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Why My Startup Is Betting On 'Returnships' To Help Women Restart Their Careers

Like most CEOs in growing companies, one of my chief concerns has always been talent. I thought about all parts of the employee lifecycle. I obsess about finding great people, making them successful, developing their skills, and retaining them for the long haul. Research has long shown that more diverse teams produce better business results. Outside of work, I started to notice something as I entered my 40s – female friends and colleagues were leaving their careers for a period of time to focus on their children and finding it difficult to restart their careers. Their attempts were thwarted by bias from recruiters and hiring managers who were reluctant to consider a candidate with a career gap or someone who wanted something less than a full-time role. So we decided to launch an experiment at Return Path. Our CTO and human resources leaders convinced me that we could find success by building a new kind of internship program aimed specifically at women looking to restart their careers…

These are the most powerful brands in the world

For the last five years, Apple held on to the title of the world’s most valuable brand. Then this year, the iPhone maker lost the top spot to Google, according to consultancy Brand Finance’s Global 500 rankings.
As Apple’s brand value tumbled 27% to $107.1 billion in 2016, Google’s increased to $109.5 billion. Amazon, with 53% brand value growth, was close behind at $106.4 billion.
Image: Brand Finance Global 500 2017
Eight of the top 10 brands on Brand Finance’s 2017 list are American, reflecting the global dominance of US brands.
So where does this leave the rest of the world?

Visualizing brands as countries
Using Brand Finance’s ranking, cost information website HowMuch.net has taken the most valuable brands in selected countries and turned them into a map. Each country is sized to reflect the global value of its biggest brand.

After Google, the next most valuable national brand is South Korea’s Samsung, which is in sixth place on the Global 500 list at $66.2 billion. Then it’s Chinese bank ICBC, ranked 10th, with a brand value of $47.8 billion.
Image: howmuch.net
Car-makers Toyota (Japan) and BMW (Germany) are next, with brand values of $46.3 billion and $37.1 billion, respectively. Shell, the multinational oil and gas company based in the Netherlands, also features prominently, at $36.8 billion.

The top brands of most countries, however, are worth less than $25 billion. Across Latin America, the most valuable brand is Mexican energy company Pemex, at $8.5 billion. In Asia, it’s India’s Tata conglomerate, at $12.9 billion. No African brands appear on the map.

The world’s most powerful brands
Lego may have a relatively modest $7.6 billion brand value, but when it comes to sheer power Denmark’s biggest brand punches well above its weight.

Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index (BSI) awards brands a mark out of 100. Lego gets high scores across a range of metrics such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.
 
Image: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer
The colour-coding on the map indicates brand strength, with Lego and Google (the most powerful brands) in dark blue. Many well-known brands including Samsung, BMW, Shell, Ikea and Nestle are on the next rung down, in light blue.


With marks ranging between 70 and 80, market-leading brands including Santander, Tata and Vodafone, are in pink. Only two top national brands, Taiwan Semiconductor and Thailand’s PTT, coloured red, have scores of less than 70.
-William Ibbott
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Brand Finance Global 500 2017.
Published on 01.02.2017
Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s biggest brands to the test every year, evaluating which are the most powerful and most valuable. The World's 500 most valuable brands are included in the Brand Finance Global 500 report. Download the report for more information on the likes of Lego, Ferrari, Apple, Twitter and many more.

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