All Articles Tagged "international"
Behind The Click: Oracle’s Other Oracle Jennifer Sherman On How To Bring More Women Into the Tech Field
Happy New Year and welcome to the first Behind The Click of 2013! I’m happy to bring you a profile on someone who I’ve just discovered…
Though CEO Larry Ellison usually gets most of the media props as Oracle’s head honcho, Jennifer Sherman should definitely be on your tech radar as well. She is proving that, yes, Virginia, there are women of color at such giants as Oracle and doing great things in the process. Sherman is senior director of applications strategy at the company. We’ll get into more about what all that entails in just a bit. But her international background is just as, if not more, compelling.
Current Occupation: Senior Director, Applications Strategy, Oracle Corporation
Favorite website: I’m remodeling my bathroom right now so Pinterest is my new best friend.
Favorite read: Fiction – Song of Solomon; Nonfiction – The Soul of a New Machine
Recent read: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
2013′s ultimate goal: I want to make this year as fabulous as possible. That probably means ordering champagne on Tuesdays, smiling at strangers, accepting compliments wholeheartedly, and telling people how much I value them.
Quote Governing Your Mission or a Quote that Inspires You:
We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family. We can choose to make our love for the world what our lives are really about. Each of us has the opportunity, the privilege, to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us. It will require courage, audacity and heart. It is much more radical than a revolution – it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet. What we create together is a relationship in which our work can show up as making a difference in people’s lives. I welcome the unprecedented opportunity for us to work globally on that which concerns us all as human beings.
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
If not here, where?
Madame Noire: I love how you have lived in many different places. Your background growing up seems fascinating. How did you end up being raised in India, West Africa, and the Middle East?
When I first saw the remake of the Karate Kid with Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, and Taraji P. Henson, I was surprised a bit at the plot. Henson, playing Smith’s mother, is an African-American executive whose new job takes her and her son from Detroit to Beijing, China. There is no denying it — China is a major business hub. I wondered, “Are there many black women working in China?” Yes, I later discovered.
Stephanie Hunt, president and founder of etiquette and protocol firm Swan Noir, recently returned from a stay in Shanghai. Hunt, who plans to move there in the fall of 2013, went to pave the way for her future move to the booming city. “I thought about the business aspect in 2011. There was so much buzz about China. I had been to Beijing, in 2007 for a 10-day tourist trip. It was then that I decided to… attempt to bring Swan Noir there and expand,” she explains. “I want to bring this training to Chinese who travel abroad and Americans and Europeans to China.” Eventually, Hunt wants to expand to other Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Nanjing, and Guangzhou. What she discovered were nuances that will help her along the way to establishing a foothold in the Land of the Dragon.
Business is Not Just Business: Understanding the Chinese Way
These days the Chinese are all about business. But there is an art to doing a deal in the country. They like the personal touch. “China is so complex, I did not want to use traditional American muscle and business tactics. I wanted to learn and experience China first,” Hunt tells us. “The nuances and the details that it takes to interact and do business with the Chinese is enormous. There are superstitions, auspicious colors and numbers, protocol with rank and title, business card etiquette, and so on.” Sabrina Lamb agrees. Lamb is the CEO of the nonprofit World Of Money, a New York City-based nonprofit whose mission is to empower youth with a sound financial foundation. Lamb is planning on bringing a delegation there in August 2013, touring Shanghai, Beijing and Xi-en, during which time she wants to forge business contacts for the nonprofit. She looks to make the visit an annual affair. “Learn cultural modes, such as, in general the Chinese are very shy. Americans tend to gaze in the eyes of others; while we may take their averted eyes as ignoring us or being rude, when in China the opposite is true. Often Chinese will smile once they know that you wish to connect with them,” says Lamb.
Patience Is a Virtue
The Chinese don´t make business decisions rashly. You have to prove yourself time and time again. “I was surprised to discover how much time it could take to actually reach a plateau,” observes Hunt. “I was networking with some Americans and Europeans that have lived in Shanghai for seven years, and nine years, respectively. They are still gaining trust with clients after years of pitching and proving themselves. The return on investment is worth it but it could take years.”
