script type="text/javascript" src=""> More blogs about Rachel Bondi.
Earning Power!: August 2005

Monday, August 22, 2005

Are Women Stalled?

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor steps down from the Supreme Court, Carly Fiorina forced out of Hewlett Packard leaving no women CEO’s in the Dow Jones industrial average, the only self made female on the Forbes 25 Richest, Martha Stewart, jailed.

It hasn’t been the best of times for women in leadership recently. As the new millennium progresses, the influence women once hoped to hold seems to be suffering. The Forbes comment on the near absence of wealthy women as compared to men was, “it’s only been 20 years,” so we shouldn’t expect women to be on par with men.

It’s easy to notice when something goes wrong with women in high profile positions because there are so few of them in the first place. Increasing the candidate pool of qualified females needs to become a top priority in order to have a larger base of women as role models for the next generation of girls.

Women still dominate 8 out of the 10 lowest paying professions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are café counter attendants, food prep, food serving, retail cashiers, hostess, housecleaners, garment pressers and child care workers. According to some estimates, women’s earning power has decreased as the wage gap between men and women has increased several percentage points, and the gap isn’t expected to near closing for another 20 years.

Female enrollment in business schools has plummeted 15% since 2000. The Committee of 200, a research organization for women in business, has revealed that as of last year fewer women are joining corporate boards, gaining access to venture capital, and taking top executive positions in the Fortune 500.

If women are losing ground, why should it matter to American business? A 2003 study by Catalyst reveals that companies with the highest percentage of women in top management outperform male-dominated companies, with a 35 percent higher return on equity and a 24 percent higher total return to shareholders. Gender equity in leadership appears to be a strong factor in top financial performance.

In addition, women as employees offer a great competitive advantage, because they add additional energy, expertise and perspective through increased diversity.

Women as customers spend billions annually as the fastest growing purchasers of online services, travel, automobiles, lawn mowers, new homes and more. According to the Business Women’s Network, women are 50% of stock market investors, ironically investing in companies that still don’t have a representative number of women in leadership.

As shareholders, we should have serious concern if women are indeed stalled and find some immediate solutions to get them moving again before there are larger economic consequences.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The 4 A's of Cash Flow, or How emotions motivate us all.

Some people say women are emotional in business. This is true, but so are men. Our deep, hidden needs and desires motivate us all to earn more.

Building wealth buys emotional assets. I call these the Four A’s: Assurance, Attention, Authority, and Autonomy.

These are the four emotions that control cash flow.

People aren’t motivated to earn money for the sake of money. There is always an emotional state they wish to barter for or purchase with the money. These four A’s are the incentive for determination in the face of workplace adversity. The old saying goes, “We don’t live to work; we work to live.” Our emotions and passions are what make us feel alive.

Take a look and decide which of these four A’s is currently driving you to earn.

Assurance: Some people want the security, safety, confidence, or protection that money affords them. They worry constantly if they don’t have enough money to make them feel assured things will be taken care of.
Attention: Some people want love, respect, recognition, or affection that comes from having enough money. If they don’t have enough to contribute financially, their self-worth suffers, and they may feel they can’t get the attention they need.
Authority: Some people want the control, power, and, privilege that comes with money. This can be positive when it allows them to have additional choices, opportunities or generosity they couldn’t otherwise have.
Autonomy: Some people just want financial freedom. Self-reliance, independence, even license to make their own choices is their big emotional payoff. Having enough to finally be autonomous is a great financial goal.

Arguments that seem to be about money can often be resolved by addressing fears around assurance, attention, authority, or autonomy instead.

Money is just another type of energy that can be moved around for the good of yourself or others. Passionate emotions, or energies, can be also be moved around or refocused on solutions. When we realize we are all “emotional” when it comes to motivation, we can seek common ground.