Nov 27, 2014

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5 Must-Read Articles for Women in Business

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women in business

There’s a saying: “It’s lonely at the top.”

This saying holds true, especially, if you’re a woman.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t any women at the top of their field; quite the contrary. In this day and age, there are more women than ever smashing glass ceilings and redefining success in their chosen fields. The problem is that there isn’t enough discourse surrounding female thought leaders, entrepreneurs and businesswomen’s ascent to the top. We want to know: What makes them tick? What hurdles did they conquer? What lessons can we learn from them?

When we ask–and answer–these questions, we’re able to see common themes in women’s journeys to the top. We also have the opportunity to take note of the women who stand beside us as we create and conquer new mountains. We see that we’re not alone.

Below, you’ll find five thought-provoking and informative articles that reflect the common hurdles faced by women in business today. These articles were selected to inspire thought, change and discourse.

Feel free to discuss how the tips, tools and views provided align with your experiences in the comment section below.

Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers via HBR.com

Many CEOs who make gender diversity a priority—by setting aspirational goals for the proportion of women in leadership roles, insisting on diverse slates of candidates for senior positions, and developing mentoring and training programs—are frustrated. They and their companies spend time, money, and good intentions on efforts to build a more robust pipeline of upwardly mobile women, and then not much happens.

The problem with these leaders’ approaches is that they don’t address the often fragile process of coming to see oneself, and to be seen by others, as a leader. Becoming a leader involves much more than being put in a leadership role, acquiring new skills, and adapting one’s style to the requirements of that role. It involves a fundamental identity shift. Organizations inadvertently undermine this process when they advise women to proactively seek leadership roles without also addressing policies and practices that communicate a mismatch between how women are seen and the qualities and experiences people tend to associate with leaders.

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7 Female Founders on Closing the Deal via Inc.com

Everyone knows about leaning in.

But before there was Sheryl Sandberg, other women were paving the way — Barbara Corcoran, Arianna Huffington, and Bobbi Brown, to name just a few.

These ladies make a worthy opponent across the negotiating table, so read on for their tips on how to seal the deal with class.

Barbara Corcoran of Corcoran Group

Tell yourself you have the right to be there.

To build up the courage take risks like meeting Donald Trump, Corcoran repeated a mantra her mother always told her.

“‘I have the right to be here. I have the right to claim success for what I want. I have the right to be somebody.’ And I would tell myself that again and again and again,” Corcoran tells Inc..

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Lack of Confidence, Fear of Failure Hold Women Back From Being Entrepreneurs via Entrepreneur.com

Women often don’t think they are capable of launching their own businesses, which is one reason there are significantly fewer female entrepreneurs than male entrepreneurs, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 Women’s Report released today.

What’s more, women report being generally more afraid of failure than their male counterparts, according to the research, jointly sponsored by Babson College in the U.S., Universidad Del Desarrollo in Chile, and the University Tun Abdul Razak in Malaysia. The 2012 GEM survey, the 14th of its kind, surveyed 198,000 people in 69 countries. The GEM Women’s Report looked at 67 of those economies.

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Arianna Huffington On Fearless And Unconventional Leadership via Forbes.com

Pulling wisdom from ancient philosophers and writers — including Archimedes and Plotinus — and citing modern thought leaders — including those from a few hundred years ago, like Rumi and Michel de Montaigne, and more recently Henry Kissinger, Bill GatesSheryl Sandberg, and Steve Jobs —Huffington Post President and Editor in Chief Arianna Huffington captivated the 2013 Inbound Marketing Conference on Wednesday with her thoughts on bold, thoughtful, and effective leadership in a world that defines success by a person’s accumulation of money and power and runs its businesses on sleep deprivation and burnout.

Huffington advocates for the redefinition of success, to a definition that includes what she’s calling the “Third Metric,” a metric inclusive of well-being, wisdom, and our ability to wonder and to give back, she says. Huffington had her own wakeup call in 2007 when she fainted of exhaustion after working herself round-the-clock one too many times, falling face-first on her desk, breaking her cheek bone and suffering a number of cuts.

On a roll with the launch of the inaugural Third Metric Conference last month, where women gathered to discuss how to redefine success for the betterment of business men and women alike, Huffington is carrying her message forward with passion and gusto.

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Women Don’t Need to Lead Better Than Men. They Need to Lead Differently via HBR.com

In the summer of 2008, I experienced a massive hormonal shift, moving from the largely-male, testosterone-charged environment of Harvard Business School, where I had spent the first 18 years of my career, to the nearly all-female realm of Barnard College, the all-women’s liberal arts college where I now serve as president. Suddenly, after a life spent mostly around men, I was thrust into a totally new environment — an alien, intriguing place where women outnumber men in every classroom and meeting.

Nearly from the start, I started to notice subtle differences that marked an organization run by women from those run by men. The quiet assumption, for example, that everyone would, or at least should, agree. A drive to achieve consensus and prevent outright conflict. It wasn’t necessarily better. Or worse. But it was markedly different.

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Tanisha Love Ramirez

Tanisha Love Ramirez

Tanisha is the Managing Editor at NEW LATINA, and a social commentary and pop-culture writer/blogger from New York City. She studied Sociology and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College, where she developed a strong interest women's issues and community advocacy. Tanisha has written for the Bowdoin Orient and has interned at BUST Magazine and Jezebel.com.

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