A necklace that protects women from assault

The Women’s Safety XPRIZE of $1 million was awarded to Leaf Wearables. The official challenge was to create a device costing less than $40 that can “autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert while transmitting information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds.” Leaf had the advantage of having already shipped a product along these lines, the Safer pendant. https://safety.xprize.org/prizes/womens-safety/teams/leaf_wearables

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A jobs board that connects smart businesses with talented women

WORK180 pre-screens employers to ensure they support women’s careers. They only list jobs from businesses that are pre-screened against a set of 35 criteria, including pay equity, flexible working, women in leadership and paid parental leave. Starting in Australia, they are now expanding to the UK and US. While their focus is on empowering women in the workplace, they are aiming to achieve equality for all employees. https://www.work180.com.au/about-us

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Women of NASA

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Four women who played vital roles in the US space program are immortalized in a 231-piece Lego set which became Amazon’s No. 1 best-selling toy in just 24 hours. Astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, and astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, the four women who played vital roles in the US space program feature in a 231-piece Lego set, accompanied by three builds illustrating their areas of expertise. http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/02/health/women-of-nasa-lego-trnd/index.html

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More rights for women led by a robot who’s now a citizen

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Saudi Arabia recently granted citizenship to Sophia, a humanoid robot. It’s the first time a country has granted a robot the same basic status and privileges as humans. This clever idea could lead to more recognition of women’s rights in some countries. http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/27/robot-becomes-first-in-the-world-to-be-given-citizenship-7031214/

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A ban on alcohol supported by women

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Village women are enforcing a new prohibition law in Bihar, one of India’s poorest, most agrarian states. Since the law was introduced the crime rate has fallen sharply, brick houses are starting to be built instead of the usual mud huts and spending on things like motorbikes and appliances has risen significantly. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/world/asia/india-bihar-alcohol-ban-women.html?

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Encouraging women to have a say

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A recent study found that men interrupt women 23% more often than they interrupt other men. A new app, Woman Interrupted, has been created to help detect these interruptions which can prevent women from expressing their ideas. The app is free and uses microphones to analyse conversations and detect how often women are being interrupted. http://www.womaninterruptedapp.com/en/

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Help for pregnant women on transport

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Transport for London made life a lot easier for mums-to-be when it brought out its official “Baby on Board” badge, prompting Tube passengers to offer up their seats. However, commuters are often so engrossed in their smartphones that they don’t notice when a pregnant woman boards the train. Now London-based innovation firm 10x has developed an app called Babee on Board, which should help pregnant women get other commuters’ attention. http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/babee-board-app-prompts-inconsiderate-9677387

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A new initiative to encourage women entrepreneurs

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Sydney-based start-up accelerator BlueChilli has launched a new program called SheStarts to encourage women tech entrepreneurs in Australia. The $1 million program offers 10 female entrepreneurs $100,000 each in pre-seed capital and a spot in an accelerator backed by corporate partners ANZ, MYOB, Sunsuper and UTS. The selected entrepreneurs will also participate in a documentary web series that showcases the development of their respective businesses. Applications open today and close on October 31. www.shestarts.com.au

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A support network for women in trades

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Since Supporting And Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) started in 2009, it has become slightly easier for women to gain apprenticeships but we still have a long way to go until there are equal opportunities for women in the trades. SALT is a non-profit incorporated organization, which provides a support network for tradeswomen, apprentices and women who wish to enter the trades. www.saltaustralia.org.au

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Winning Australian women entrepreneurs

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Springboard Enterprises Australia (SBE Australia) announced the 10 business leaders who will take part in its fourth annual Accelerator program designed exclusively for women entrepreneurs. The 2016 program features women from a broad range of professional and industry backgrounds across the technology sector, united in their ambition to expand into international markets. Participants in the 2016 SBE Accelerator program are: Renee Welsh – Booking Boss; Catherine Resnick – Kinchip Systems; Jenny O’Neill – EpiSoft; Anne Moore – PlanDo; Julie Bray – Konnective; Kimberley Turner – Aerosafe; Tania Walter – Observr; Lucy Lloyd – Mentorloop; Tori Bowman – Social.Folio and Michelle Ridgway – Victus Health

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