Cut ‘er some slack: Your opinion may vary, but Mixer gets a happy little tingle when a woman in the spotlight cuts loose with a little coarse language. Tuesday, in her first public statement since becoming CEO of Yahoo!, Carol Bartz told reporters and financial analysts “Let’s give this company some frigging breathing room. Everybody on the outside deciding what Yahoo should or shouldn’t do–that’s going to stop.”

Bartz “has thrived in crises that would have overwhelmed most of the good old boys she’s competed against since the 1970s,” says CNET columnist Charles Cooper. Bartz is an old Silicon Valley hand, sitting on the board of Cisco Systems and Intel as well as Autodesk, the software company she ran for fourteen years as CEO. She took over Autodesk, makers of AutoCAD and other drafting software used in architecture and manufacturing, in 1992–the same year she began surviving breast cancer.

Some investors who’ve been turning blue waiting for a Yahoo!-Microsoft merger may not  wish to give Bartz the breathing space she feels the company needs. Shares fell 6% after she told the company’s employees in an all-hands meeting on Wednesday that her gut reaction to selling the company’s search technology was “Why?” Her skepticism may have panicked some on Wall Street but, reports Business Week, it made the engineers in the room very happy.

Here’s a taste of her guest-lecturing at Stanford, where she just can’t help dropping another little frig-bomb.

Beastie girls sabotage: “A pink elephant is lurking in the room,” writes New York Times “Preoccupations” contributor Peggy Klaus, a Berkeley management coach: workplace bullying by women of women.

While women have come a long way in removing workplace barriers, one of the last remaining obstacles is how they treat one another. Instead of helping to build one another’s careers, they sometimes derail them — for example, by limiting access to important meetings and committees; withholding information, assignments and promotions; or blocking the way to mentors and higher-ups.

 

And if you are a woman and happen to have a female co-worker who is a bully, watch out. A [2007 Zogby-polled] study by the Workplace Bullying Institute examining office behaviors — like verbal abuse, job sabotage, misuse of authority and destroying of relationships — found that female bullies aim at other women more than 70 percent of the time. Bullies who are men, by contrast, tend to be equal-opportunity tormentors when it comes to the gender of their target.

Veneman calls for better maternal health: As part of UNICEF’s Millenium Development Goals, director Ann Veneman released a report Thursday calling for improvements in women’s general and prenatal health care aimed at reducing maternal mortality rates by at least 75% by 2015.

The risk of a woman dying during childbirth in the developing world is 1 in 24–as bad as 1 in 7 in Niger. “Saving the lives of mothers and their newborns requires more than just medical intervention,” said Veneman. “Educating girls is pivotal to improving maternal and neonatal health and also benefits families and societies.”

Veneman, who was Secretary of Agriculture during George W. Bush’s first term, has headed UNICEF since 2005. She is a consistent champion of education as a means of advancing public health and women’s rights.

Never gonna give her up: It happens all the time. You’re researching an old news story, and he appears. Or oops, that was supposed to have been a quick tip about using your Mac to synchronize your cell phone and instead you get synth pop. Or you’re watching the Thanksgiving parade, and that damn redhead actually appears on a float….

Well, just pretend to be surprised when you see what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put on her YouTube channel this week.


Less coarse language, lady: Finally, a story Mixer’s friend Alice, a nurse practitioner and private pilot, tells about her grandmother. Gran, as good a dark beer snob as ever there has been, once walked into a bar and had a glass of… well, let’s just call it a popular American lager. After the first sip, she told the bartender, “I’m sorry, sir, but your horse has diabetes.”

Happy weekend!

(Rachel R.)

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