Blog Posts by ForbesWoman

  • Rules for Financial Fitness

    Whether you're flush with cash or you are barely squeezing by, everyone can take charge of their finances by following these steps.

    By Carol Hymowitz

    Ann Kaplan approaches financial planning the way many others manage physical fitness--as a regimen that must be repeated regularly to be effective. It's especially apt advice these days with the markets tumultuous once again in reaction to the financial crisis in Europe. A former partner in wealth management at Goldman Sachs, Kaplan quit Wall Street to manage her investment portfolio and help other women take charge of their finances.

    "I had a lot to learn, despite my professional background," says Kaplan. She knew a lot about municipal bonds, her specialty at Goldman Sachs, but says she didn't have a clear enough overview of her financial goals and all investment possibilities. In 2002 she formed Circle Financial Group, an investment and wealth management membership organization with 11 other women, half of them colleagues from

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  • Revenge Of The Broads

    They're hot, they're hip--and they're old enough to be your grandmother.

    By Kiri Blakeley

    She has lustrous hair, big, innocent eyes, and a cherubic face that belies her sharp comedic timing. She's everywhere--on TV, in the movies, on the covers of magazines. She is America's Sweetheart. And no, it's not Sandra Bullock. It's 88-year-old Betty White, whose recent Saturday Night Live hosting gig was a smash hit with both critics and fans.

    But she has some competition: This buxom blonde loves fashion and the red carpet, and her face has been so thoroughly tightened by the plastic surgeon's scalpel that a Barbie doll's is more expressive. But she's proud of it! No, it's not reality-show wreck Heidi Montag. It's 76-year-old Joan Rivers, whose documentary, A Piece of Work, was the toast of Sundance.

    Ready for one more gal jousting for the Sweetheart crown? This one is feisty, with flaming copper locks, a fighting spirit and no love for the tabloid media. And no, it's not that

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  • Do Employees Prefer Male or Female Bosses?

    More Americans say that they would rather work for a man. Why?

    By Willow Duttge

    "You know, you're not a man," Akio Morita, Sony's cofounder and former chairman of the board said to one of the firm's senior female executives over dinner one night.

    "Nope, that's absolutely true," the woman, a single mother divorced with three children, replied.

    "But you're not a woman."

    "Uh, OK. What am I?"

    "You're in a third category."

    Right, she's a woman boss.

    It was some two decades ago that Barbara Annis, now of Barbara Annis & Accociates, a firm that advises blue-chip companies on gender diversity and inclusiveness, had that conversation with the late "god of Sony." But not a lot has changed in terms of how we view female leaders.

    The real surprise came when the ForbesWoman Facebook community was canvassed: "Would you rather work for a man or a woman?" The majority replied, "A man any day of the week," to use the words of Stephanie Rovengo.

    Are men actually better bosses? Are women doing

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  • Why Men And Women Get Married

    Today's marriages are reinterpreting the institution--and it's coming from both sides.

    By Jenna Goudreau

    Why get married at all? Women don't need providers and men don't need in-house procreators. Turns out, we both want to get married. But for very different reasons.

    For all the young women who've chewed their nails to the skin anticipating a proposal, it may be a relief to know that, yes, men still want to get married. But there's a critical difference between the sexes. In broad terms, when a woman falls in love, just like the Trinity character in The Matrix, she knows he's The One. But a man's readiness can be seen as a life stage. To call on The Matrix again, a time when he's ready to take the red pill.

    "He first needs to feel like he knows what he's doing in the world and where he's going," says John Gray, relationship counselor and author of the Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus books. "Women are more concerned about who they're going with."

    "Historically men have been

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  • The New Segregation Battle: Boys Vs. Girls

    An increase in girls- and boys-only classrooms in public schools has stirred debate on whether they enforce gender stereotypes or erase them.

    By Jenna Goudreau

    In Foley, Ala., some educators are treating their students a little bit differently.

    Foley Intermediate School, a public school that teaches fifth and sixth graders, is in the midst of an ongoing experiment to separate classes by gender. First initiated in 2004, the school now offers two all-girls classes, two all-boys classes and one mixed-gender class per grade level. The program has been so successful that there is a lengthy waiting list of students hoping to get into a single-sex classroom.

