Blog Posts by ForbesWoman

  • Top 10 unwritten rules for working women

    from the ForbesWoman Community

    When it comes to gender stereotyping, it's better to know what you're up against.

    Come to think of it, when was the last time you heard or read the word "sexism?"

    That's what ForbesWoman Community member Ann Daly, Ph.D., an executive coach and professional development specialist for women based in Austin , Texas , wants to know. She replied to a conversation thread on salary and self-esteem on our LinkedIn group. Elizabeth Miles, chief executive of a U.K.-based legal software company, started the conversation with the suggestion that women generally don't assert their value in the workplace. "It's as if women can feel less deserving."

    That brought in the mail. Victoria Pynchon, a commercial mediator and arbitrator at ADR Services, a Southern California alternative dispute resolution firm, had this to say: "Sexism still exists (shocked! I'm shocked!). When orchestras recently began conducting auditions behind screens so that the "jury"

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  • The battle of the sexes is over

    By Heidi Brown

    A new report from Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress finds that half of U.S. workers are women. And that changes everything.

    "A Woman's Nation Changes Everything," a report from California first lady Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress, highlights how for the first time in history, women are half of all U.S. workers and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of American families. This tipping of the scales and the recognition of the importance of women's earnings to family well-being is a social game-changer.

    This report doesn't necessarily herald a new era of pay parity or equality. Instead, it shows how women gaining ground on the job has implications for families, the workplace, schools, faith institutions and communities.

    A Woman's Nation: By The Numbers

    What does this mean for American men and women? "The battles of the sexes is over," Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Center

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  • Crazy cat ladies

    By Kiri Blakeley

    The strange and strong bond between women and cats.

    Courtney Kistler is a 28-year-old single gal who lives in New York City. She's sociable, outgoing and attractive. But that hasn't stopped Kistler's mother from worrying that her daughter, a freelance marketer, will never catch a husband--because she owns three cats.

    "[My parents] think it's a little weird," she says of her multiple cat ownership. In fact, Kistler's mother has been known to ask her cat-loving daughter: "What if you want to bring a guy home? What would he think?"

    Six Self-Help Books Women Love and (Most) Men Won't Read

    While Kistler's last boyfriend wasn't too fond of her felines (he refused to pet them), the two men she dated before that (who both grew up with cats) were fine with them. Still, her mother worries. Says Kistler: "She's bought into the stereotype, and what am I going to do? I can't deny it exists."

    Laura Adamson, a 23-year-old graduate student in Gainesville , Fla.

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  • The Pet Culture

    By Jenna Goudreau

    Or how our animals transformed into our four-legged children.

    Charlotte Reed is a pet expert by profession and says she likes to be a "living example" for her clients. She and her husband have two cats and four dogs in their downtown Manhattan apartment, and she beams when they're complimented on their appearance or manners. "I'm a proud mother," she says.

    The couple has no children, although each dog has been appointed a godmother and pictures of the "babies" are displayed in every corner of the house. The animals eat as well as their owners, including homemade treats and meals to ensure well-balanced diets. "They have rotating fish, chicken and meat," she says.

    All four dogs sleep in the couple's full-size bed, packing in between Charlotte and her husband. Vacations are spent on the river rather than the ocean, which might prove too dangerous for the dogs. Even so, as a precaution, each dog dons a life preserver. For birthdays the pets receive

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  • Making pets profitable

    By Heidi Brown

    These three savvy entrepreneurs saw opportunity in the pet craze and are running million dollar businesses.

    The pet products industry is big business. Last year, for example, chain store PetSmart boasted sales of $5 billion. The industry as a whole is worth a whopping $45 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), a trade group. This is an increase of 164% since 1994.

    The Price Of A Pet

    Pet owners around the country have sniffed out this trend and are looking to cash in. That's because, like many domestic activities and hobbies--baking, scouting out real estate and the like--people often mistake skill and passion for a viable business model.

    Despite the size of the pet market, barriers to entry are high. To encourage or prepare for even moderate success you need a competitive advantage and a unique niche. The big issue is not whether you love animals but whether you turn that love of animals into a profitable business.


