Maddy Dychtwald

Women Need to Leverage Their Economic Power into Influence

In Guest Post on April 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Women are at least half of the workforce and control more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth. They need to start using this power to influence the world around them. ~ By Rebecca Foerg-Spittel

A recent New York magazine article asked, “What if Women Ran Wall Street?” The article explores the fact that women are generally less likely to take crazy risks and are more likely to admit mistakes or assume they could be wrong. If more women had greater economic power, the article argues, it’s possible that many of the great mistakes of the financial crisis could have been avoided. In her new book Influence: How Women’s Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better, Maddy Dychtwald tackles this idea of women and their economic power and influence. She skillfully blends women’s personal stories from across the country with well-placed statistics and her own experiences with those of her co-author, Christine Larson. Dychtwald’s effort supports many of the arguments made in the New York article, and notes that women also more likely to bring in new and creative perspectives that might keep companies from making mistakes.

You don’t have to be a woman to appreciate Dychtwald’s vision for an economic future. Influence is a surprisingly positive treatise on how equal economic power between men and women could make us into a fairer, happier, and more productive society. Dychtwald’s theory of economic influence is fairly simple. In a chapter she titles “The Three Stages of Economic Power,” women can go from economic survival to economic independence to economic influence. Once they have economic influence, they use it to improve the world in some way.

One of the biggest issues Dychtwald tackles is women changing the nature of the workplace. But, as one of Dychtwald’s contributors says, it’s “not about painting the gun pink.” Instead, Dychtwald says it’s about bringing in their new ideas, new ways of working around problems, and a greater belief in seeking consensus and collaboration. What giving women more strength in the professional world could do is allow a seriously overworked system a new palette of ideas with which to work. By allowing women create their own structure and business models instead of trying to fit themselves into a masculine and sometimes hostile business structure, the professional world could open up an entirely new set of possibilities.

Read the full article on CampusProgress.org.

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