    Headed by Principal Lee Mansell, the teachers use gender-based strategies to appeal to the apparent biological and developmental differences between boys and girls. In the boys' classrooms, against a backdrop of blue-painted walls and cold blue lighting, teachers (both male and female) speak loudly and authoritatively to hold the

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  • What Your Body Is Telling You: Stress Symptoms & How To Beat Them

    In college Sarah Jenkins was diagnosed with a mild case of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition causing gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Since then, "it's always been manageable," the now 31-year-old says, adding, "except when I'm under a lot of stress."

    Indeed, in the past six months as Jenkins' life spun out of control, her IBS followed. During this time, she was applying to graduate school for speech pathology, taking prerequisite classes, working at two restaurants and as a tutor and trying to maintain a relationship with her boyfriend.

    The result: She either was endlessly on the toilet or the exact opposite. She also had heartburn so severe she slept sitting up. "I couldn't be intimate with my boyfriend sometimes because I couldn't lie down," Jenkins says.

    In varying forms, Jenkins' situation is familiar to many, especially women and particularly mothers. According to the American Psychological Association's (APA) "Stress In America"

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  • From Hot (Broke) Mess to Work In Progress: A Q&A with Nancy Trejos

    Two years ago Nancy Trejos found herself, like many young Americans, under a mountain of debt. She was living in Washington, D.C., on a low salary, trying to live out her haute couture dreams on a Walmart budget.

    What made her different from most of her peers, however, was that Trejos was (and is) a financial reporter for The Washington Post. She knew a lot about financial matters but couldn't sort out her own finances. Student loans, credit card debt and a failed mortgage and a car payment left her deeply in debt. Instead of burying her head in the sand and digging herself into a deeper hole, Trejos sought out a financial planner and learned to live on a budget.

    In her memoir/financial advice book Hot (Broke) Messes, Trejos is candid about her own financial shortcomings and doles out tough love for the less-than-solvent set.

    ForbesWoman spoke to Trejos about her money mishaps, financial literacy programs and what it was like to ask her parents for rent money.

    Click Here for an

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  • Who'll Be The Next Oprah?

    When the queen of talk moves to her own network next year, who's in line for her crown?

    By Jenna Goudreau, the media mogul who's one of the most influential women in the world and also one of the richest, has reached a level of success that's not easily replicated. But now that the queen of talk is pursuing a more behind-the-scenes role with The Oprah Winfrey Network, there may finally be room for a successor.

    But it won't be easy to fill her shoes. The key to Oprah's vast wealth--Forbes estimates her net worth at $2.4 billion--has been in owning her brand. Her unique mix of drive, popular appeal and business savvy sets her apart from most mere talking heads.

    "Twenty years ago Oprah built an audience and kept it," says Nick Ragone, a partner at public relations agency Ketchum who regularly works with producers of The Oprah Winfrey Show. "She pioneered the personality brand and personal media empire."

    See the Top 10 Candidates To Be The Next Oprah

    In order to achieve even a

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  • Best-Paying Jobs For Women

    Women's earnings are stalled at around 80% of men's, but more women are seeking out jobs that pay them the most. Some may surprise you.

    By Jenna Goudreau

    What happens when women make up half of the workforce and they are more likely than ever before to be primary or co-breadwinners in their families? It means it's increasingly crucial for women to earn top dollar for their labor.

    To rank the 10 best-paying jobs for women we tabulated the median weekly earnings of female, full-time wage and salary workers in 2009, as provided by the Bureau of Labor (BLS). Men are still earning more across industries--about 20% more than women per week--but women are quickly closing the gap. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a slim majority (51%) of workers in high-paying management and professional jobs are female.

    This top 10 list is equal parts a lesson in the importance of math and science skills, a showcase for the obvious (doctors, lawyers), a reinterpretation of "women's work" and an

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  • There's No Right Way To Be A Mom

    Mothers today face myriad choices about just what kind of mom they want to be. The best part? There's no right (or wrong) answer.

    By Carol Hymowitz

    There was a time, not so many years ago, when women mulling their hopes for a career and a family faced a stark choice. The rule was select one or the other but don't try to have both and certainly not at the same time. Those who chose career over motherhood were considered weird for not following the cookie-cutter precedent that their mothers and mother's mothers had established.

    That rule is now as antiquated as typewriters and rotary telephones.

    Today's women now face many options when deciding whether and how they want to be mothers. But the price of this increased freedom for women, in fact, is a dizzying array of decisions: Is it kids this year or next year or never? Should career come before kids in the timeline? Or kids before career? If a woman is single, should she try to conceive through artificial insemination? Does she want

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