It's Time for Feminism Reform
It’s the presidential political season here in the U.S.
This is the time where politicians on both sides of the aisle start talking about how they can reform various aspects of government. True reform on any political issue is rarely the result, but sometimes we take a few small steps in the right direction. This is precisely what needs to happen with feminism.
We need reform!
I love my fellow sisters. I have used my career to date to try to empower women rather than to drag them down. In my mind this is the essence of what it means to be a feminist. Unfortunately, many of us have lost sight of how this feminism thing works. By definition, feminism is defined as: “the advocacy of women’s right’s on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” This notion of global “advocacy” is not only unattainable; but it is unreasonable.
The segments of the feminism party are many and varied. Like many things in government and even in life, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Truthfully, how do you satisfy all women without tripping over something completely unique to a sub-demographic? It is impossible.
Started from the bottom now we’re here…
Here’s what I see. We have young women who see any act of chivalry by a man as an affront to their independence. We have a group of women that are anti-men everything and remain ready to spit fire at the sight of a man – whether he is supportive of women progressing or not. Finally, we have some women represented in leadership across Corporate America, Technology and the sciences – it isn’t the optimal number, but some of us have arrived. Yet, those select few who have reached these heights make it harder for other women to rise whether out of pure malice, jealousy or poor attempts at trying to mimic the hard-nosed leadership men exhibit almost innately.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have some phenomenal women of all ages and backgrounds creating positive networks and movements at a grassroots level. Last but not least, we have women like me who are huge champions of women from all walks of life; but are reluctant to wear the feminism badge because the overall goal and message is lost on us. I’d like to think of the latter group as the Independents of Feminism. We’re unsure of where feminism is going and we don’t have any one in particular representing our interests.
No movement is effective unless there is an overarching vision for people to sink their teeth into. Take the workplace for instance, you can hire a gazillion workers to work for you, but if they don’t understand your expectations or vision for the company – their work is meaningless.
I have created a short plan of reform for feminism. It is one that I believe will both unite and provide clarity around what we want. Here are some suggestions:
The issues are varied, but we have to own them collectively. What I experience as a Black woman is not the same as what as what a Latina or White woman experience. Don’t patronize me or belittle my experience and I will do the same for you. We need to take the time to understand all of the issues at hand. They all matter and have to be raised collectively.
Every man walking this earth is not our enemy. There are some men that think we are doing fine for being women. Those guys are jerks and deserve our death stares. However, there are some men that had nothing to do with creating our plight and want to see us win. We can be “independent”, “boss babes”, “queens” and all of those monikers and not have to denigrate all men.
Less talk, more uplifting. Some of you ladies are quick to claim being a feminist on social media and in social situations – yet you put other women down constantly. When was the last time you helped another woman out of the goodness of your heart? Have you mentored a young girl ever? More importantly, if your younger self met the present day “you” would she be proud? Talk is cheap. When I think back to the most treacherous bosses I have had in my career, they weren’t men – they were women. From the PTA to the workplace, we need to be uplifting one another not cutting each other down.
At a minimum, these are the things that we need to get straight before any of us proudly wear the feminism badge. I pray we can turn this around before either of my daughters becomes young women, because right now the feminism movement needs a lot of help.
Rosie the Robot, Amazon, and the Future of RAAI
Written by: Travis Briggs, CEO at ROBO Global US
It’s tough to find a kid out there who hasn’t dreamed about robots. Long before artificial intelligence existed in the real world, the idea of a non-human entity that could act and think like a human has been rooted in our imaginations. According to Greek legends, Cadmus turned dragon teeth into soldiers, Hephaestus fabricated tables that could “walk” on their own three legs, and Talos, perhaps the original “Tin Man,” defended Crete. Of course, in our own times, modern storytellers have added hundreds of new examples to the mix. Many of us grew up watching Rosie the Robot on The Jetsons. As we got older, the stories got more sophisticated. “Hal” in 2001: A Space Odyssey was soon followed by R2-D2 and C-3PO in the original Star Wars trilogy. RoboCop, Interstellar, and Ex Machina are just a few of the recent additions to the list.
