Ruth Chang: How To Make Hard Choices

You know all those niggling life choices that weigh on you? Like: where is my career going? Should I leave him? Should we have a baby? Should I cut her out of my life? Making huge choices can be exceedingly tough, but philosopher Ruth’s TED talk will show you that’s because we are thinking about them in entirely the wrong way. Her way of thinking about life’s big decisions will change your life.

Anne-Marie Slaughter: Can We Have it All?

“Real equality doesn’t just mean valuing women on male terms; it means creating a much wider range of equally respected choices for women and for men.” Anne-Marie’s paper on Why Women Still Can’t Have It All made waves in 2012 and here she talks about what true equality means today. For example, REAL equality in the workplace isn’t just about women being valued as much as men; it’s also about family being valued just as much as work. “If family comes first, work does not come second.”

Monica Lewinsky: The Price of Shame

She was patient zero for cyber-bullying, but Monica has taken her decades of ridicule and turned it into a powerful talk on the “blood sport” of public shaming. The internet never stops and Monica calls for a renewed effort on empathy to halt the potentially deadly culture of online humiliation.

Brené Brown: The Power Of Vulnerability

Being vulnerable is usually associated with emotions we want to avoid: weakness, fear, shame and uncertainty. In this TED talk, Brene reveals how being vulnerable is actually the strongest measure of courage that we have.

Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

When so much emphasis is put on being outgoing and standing up for ourselves in society, there’s great power in being an introvert. The quiet ones can quite often bring the most extraordinary ideas to the world.

Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

There are several reasons why men get the top jobs more often than women. Facebook COO Sheryl looks at why. This TED talk contains the best advice for all women looking to reach the top of their business game.

Andy Puddicombe: All it Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes

When was the last time you did nothing for 10 whole minutes? There’s almost no such thing as doing nothing anymore; we’re always lost in thought or distracted or anxious. Andy talks about how meditating for only 10 minutes a day is scientifically proven to reduce stress and worry; and there’s so much less to meditation than we think. He uses juggling to explain the cycle of anxiety, and how just changing the way we experience it can change everything.

Jackson Katz: Violence Against Women – It’s a Men’s Issue

Jackson pulls no punches in this talk, declaring that violence against women is an issue that men must address and that this brutal behavior is intrinsically linked to society’s perception of what it is to be masculine. It’s a wake-up call to both men and women to call out unacceptable behaviour rather than learning to deal with it.

Esther Perel: The Secret To Desire In a Long-Term Relationship

We constantly struggle for security and surprise in a relationship, but the qualities of desire are, in many ways, the opposite of love. Esther Perel explores the facets of long-term relationships in which your partner is expected to be your best friend and your lover.

Roxane Gay: Confessions of a Bad Feminist

In this thought-provoking talk, writer Roxane Gay explores the notion that feminism isn’t one-size-fits-all.  She implores women to not feel like “bad feminists” if they can’t live up to every single one of the standards that the most vocal faction of the movement demands, but to make small choices that can add up to big change.

Cameron Russell: Looks Aren’t Everything. Believe Me, I’m a Model

It might feel weird to hear from a Victoria’s Secret model, winner of the genetic lottery, that looks aren’t everything. But when you consider the fact that her industry had her looking highly sexualised when she was barely legal, you realise that looks can be a curse. Cameron takes a look at her industry and the society that says what’s outside counts.

 Aimee Mullins: The Opportunity of Adversity

Aimee was born without shinbones but she’s not about to kowtow to the word “disabled”. She’s taking the word back, and showing how adversity can actually unlock human greatness that may have otherwise gone untapped.

Robyn Stein DeLuca: The Good News About PMS

We all know that PMS takes ladies on a hormonal roller coaster around that time of the month. Except that scientists just can’t seem to agree on whether PMS actually exists or not, and (if it does) how to treat it. Psychologist Robyn talks about what we actually do know, and why the myth of PMS as we know it lives on.

Meaghan Ramsey: Why Thinking You’re Ugly is Bad For You

Google stats reveal about 10,000 people search the phrase “Am I ugly” each month. In a deeply disturbing TED talk, Meaghan (of the The Dove Self-Esteem Project) talks about how the ramifications of low body confidence are not just psychological; they can inhibit learning, and lead to a greater abuse of alcohol and drugs. She also shares what we can do to fight this grim reality.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin: A Hilarious Celebration of Lifelong Female Friendship

We get by with a little help from our friends! Lifelong gal pals Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda break down the reasons why lady friendship is necessary for living a supported and emotionally rich life. The girls talk longevity, feminism, the differences with being mates with men vs women, and women’s role in the world’s future. “I don’t even know what I would do without my women friends,” Fonda says. “I exist because I have my women friends.” A TED talk anyone with a #girlsquad needs to hear.

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