Earning It | Joann S. Lublin

Summary of: Earning It
By: Joann S. Lublin


Embark on a journey of breaking through gender barriers and shattering glass ceilings with the book ‘Earning It’ by Joann S. Lublin. In this summary, you’ll learn about the struggles and accomplishments of trailblazing women who changed the landscape of the corporate world. Discover the importance of tenacity, stepping out of your comfort zone, dealing with stereotypes, and mastering negotiation skills for career progression. Although progress has been made towards gender equality, challenges still remain, and this summary will provide insights on navigating these obstacles, drawing inspiration from the experiences of influential women who have pushed the boundaries and led the way for a new generation of aspiring female leaders.

Gender Equality in American Business

Despite legislative efforts like the Equal Pay Act and Civil Rights Act, gender-based discrimination remains prevalent in the American workplace. Women have made significant progress in the last few decades, with almost 39% of workers being women and 14.6% of Fortune 500 businesses having female executive officers. However, women still face challenges breaking through the “glass ceiling” and earning equal pay, with the gender pay gap narrowing only slightly from 60 to 78 cents per dollar over the past four decades. Experts estimate it will take over 100 years to achieve complete gender parity in business leadership.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes in the Workplace

Executives emphasize the value of working your way up from an entry-level position to push through obstacles and open doors at the beginning of your career. Beth Mooney, the first female CEO of one of the 20 largest American commercial banks, refused to do menial tasks after taking a job as a bank secretary, eventually cornering the head of her bank’s training program to join despite objections. Despite only being offered $14,000 annually compared to her male counterparts, she and another female trainee outperformed the men and landed full-time positions in record time. This highlights the importance of tenacity and breaking through gender stereotypes in the workplace, as acting like a leader or a woman can violate stereotypes for both.

Thriving in “Less-Than-Ideal” Jobs

This book section recounts the success stories of three women who turned less-than-ideal jobs into thriving careers. Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, urges employees to execute every task to the best of their abilities. Andrea Jung, the former merchandise manager of “intimate apparel” at Bloomingdale’s, transformed her department into a profitable venture and later became the US product marketing president at Avon Products. Diane M. Bryant, the executive vice president at Intel, adapted to a male-dominated culture, infiltrated social situations, and managed nearly 30% of Intel’s revenue. The section also offers tips from various experts, including Deborah M. Kolb from the Center for Gender in Organizations, who advises women to negotiate their pay and Teresa Taylor from Qwest Communications, who encourages employees to communicate their career goals to their bosses. The passage emphasizes the importance of seizing opportunities, executing tasks to the best of one’s abilities, and adapting to unfavorable situations to thrive in one’s career.

Overcoming Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment has been a long-standing problem in the workplace, with statistics showing that 25% of women are victims of it. Linda Hudson, the first woman to lead Pentagon supplier BAE Systems, decided to tackle the issue head-on. She eliminated unfair treatment of employees and required managers to take a class on unconscious biases in the workplace. Another executive, Melissa Dyrdahl, encourages victims to set aside emotions and focus on seeking justice instead of revenge. It’s time to confront and overcome workplace sexual harassment.

Decades-long Gender Pay Gap

A report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research revealed that American women will only attain gender pay equality by 2058. The pay gap causes women to lose over $500,000 during their working lives. Causes for this disparity range from women’s job choice, career breaks, experience, hours of work, lack of child care facilities, union membership, and women’s loyalty to their employers. 93% of the pay gap comes from women receiving lower rewards from bonuses and stocks. Women experience negative consequences when negotiating hard for themselves over pay due to social backlash and stereotypes. Women advised to cope with colleagues who are reluctant to be managed by women. Professionals were urged to look into earning comparisons between their peers, pre-requisites, and job package details.

Risks, Challenges, and Success for Women in Leadership

Taking risks, conquering challenges and facing the “glass cliff” are the keys to success for women in leadership roles. The shortage of women in top positions means that up-and-coming female executives lack role models. Cheryl A. Bachelder, the former CEO of KFC encountered gender-based stereotypes and health problems that made her early time at KFC difficult, but she drew on her failures to eventually succeed as CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Taking risks and working outside of one’s comfort zone can increase visibility, but women may face the “glass cliff” when taking on a project during a crisis or when a company lacks resources. Melanie Healey, the first female head of Procter & Gamble’s North American unit, suggested developing feminine care products that “delight women,” ultimately launching the successful Tampax Pearl tampon. As a manager and mother, Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc., emphasizes the importance of a sense of humor and letting things go as part of the journey to leadership success.

Want to read the full book summary?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed