Jacki Zehner On Women, Money, and Changing the World

September 02, 2015

Women, Work and Worth



When more women take the lead in business, the financial picture gets brighter. Not just for the ladies at the top, but for the companies that they direct.

The research proves it: Corporations with a consistent female presence on their boards report better returns on sales, invested capital and equity than those whose board rooms lack gender diversity. Still, in the U.S. today, women hold fewer than 17 percent of the seats on corporate boards.

Women are clearly good for business. But is business good to women?

Check out this cool infographic about women and work, and see for yourself.

For instance: When it comes to gender equity, we’ve made huge strides in everything from education (women earn 60 percent of college degrees) to C-suite stature (check out Marissa Mayer’s annual compensation). But, Ms. Mayer and her cohorts aside, women are paid just 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Clearly, it’s not enough to quote statistics. How do women build momentum to move toward full equity? The infographic also captures upbeat advice from female CEOs and offers 10 tips to inspire women to go for the brass ring.

Take the long view with a clear snapshot of the progress, the obstacles and the path to women’s leadership.

(This was the guest post by Jason Gilbert – thank you!)

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August 28, 2015

Can Ads Save the World?

Published on LinkedIn Influencers  on August 27, 2015

I’ll be the first to admit to fast forwarding through the ads on my DVR. If I have the option to skip an ad after 5 seconds on youtube, I do, and one of the reasons I have Sirius radio in my car is its absence of ads. Every day, we’re bombarded with advertising from all corners, so when I have the chance to seek relief from the barrage, I gladly take it. But what if ads were more than just advertising? What if ads had the power to not just sell products, but to raise awareness? Open hearts? Change minds? Am I being too optimistic? I don’t think so.

Last year, I wrote about Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign, and how I applauded the P&G company for doing something more with their advertising budget. Instead of yet another 30 second television spot toting the amazing absorption rate of their sanitary pads, they created a video that highlighted the power of negative social norms, and how the language we all use on a regular basis can impact those around us in profoundly detrimental ways. Yes, at the end of the day it was an advertising campaign designed to sell products, but it did so in a way that raised awareness of a very important and pressing issue. (Watch a talk by the amazing filmmaker behind #LikeAGirl, Lauren Greenfield)

Last month, Always released…

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June 29, 2015

Stuck In The Middle

Originally published on LinkedIn Influencers on June 29, 2015

Today I read yet another article listing the possible reasons why women were not in more leadership positions in financial services firms. The title of the Bloomberg article was called “Stuck in the Middle”. It reminded me of a poem I wrote back in 2001 when I was a Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs which had exactly the same title. I actually forgot I wrote it and cannot remember the last time I looked at it. At the time I was working in the Executive Office helping to manage the careers of the firm’s most senior leaders. Clearly it is a poem written at a point of frustration about progress being so slow. It was a journal entry, one of many I wrote, that captured the ups and downs of trying to create change at a firm, and in an industry, I cared deeply about.

Here is the poem as I wrote it 13 years ago.

Stuck in the Middle (2001)

Stuck in the middle

I first went to school

Stuck in the middle

I did what was cool

Stuck in the middle

I got the grades

Stuck in the middle

The goal was great pay

Stuck in the middle

The interview I got

Stuck in the middle

First job meant a lot

Stuck in the middle

Business I did go

Stuck in the middle

It was time for the show

Stuck in the middle

I worked very hard

Stuck in the middle

I wanted to go far

Stuck in the middle

I played the game

Stuck in the middle


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