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The Biggest Trends of 2018 (So Far)

Lifestyle

With the number of different products and fads currently populating the market, it can be difficult to sift through what's good and what isn't and so this is where we come in. Despite the fact that we're only two-thirds of the way through 2018, the recent good weather has put us in such a good mood that we're willing to reveal some of the best trends of the year so far. So, get comfortable, find your purse and get your tablet ready because you may just be forced to go on a spending spree when you've finished reading this article.


Healthy Pet Food

It's only right that our furry friends eat as well as we do, right? Right. Thankfully, healthy pet food is all the rage at the moment and there are a number of places you can obtain it without breaking the bank but, in terms of value for money, Castor & Pollux seem to be leading the charge with their organic-based meat products.

Next Level Skincare

Nowadays, our skin needs protection from more than mere sun rays and, thankfully, the new wave of skin products prevents damage from other harmful rays such as blue light from laptops and pollution.

The latest ranges from companies like Allies of Skin and Biossance are using ingredients such as adaptogens and ceramides in order to help our skin build up its own natural barriers.

Snus

This tobacco substitute has been on the market for a while but, with around 1 in 5 users now women, there's a whole new market online here, which includes a much wider range of different flavors designed to target the fairer sex. They're all imported tax-free from Scandinavia too. What's more, they're definitely cooler than e-cigarettes.

Smart Mattresses

In our opinion, it's about time that technology was brought into the bedroom in order to help us

improve our Zzz's. Serta Simmons is pioneering a range of smart mattresses which analyze your REM cycles and wake you up via a smart alarm when you're in your lightest stage of sleep. Apparently, it'll make us a little less grumpy in the morning. Result.

Moringa

Moringa is basically a higher caliber version of Turmeric - it allegedly has greater anti-inflammatory properties and has twice the protein of spinach, as well as three times as much iron. What's more, the veggie seeds have a likable and sweet taste while the ground leaves are a little more nutty, creating the perfect contrast. Delicious and healthy, what more could you want?

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But Wait, There's More

With the rate at which trends and fads become obsolete, there's bound to be something new piquing people's interests by the time that winter rolls around. However, for now, it's all about enjoying the last bits of sunshine before the big red ball in the sky decides to abandon us once again. Most of the items on this list are certainly to be enjoyed throughout the sunny months. Happy shopping.

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5min read
Culture

Does Victoria Have The Secret to Gender Equality in The Workplace?

Victoria's Secret is best known for what it has to offer women. However, a few days ago as I was strolling around the flagship store on Bond Street, I discovered that the store also has a lot to offer men as well. Just not exactly what you'd think.


My experience began like many other shopping excursions, casually browsing for a few practical items. The store was bustling with women who were relaxed but focused on their own purchases. The women in the store all displayed a quiet confidence in knowing what to do and how to do it. My browsing journey took me into another room where I noticed a man behaving quite awkwardly while being guided around by one of the many well-trained twenty-something shop assistants. My first thought was: "Good for him coming in here alone! I imagine it isn't the most comfortable experience for a man." It was clear he felt out of place. His discomfort was obvious by the way he was shuffling around and avoiding eye contact with any women nearby.

This otherwise unremarkable experience sent a spark through my mind. This man was professional and smartly dressed; perhaps he could have worked for one of the many private equity, hedge fund or banking firms in the nearby area. I imagined that he was confident in his own world of work, but in this female haven he was not. He was the only man in the room, and it showed.

This world - that of Victoria's Secret - was not created to make someone like him feel comfortable. In this environment—a store catering to women, filled by women and selling feminine merchandise—the familiar patriarchal dynamics of the world had completely shifted.

This was a world that can transform an otherwise confident professional into an introverted, self-conscious and indecisive man who needed the help of a twenty-something female to make one simple purchase.

I have seen this story play out with the gender roles reversed many times throughout my career in the corporate world. Today, the culture of many companies are built and sustained by men, for men. Traditional male characteristics are still encouraged, rewarded and expected from female professionals, especially if they expect to reach the executive suite. Being the only woman in the room is still an everyday reality for so many women in business; most men do not understand how corrosive this situation can be to a person's confidence.

I have often heard men say that they believe gender inequality is not an issue in their firm. They hire women and now even have some women on their teams. Well, on those terms this man should not have experienced any issue either. There is no sign at the door of Victoria's Secret barring men from entry. Men are allowed to freely enter and buy whatever they choose. No woman in there would tell them to leave or suggest that to get to the front of the queue they must behave in a certain way. So, what was the problem? Why did this man appear so uncomfortable? Why did he suddenly lack the confidence he seemed to have in the outside world?

It's all in the numbers. If that store catered towards the needs of men, or if there were simply more men in the store (either equivalent to or greater than the number of women), then it is likely that man would have felt a greater sense of belonging.

Just because women are allowed into the workplace now, does not mean their experiences are equivalent to those of their male peers. Women, as the minority, simply do not have the same sense of freedom to be their true authentic selves in many corporate environments, even today.

Just like that Victoria's Secret shop assistant guiding the lone man through an ostensibly unwelcoming environment, so, too, do women benefit from the guidance of sponsors, helping them navigate the male dominated corporate world.

Before a man talks about gender parity, perhaps he first needs to take a trip to a lingerie store and experience what it is like to be the only one in the room. Maybe if more men had experiences like this, they may begin to understand what it is to feel so out of place. Maybe they would join us in creating greater gender equality in the workplace.