Newsweek has several essays worth of advice in its current Women & Leadership issue. The issue boasts a varied and impressive group of women including master of the universe Tyra Banks, designer Anna Sui, director Kimberly Peirce, Duke medical school dean Nancy Andrews, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. These women are supposedly telling America "what matters most" but they offer mostly useless platitudes about having strong mothers and working really hard. Not everyone was completely fluffy — Cynthia Nixon and a few others were substantive and intriguing — but the majority of it was not riveting stuff. My favorite was when Olympian Dara Torres explained her swimming dominance by saying "I'm probably genetically gifted." Since most of these essays are filler anyway, I've read each one and taken out the most pertinent sentence or two for your comprehensive ease.
Tyra Banks Goes From Model To Mogul: "Paris was weird and confusing for me… I asked my mom to send care packages of Fiddle Faddle and Oreos. I ended up eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So I got sick. "
Dara Torres on Being a Mom With Medals: "I feel like I'm one with the water, like I was meant to be in the water. I don't know exactly why I've done well, but I know I've surrounded myself with the best. I'm probably genetically gifted."
Rosario Dawson's Humble Beginnings: "Members of my family had HIV, and I was very aware of their mortality and how a little cold that I had meant that I couldn't be around them because it could cost them their lives."
Anna Sui On Launching Her Label: " The biggest compliment is when someone tells me, 'I have a dress I bought from you 10 years ago and every time I wear it, my husband tells me I look beautiful.' You can't ask for more."
Cynthia Nixon's Battle With Breast Cancer: "I feel like there is a complete double standard about the age at which men and women are considered attractive on screen. But that's what's wonderful about being a New York stage actor. If you can remember your lines, there will be roles for you. I plan to die onstage."
Helen Gayle (CEO of CARE) On Fighting Global Disease: "When I was doing my residency training in pediatrics in an inner-city hospital, I saw so many children who showed up in the emergency room at night for non emergency care because they didn't have insurance to pay for regular health care. I realized that many of the things my patients were facing really were linked to broader issues. If I really wanted to have an impact and keep that child out of the emergency room, I had to look at other ways of helping tackle the underlying issues."
Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) , An Inside View of Facebook: "Facebook allows people to be their authentic selves online and therefore use the power of technology to discover each other and share who they really are. The connections they make have a real impact on their lives. Collectively, those bonds can change societies."
Lisa Price (founder of cosmetic company Carol's Daughter) on Becoming an Entrepreneur: "I came up with the name at the very beginning. I made a list of things that I was and a list of things I wanted to become. There were other things on the list, like Robert's daughter and Gordon's girlfriend. But when I said Carol's daughter, I got goose bumps. It sounded right."
Kimberly Pierce on the Power of a Plot: "I read a story in a newspaper that turned into the movie "Boys Don't Cry." The main character, Brandon Teena, was a woman who lived life as a man in order to be with women. She fell in with a group of people who both accepted Brandon and then at a certain point didn't accept Brandon. From the day that I read the story, it was as if I had no choice."
Nancy Andrews (Dean of Duke Med School) on Women in Medicine: "I never felt at a disadvantage, but there were moments in my training when I would suddenly become aware that there weren't a lot of other women in my position. I remember being on rounds with an all-male team and hearing the residents and doctors talk about women patients and nurses and women faculty in ways that shocked me."
Tyra Banks Goes From Model To Mogul [Newsweek] Dara Torres on Being a Mom With Medals [Newsweek] Rosario Dawson's Humble Beginnings [Newsweek] Anna Sui On Launching Her Label [Newsweek] Cynthia Nixon's Battle With Breast Cancer [Newsweek] Helen Gayle on Fighting Global Disease [Newsweek] Sheryl Sandberg, An Inside View of Facebook [Newsweek] Lisa Price on Becoming an Entrepreneur [Newsweek] Kimberly Pierce on the Power of a Plot [Newsweek] Nancy Andrews on Women in Medicine [Newsweek]