You must also be prepared to connect with potential clients personally. “You have to have patience and be prepared to be confused most of the time. Contracts are different, business is different, the thinking process is different, everything is different,” Hunt points out. “Relationship building is a must. If you are not good at networking and relationship building at home, you will have a really hard time in Asia. Meet people, and host people, drink, eat, karaoke, buffets, drink, talk, exchange ideas, more drinking, more karaoke, etc…”
Government cheese for everyone! The London-based Legatum Institute has published its Prosperity Index and, for the first time, the United States has fallen out of the top 10, landing in the 12th position. In the video below, the Institute outlines how it determines the order of the ranking, which takes into account a number of factors including education and health.
Among the issues that pushed the US down the list were the increased cost of becoming an entrepreneur, the poor state of our “health outcomes” when compared with our health expenditures and the decline in the government approval rating.
Taking the election into account, the Institute says, “As the US struggles to reclaim the building blocks of the American Dream, now is the time to consider who is best placed to lead the country back to prosperity and compete with the more agile countries that have pushed the U.S. out of the top ten.”
In questioning the viability of the American Dream, the group is in line with what we heard Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz say at The Economist‘s Buttonwood Gathering a couple of weeks ago. “Americans believe in equality of opportunity. The data suggests that that has become a myth,” he said at the time.
This is the sixth year for The Legatum Prosperity Index, which looks at 142 countries to compile the rankings. The top three countries are all Scandinavian — Norway, Denmark and Sweden, in that order.
It seems like recording artists don’t have the best luck when it comes to their health on airplanes.
According to ESSENCE, singer/songwriter Keri Hilson fainted on her flight home from China (she was doing some performances there) last Friday. She apparently lost consciousness and when she woke up, she couldn’t hold anything down. As she explained when she took to Twitter to tell her fans:
“I fainted on my flight. then I threw up. I’m fine now, I just need real rest…haven’t had more than 3.5hrs of sleep in 48hrs #whatdreamsrmadeof”
On a moving plane with lack of sleep and likely not enough food (performers are notorious for being so focused on the work at hand that they don’t remember to eat often, if at all), its no wonder this happened to her. Anyway, Keri made it home safely and apparently able to get some rest.
But to add insult to her own injury, Keri left her purse and her gifts on the plane – probably in haste to get off the flight. I’m pretty sure the flight crew got everything back to her.
The latest news coming out of Turkey highlight the country’s ongoing tensions across the border with Syria and the nation’s current debate about how far separate church and state need to be, but a visit to Istanbul paints a fuller picture than these agita-inducing headlines.
Turkey’s largest city offers many opportunities to chill, reflect, and self-improve. Seaside parks come kitted out with exercise equipment for public use, while recreational fishermen can cast their hooks into the Bosphorus Sea, visually sipping on a postcard view of a bridge that leads to Asia.
Studded with ancient mosques, ruins, museums, and old universities, newer constructions reflect the nation’s overall respect for the past, not clashing with but complementing the older structures. Shopaholics will appreciate the winding cobblestone alleys that act as points of discovery for textile and crafts shops, while budget hounds will love the ability to haggle at markets and the exchange rate which currently favors the American traveler (as of the publication of this post, $1 nets you 1.81 Turkish Lira). Oh, and the food’s good too!
With many still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it’s nice to imagine a tranquil place far away. Click through for our guide to the city’s must-visit sights.
Amsterdam has many draws: amazing vintage clothing stores, picturesque parks and canals, bus passes that expire 24 hours from first use, and delicious beers. (Contrary to popular belief, Holland, not Germany, is the birthplace of Heineken.) As if these weren’t enough to put the capital of this tiny European country on your one-day-I’ll-go-there list, the city is going through something of an indie art and cultural renaissance.
From parking garages repurposed as galleries in the city’s Bijlmer neighborhood to a calendar of art and music festivals that draws thousands from around the world every year, creative energy and inspiration abound. Check out our round-up of venues, events, and experiences sure to set off a creative spark.