Maybe it’s because these stories are such a part of our culture that few people realize just how far robotics has advanced today—and that artificial intelligence is anything but a futuristic fantasy. Ask anyone outside the industry how modern-day robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are used in the real world, and the answers are usually pretty generic. Surgical robots. Self-driving cars. Amazon’s Alexa. What remains a mystery to most is the immense and fast-growing role the combination of robotics automation and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”), plays in nearly every aspect of our everyday lives.
Today, shopping online is something most of us take for granted, and yet eCommerce is still in its relative infancy. Despite double-digit growth in the past four years, only 8% of total retail spending is currently done online. That number is growing every day. Business headlines in July announced that Amazon was on a hiring spree to add another 50K fulfillment employees to its already massive workforce. While that certainly reflects the shift from brick-and-mortar to web-based retail, it doesn’t even begin to tell the story of what this growth means for the technology and application firms that deliver the RAAI tools required to support the momentum of eCommerce. In 2017, only 5% of the warehouses that fuel eCommerce are even partially automated. This means that to keep up with demand, the application of RAAI will have to accelerate—and fast. In fact, RAAI is a key driver of success for top e-retailers like Amazon, Apple, and Wal-Mart as they strive to meet the explosion in online sales.
From an investor’s perspective, this fast-growing demand for robotics, automation and artificial intelligence is a promising opportunity—especially in logistics automation that includes the tools and technologies that drive efficiencies across complex retail supply chains. Considering the fact that four of the top ten supply chain automation players were acquired in the past three years, it’s clear that the industry is transforming rapidly. Amazon’s introduction of Prime delivery (which itself requires incredibly sophisticated logistics operations) was only made possible by its 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems, the pioneer of autonomous mobile robots for warehouses and supply chains. Amazon recently upped the ante yet again with its recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, which not only adds 450 warehouses to its immense logistics network, but is also expected to be a game-changer for the online grocery retail industry.
Clearly Amazon isn’t the only major driver of innovation in logistics automation. It’s just the largest, at least for the moment. It’s no wonder that many RAAI companies have outperformed the S&P500 in the past three years. And while some investors have worried that the RAAI movement is at risk of creating its own tech bubble, the growth of eCommerce is showing no signs of reaching a peak. In fact, if the online retail industry comes even close to achieving the growth predicted—of doubling to an amazing $4 trillion by 2020—it’s likely that logistics automation is still in the early stages of adoption. For best-of-breed players in every area of logistics automation, from equipment, software, and services to supply chain automation technology providers, the potential for growth is tremendous.
How can investors take advantage of the growth in robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence?
One simple way to track the performance of these markets is through the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index. The logistics subsector currently accounts for around 9% of the index and is the best performing subsector since its inception. The index includes leading players in every area of RAAI, including material handling systems, automated storage and retrieval systems, enterprise asset intelligence, and supply chain management software across a wide range of geographies and market capitalizations. Our index is research based and we apply quality filters to identify the best high growth companies that enable this infrastructure and technology that is driving the revolution in the retail and distribution world.
When I was a kid, I may have dreamed of having a Rosie the Robot of my own to help do my chores, but I certainly had no idea how her 21st century successors would revolutionize how we shop, where we shop, and even how we receive what we buy - often via delivery to our doorstep on the very same day. Of course, the use of RAAI is by no means limited to eCommerce. It’s driving transformative change in nearly every industry. But when it comes to enabling the logistics automation required to support a level of growth rarely seen in any industry, RAAI has a lot of legs to stand on—even if those “legs” are anything but human.
To learn more, download A Look Into Logistics Automation, our July 2017 whitepaper on the evolution and opportunity of logistics automation.
The ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation Index and the ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation UCITS Index (the “Indices”) are the property of ROBO who have contracted with Solactive AG to calculate and maintain the Indices. Past performance of an index is not a guarantee of future results. It is not intended that anything stated above should be construed as an offer or invitation to buy or sell any investment in any Investment Fund or other investment vehicle referred to in this website, or for potential investors to engage in any investment activity.
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