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  • Taking things a little too personally?

    By Heidi Brown

    Being overly sensitive can rule your work or personal life. It's time for a new mindset.

    With job uncertainty affecting millions of workers in nearly every field, you may have noticed that your colleagues at the office or your husband or partner are a little more thin-skinned than usual.

    Jane Maloney, a New York consultant to human resources executives, says her clients have been increasingly telling her that employees are jumping to conclusions when they get constructive criticism. The employees assume they're getting downsized, Maloney says, and are then less able to relate well to the feedback. "It gets blown out of proportion," she says.

    How does high sensitivity differ from other emotional patterns, such as anger, shyness or, for that matter, insensitivity? For all the articles, self-help books and talk shows dedicated to confronting psychological problems, there's a lack of real discussion about those of us who are quick to take offense. An

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  • Salary and self-esteem

    From the ForbesWoman Community

    The ForbesWoman Community discusses whether a woman's self-esteem plays a role in her salary negotiations and promotions.

    Since becoming a CEO, Elizabeth Miles, a co-founder and chief executive of Iken Business Ltd., a legal software company based in Bristol, U.K., has been "shocked to find that (on average) women employees are grateful for pay increases, whereas men expect and demand more. It's as if women can feel less deserving."

    Does how a woman negotiates her salary reveal her sense of self-worth and level of self-esteem?

    Stacey A. Gordon, an entrepreneur and president of the Los Angeles Professional Chapter of the Nat ional Association of Women MBAs, replies to Miles: "The members of the NAWMBA board were just discussing this. We find that personal value is affected by external value. Therefore, it's not so much a self-esteem issue as it is the perception of a woman's value in the workplace."

    "I know my personal value, but

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  • Women College Presidents' Tough Test

    by Heidi Brown

    If you think academia is better for women's advancement than the corporate world, think again.

    Women are making progress professionally: They have assumed unprecedented positions in government and business. But when it comes to the supposedly progressive world of academia, the ceiling has surprisingly few pockmarks.

    So when reports trickled out this year about anonymous donations ranging from $1.5 million to $10 million to at least 17 woman-headed schools--from Binghamton University to the University of Southern Mississippi --it put a spotlight on the value of this largely unheralded group of women leaders.

    The American Council on Education (ACE) says that 23% of college presidents are women, a marked improvement over 1986's 10%. But in a profession that is often associated with women (75% of U.S. school teachers, not including professors, are female), the number is shockingly low.

    15 Female College Presidents

    Molly Broad, president of the ACE, says

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  • Understanding How Women Network

    By Meghan Casserly

    Why women make small talk and men shoot straight.

    Whether through online social networking or face-to-face contact, women are meeting, sharing and connecting in ways that men often shy away from. The result is lasting relationships that are the building blocks of future job placements, sales leads and partnerships.

    We're dissecting the ins and outs of the way women network differently than men--with the experts weighing in on the how, why and a lesson on building connections with the guys.

    Do women network differently than men?

    In a word, yes. "Men don't actually network the way women define networking," says Gail Blanke, a life coach and author of Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life. They do what she calls "a straight shot."

    The narrative looks like this: A man thinks, "Who do I know who has what I need right now?"--could be a job, investment tip or tickets to the game--and then he asks for it. Simple.

    Women are

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  • The Art Of Haggling

    By Emma Johnson

    Why we're reluctant to negotiate and how to get over it.

    Americans are loath to haggle. While other cultures expect the price of every tomato and taxi ride to be negotiated, Americans like to stick to numbers on price tags.

    This appears to be changing. Market research firm America 's Research Group found that 72% of American consumers had recently haggled, compared with 33% two years earlier. Nonetheless, women tend to be far less likely to negotiate than men.

    More From ForbesWoman: Seven Common Body Language Mistakes

    Co-authors of Women Don't Ask: Negotiating and the Gender Divide, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, report that women are 2.5 times more likely than men to feel "a great deal of apprehension" about negotiating and are even willing to overpay as much as $1,000 or more to avoid haggling over a car.

    Bargaining doesn't have to be hard, say experts and experienced hagglers alike. The down economy paired with a few tips means you can

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