A black baroness? Yes. But Baroness Monica von Neumann is more than just a title. She is an entrepreneur, having launched Baroness von Neumann Candles in 2010.
Detroit-born and L.A.-reared, Neumann was named a baroness when she met and married her soul mate, becoming the first African-American woman to gain this honorable title. Neumann, who danced and toured with the likes of Nina Simone and the pop rock band Devo, met her would-be husband, the wealthy Baron John von Neumann, while attending an annual event in Palm Springs.
And being a baroness is a serious matter. To learn all the formalities of royal tradition, she attended a Swiss finishing school, studied with private tutors and mastered the language of her new husband’s country — Austria.
To say she has lived the lush life would be an understatement. She’s overseen an international staff of more than 20 people who maintained the couple’s residences in Geneva, London, Monaco, St. Tropez, Palm Springs, Bel Air, as well as their 100-foot yacht.
Now a widow after losing her husband of 26 years to cancer, Neumann didn’t want to spend her free time lunching with the ladies. Instead she donates a significant amount of time and money to charity and has launched her own business. The Baroness, who now divides her time between Los Angles, New York and Geneva, developed four candle collections that capture scents from around the world: Savon, a floral scent including rose and Lily of the Valley; Atlas, containing a mix of spicy Ceylon cinnamon and Zanzibar clove; Fete made with Navel orange and Norwegian Pine; and Modena, a men’s scent with crispy citrus, highlighted by Neroli Bigarade and Italian lemon.
According to the National Candle Association, candles are good business. U.S. retail sales of candles are estimated at approximately $2 billion per year and candles are used in seven out of 10 U.S. households. If Baroness von Neumann has her way, her candles will be in every American household.
Baroness von Neumann spoke with us about her life and business.
Between the songs, the Victoria’s Secret models and the movies, one would think Brazil is a non-stop music video of bronze, bikini-clad beauties complete with cameos from Pharrell and Snoop. Of course, Brazil is so much more than beautiful people and beaches — or bullet-riddled favelas run by lookalikes of the little dude from City of God.
Home to the biggest population of Africans outside of Africa, Brazil is positively opulent with history, art, music and more with much of the magic concentrated in the northeastern state of Bahia where 80 percent of the population is of African descent. We’ve put together a need to know/need to go guide for your next trip.
If you’ve visited Bahia already, make sure to chime in on our Facebook page with the destinations we missed!
Will and Jada Pinkett’s marriage may reportedly be on the verge of ending, but that hasn’t stopped the couple from expanding their media empire. Their company, Overbrook Entertainment, is partnering with Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment to produce a new international reality show to find the world’s greatest DJ.
The show, which has been in development for over a year, will capture the rise of the DJ phenomena and both entertainment companies, along with Sony Pictures Television, are expected to announce their broadcast partners in the U.S. and the UK soon.
“This show will comb the world to find a new breed of talent,” Jada says. “I am happy to be creating it alongside Simon Cowell, the Sony team, and my partner Miguel Melendez, on behalf of the Overbrook family.”
Simon says as soon as he met Jada and Miguel he knew they were the ideal business partners:
“DJ’s are the new rock stars, it feels like the right time to make this show.”
I’m not super excited about the show concept, but signing off on new business ventures could be a good sign for Will and Jada’s marriage…maybe.
What do you think about the search for the world’s greatest DJ?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- Sisters In Hiding: Not So Famous Sisters of Famous Celebs
- Delusions Of A Thirsty Chick
- Things Black Mothers Say
- Celebrity Mistresses: The Good, The Bad, and The Trifling
- 7 Curl Defining Products to Get Your Curls and Coils Poppin’
- Family Ties: 7 Rappers Who Finally Grew Up
- He Loves Me: Men Who Just Adore Their Wives
- What Exactly Makes Something Ghetto?
Besides Barack Obama, we ranked some distinguished and not-so-distinguished world leaders running their perspective countries. These most sought-after positions in the world offer more than their fair share of public disapproval. Some may even characterize presidential wigs, curly mustaches, and age lines as not-so-Hot, but who cares? Camouflage all those minor details with some power, and you’ve got one Hot group of leaders around the globe…