The Power of Women at Work
By Sallie Krawcheck
Own It: The Power of Women at Work gives advice, strategy, and real-life examples of how to succeed as modern women in business today. Sallie explains that women no longer have to pretend to be men or act like the stereotypical man in business in order to succeed and be taken seriously, they can draw upon what typically have been called “female” strengths such as emotional intelligence, which are becoming recognized in the workplace. The double meaning of the title of the book is clever: own up to your power and strengths and embrace it, or it could literally refer to “owning” it by investing or owning your own business.
The book includes many real-life stories from high-powered women at work in the top level of large businesses, in addition to first-hand lessons from problems in big businesses and Wall Street, specifically during times of recent financial crisis. Sallie’s Wall Street background provides a lot of helpful and understandable financial advice. The investment gap and pay gap for women are additional timely topics addressed intelligently with solutions. A witty writing style makes what could have been just another dry career advice book into an enjoyable read.
Formerly one of Wall Street’s highest-ranked women, Sallie is now a female-centric entrepreneur as the co-founder and CEO of Ellevest and Chair at Ellevate Network. She earned an MBA at Columbia University. Follow Sallie on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Career Advice for Women in Business from Own It
- “Technology is Also Increasing Our Career Options…And Thus Increasing Our Power.” Starting a business has never been more affordable than today, and Sallie gives the example of the $1B Merril Lynch online investment platform created in a previous decade, compared the affordable platform she was able to recently create at Ellevest. Other now-affordable business tools include storing information in the cloud, hiring freelancers, using online business apps/tools, and renting meeting space at a co-working place. Technology also allows us to know more about employers and potential employers than just a few years ago. Reviews at Glassdoor and FairyGodBoss make companies accountable for their work environment and the salary difference of men vs. women is now more transparent.
- Sallie explains that an ability for big-picture thinking is why women tend to take longer ordering at a restaurant. This is sometimes seen as a lack of decisiveness or similar weak trait, and it should not be.
“Women actually use more parts of their brain when choosing among options. On brain scans, different region of the brain, across the hemispheres, light up when making a decision, whereas a man’s brain activity stays in one region.” ~Sallie Krawcheck
- Make sure you know what success means to you, in terms that are quantifiable and measurable.
- Ask for the raise and bonus. If women don’t ask for raises early in their career, they could be losing out of potential future earnings and pay bumps they could invest.
“In all the years that I have managed people, the men almost always told me how much money they wanted to make every year. Almost always. I used to joke that they wore a path in the carpet to my office right before bonus time. The women never did. And by never, I mean never. Never ever. And it matters.” ~Sallie Krawcheck
- The importance of mentors at your job. Know “Who is in that room fighting for me” when higher executives or board members are discussing your performance.
- The biggest career risk you don’t even know you’re taking is: not reinventing your career. Sallie’s discussion of career breaks and career reinvention made me feel better about the career transition I am in the middle of, as well as the years I’ve spent outside of the traditional career path.
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Have you read Own It? What did you think? Comment below or contact me!