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Sallie Krawcheck Releases New Book "Own It: The Power of Women at Work"

Weren’t professional 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 her first book, OWN IT: The Power of Women at Work (Crown Business, On Sale: January 17, 2017), former Wall Street powerhouse-turned-entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck invites readers to throw out stale definitions of what success looks like and embrace the qualities that make them amazing collaborators, extraordinary leaders, and invaluable assets to their companies. Today, women have more power than they know—to effect change for the better—particularly in the rapidly changing business environment. Krawcheck is the right woman to show us how—before launching Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women, she served as CEO of Smith Barney, CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and CFO of Citigroup.

In OWN IT, Krawcheck draws on her unique experiences (and the battle scars she has to prove them) from the highest levels of business and entrepreneurship to offer a fresh and contrarian outlook on navigating your career, namely: Being a woman in business today isn’t a liability - it’s an asset.

OWN IT describes how the world of work is changing and how these changes play to women’s innate strengths. Women bring different traits to the office and research proves that they benefit the rapidly-changing business world today: including advanced risk awareness; a holistic perspective and ability to multitask; long-term thinking; a focus on team building; and an acute awareness of meaning, purpose, and social impact. Technological advancements have made business much more complex, and it increasingly requires these types of traits to make and understand connections, to build relationships with customers, to sustain long-term profits and to analyze and synthesize information with acuity.

In the past, if employers were devaluing their female employees—they weren't promoting them and they didn't have people-friendly policies in place—women weren't given the opportunity to be a part of the overall conversation. What’s different moving forward, says Krawcheck, is that technology has given us an opening to put forth changes in the business world. These rapid advancements have created an opportunity to forge non-traditional career paths with greater ease than ever before. Entreprenurialism is on the rise, and women are starting their own businesses at double the rate of men, making career options more varied and exciting than ever.

Most importantly, women have untapped economic power:

Money is power, and women are able to use that power to effect change on an unprecedented scale. McKinsey estimates that fully engaging women in the economy can add $12 trillion in economic growth. The retirement savings gap shrinks. Our global economic competitiveness increases. We become better insulated from the devastation of a future financial crisis. And, even our families are better off: the daughters of working mothers earn 23% more than others.

That’s a lot of leverage. But it’s not enough to just hold that power. Women have the potential to apply it by working for, investing in, donating to, and spending money on the causes and companies they believe in. They need to throw out the old playbook and stop buying into the dogma that in order to succeed they must operate within the walls of the box as it exists today. Walls can be moved, rules can be changed and, in doing so, positive change can be effected: at work, at home and in society at large. After all, glass ceilings were made to be broken. This change is real, it’s coming fast, but women can accelerate it. It’s time to OWN IT.

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