m sure we can agree that 2020 was rough. Reflecting on a wild set of months behind us, I reached four understandings of what sustained my growth while keeping this year in check. I hope these takeaways are useful for you, too.

1. Listen to Experts. 🎤

Yes, of course, that applies primarily to scientists. But I’m also referring to people doing other important societal work and who share their observations transparently.

Probably like many of you this year, I dedicated significant time listening to podcasts, and when possible, reading books. Sometimes these came in a combo-pack: Like Arlan Hamilton’s Your First Million podcast and her book, It’s About Damn Time which addresses the huge advantage of supporting under-represented founders.

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Harry Stebbings interviewed Anna Khan on The 20 Minute VC podcast and it was brilliant. Read why below.

Insights from Anna Khan on Harry Stebbing’s ‘The 20 Minute VC’

A recommendation heard frequently is that founders seeking funding should only talk with partners at a Venture Capital (VC) firm – you know, the ones who make the big decisions. Anna Khan is a General Partner at CRV but she will convince you otherwise. She makes a strong point about why the role of a venture analyst is so crucial.

Anna herself grew up in Pakistan, moved to the US and studied at Stanford University. She has worked in financial corporations, startups, and at various levels of the VC ‘food chain’. …

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David Perell’s podcast with Matthew Kobach offers smart ways to improve your social media content

Experts Matthew Kobach & David Perell discuss 10 top tips

A silver lining of the pandemic’s isolating effect is a slow rebound in podcast consumption. Audio offers us unlimited opportunities to learn directly from experts. As an avid listener, I get inspired to translate key learnings in an accessible way sharing takeaways about entrepreneurship, creative founders, and inclusive leadership. This time though, I tuned in for a chat specifically on social media and brand building.

Yes, you could also recap podcasts as a save-worthy thread of tweets, but writing my notes out in long-form effectively helps me to synthesize ideas into the best nuggets for you.

So if you’re curious about marketing, storytelling, writing, advertising, or developing professionally, don’t miss these 10 top tips from two skilled masters: Matthew Kobach was recently interviewed by David Perell on the topic of ‘Social Media Brands’. …

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Insights from a TenbyTen session with Sifted’s Deputy Editor, Amy Lewin’s Deputy Editor, Amy Lewin, Offers Insights

If you find an opportunity to hear hard-earned wisdom from an insider of a news outlet, please take it. On August 10th,’s Amy Lewin spoke with Fora x Buzzbar about trends in journalism as it relates to startups and VCs. She offered useful tips on diversifying VC and keeping on a journalist’s good side – important since reputation is gold in the age of social media.

Amy Lewin knows her material; as a reporter, she was employee number 1 of Sifted, a separate company but a Financial Times-backed news source offering in-depth startup ecosystem reporting. …

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Illustration by the one and only Rozalina Burkova

How FemGems38 harness innovation to advance our society

Imagine you’re at work, waiting in line, or in transit and you hear a sexist comment. You freeze for a moment. We’ve all been there. That instant when you can’t decide if you should speak up, do something, or bite your tongue.

You might think you need to evaluate how the comment was said or understand the context to determine your position. You might think you need to know a particular phrase to counter what you are hearing.

But what if you could reach into your pocket to access an app that prepared you for such moments, that guides you through these types of issues?

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One of FemGems’ live podcast shows at Factory Berlin earlier this year

Transforming Talk into Action with FemGem40

The founder’s path is not linear. It’s full of surprises. In a surprising twist from the usual FemGems podcast format, episode 40 features none other than FemGems’ Founder herself. In it, she describes how her podcast is being reincarnated into the FemGems Club. FemGem40, Dora Petrova, is interviewed by her colleague Carmen who is also driven by ‘acting on values’ — a central theme at FemGems.

Read on to learn about FemGems’ transformation and how you can activate your own ideas!


Kicking off this special episode, Dora Dora dispels the myth that you need to know exactly what your business will be in order to start; instead, she elaborates on how she morphed from hosting a podcast into building a company that boosts female entrepreneurship. She effectively used the podcast to build a robust network, and to profoundly understand the challenges that female founders face — and then create a platform to actively address and contribute to solving those challenges. …

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Diane Flynn leads a seminar that helps women to identify professional strengths that also fulfill them.

7 Author Insights on Diversity in Business from ReBoot Accel CEO

In March 2020, our lives were globally disrupted. One positive occurrence on March 6th though was the independent publication of The Upside: Better Outcomes when Everyone Plays, by a power author team of Diane Flynn and Patty O’Brien White.

The book’s two authors are the cofounders of Reboot Accel, empowering women to lead lives of impact and influence. Having helped thousands of women so far, they know first-hand about the importance of women in the workforce.

This article features an interview with one of the authors. Read on!

In The Upside, the authors posit that businesses perform better when gender diversity and gender equity are involved. Typically, at every level of an organization but particularly at the top. So the natural question is: what circumstances best facilitate that? Flynn and O’Brien White consulted mid to Fortune 500 companies throughout the US, public and privately owned, across a spectrum of industries, as well as culled from their own experience supporting women to achieve career growth to find out. …

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Illustration by the one and only Rozalina Burkova

FemGem37 Unlocks Networks & Champions Mental Health

To be in the presence of FemGem37 is a revelation. She emits honesty, rawness, truth, and hope. FemGem37 — Katy Campbell – grants you the chance to be equally vulnerable, freeing yourself from limiting thought patterns.

This liberation is a big part of her personal and professional mission: to improve our mental health. Katy’s a vibrant soul, backed by a stellar track record of experimentation, dedication, and focus.

Katy’s social media handle, Bey of Biz, reveals two key things: her love of superstar Beyoncé’s music and Katy’s own keen business acumen.

Katy cares deeply about founders – she aims to alleviate their struggle and amplify their success. To see how she got here though, let’s peer back at her career. Doing so unearths English literature, journalism expertise, corporate communication, PR, brand work, plus scores of mentorship and leadership examples. …

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Diane Flynn, CEO & Co-founder of ReBoot Accel, catalyzes women for today’s workplace

ReBoot Accel’s CEO & Co-Founder Diane Flynn shares strategies

There’s a lot going on now that rightfully requires our action and attention. Layered into our current situation is a topic that cuts across societal lines, stands to affect multiple generations, and affects the odds of sustaining our livelihoods ahead: women’s participation in the workforce.

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic is affecting women’s career opportunities and thus impacting half the population, their families, and society at large.

The NYT just covered it extensively, quoting a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan who says that due to the virus, “(Women) may spend a significant amount of time out of the workforce, or their careers could just peter out in terms of promotions.” …


Elisheva Marcus

Reporting from within a Venn diagram of health, tech and empowerment. Berlin-based. Internationally minded.

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