Book Title: Own It: The Power of Women at Work
Author: Sallie Krawcheck
A Wall Street Journal and Washington Post Bestseller, Own It is a new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism, offering women a new set of rules for professional success: one that plays to their strengths and builds on the power they already have.
Weren’t women supposed to have “arrived”? Perhaps with the nation’s first female President, equal pay on the horizon, true diversity in the workplace to come thereafter? Or, at least the end of “fat-shaming” and “locker room talk”?
Well, we aren’t quite there yet. But does that mean that progress for women in business has come to a screeching halt? It’s true that the old rules didn’t get us as far as we hoped. But we can go the distance, and we can close the gaps that still exist. We just need a new way.
In fact, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, says former Wall Street powerhouse-turned-entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck. That’s because the business world is changing fast –driven largely by technology – and it’s changing in ways that give us more power and opportunities than ever…and even more than we yet realize.
Success for professional women will no longer be about trying to compete at the men’s version of the game, she says. And it will no longer be about contorting ourselves to men’s expectations of how powerful people behave. Instead, it’s about embracing and investing in our innate strengths as women – and bringing them proudly and unapologetically, to work.
When we do, she says, we gain the power to advance in our careers in more natural ways. We gain the power to initiate courageous conversations in the workplace. We gain the power to forge non-traditional career paths; to leave companies that don’t respect our worth, and instead, go start our own. And we gain the power to invest our economic muscle in making our lives, and the world, better.
Here Krawcheck draws on her experiences at the highest levels of business, both as one of the few women at the top rungs of the biggest boy’s club in the world, and as an entrepreneur, to show women how to seize this seismic shift in power to take their careers to the next level.
This change is real, and it’s coming fast. It’s time to own it.
I am a wife, mom, and a homemaker. And I am also a woman who works. I have been since the age of 16 (when I started modeling on the side while pursuing my college degree). And I pursued a career right after receiving my undergraduate degree. I have worked in both the East and West side of the globe and in a few industries, from journalism/broadcasting, consumer products, high technology, robotics, and healthcare. I say this because there is a level of expectation I have set when I started reading this book.
Did it meet it? Not exactly. But I will not call the read a fail. Quite the opposite actually. It is just a different perspective. A different experience, from perhaps Ms. Krawcheck’s background in Finance.
Do not get me wrong. I absolutely admire the author. She is accomplished, driven, intuitive, and very adept. She has made a mark in the Finance industry (i.e. She already held positions as CFO and CEO for the Citigroup’s group of companies) and has been covered by reputable publications (i.e. Fortune Magazine described her “The Last Honest Analyst.”). Her accolades leaves one in awe.
At the start of her book she premises on her experience during the Financial crisis. It is intriguing to hear an insider’s point of view, yet very compelling on how she uses her intuition and exercises her integrity to help clients, instead of the narcissistic acts of her colleagues. I was intrigued as I started to read up on her story.
But as the pages unfolded and she continued on, I began to question how her advice can apply to me. Her words of wisdom echo a few of the empowering business books I have read. The message is not something new, just told from a different perspective. And I do appreciate this intriguing narrative as she tries to explain how one must ‘own it’.
But there are areas I am unable to relate.
I work in a corporate setting. I have male colleagues. But when I work I do not typically imagine or spend time thinking what my advantages over them because I am a woman. Perhaps I was lucky. I rarely had any situation where I had to work in a male centric environment. I simply look at everyone as my peer. Or, if I look up to their work ethic and values, saw them as mentors.
However, if you are in that type of male-dominated ambiance I do believe this book will be very helpful to you. You will easily relate. You can learn from the lessons. And you will feel empowered. Ms. Krawcheck shares stories how one can overcome trials, challenges, and tense situations in a workplace. She bravely tells you the type of sexual harassment she had to endure. All of these are lessons we women can learn from.
One of the valuable message she imparts….learn how to network…IN PERSON…regularly! It is of great benefit to you.
I do believe this is true. It is so easy to use social media tools to keep in touch, but nothing is quite like meeting up for coffee, a casual lunch, happy hour, or even dinner. Life is generally busy. And I certainly fall victim into trying to balance all my tasks, responsibilities, and family time. But I do try, at least once a week to connect with family and friends I value.
My goal, after reading Sallie Krawcheck’s book is to extend that network even further to co-workers and acquaintances.
Have you read this book? What is your own review?