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Strategies From Women Who've Made It

by Grace Puma & Christiana Smith Shi

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 2024
ISBN: 9781668018606
Publisher: Scribner

Two former executives offer advice for women seeking long-term career satisfaction.

Puma, former executive vice president of PepsiCo, believes that a woman’s passion for her career is just one of the many factors that can lead to success. In collaboration with Shi, a former Nike executive, Puma provides a detailed framework for how women can thrive at work and in the lives they build outside that arena. The authors begin by observing that in the post-pandemic world (“nearly 12 million women left their jobs in the early months of the pandemic”), working hard just to maintain a company’s profitability no longer appeals. What does appeal is working toward overall personal fulfillment. According to the authors, this goal can be achieved through adopting a “360-degree life” mindset that neither neglects nor hides all the activities and personal/family situations that also comprise a working woman’s life. They suggest that a commitment to excellence and to bringing value to every job interaction are two of the most important investments women need to make in their careers. Both create “professional equity” that maximizes the chances of receiving employer concessions to the flexibility that women need to pursue outside interests while also tending to themselves and to those who may depend on them. The authors also emphasize that while a career-forward attitude is always necessary, so is one that allows women necessary leeway to “lose the guilt” they may feel about advocating for their own needs, especially with bosses and colleagues. Women workers will no doubt appreciate the authors’ advice and take heart in a vision of career success that helps balance out the lean-in mentality that has—quite unintentionally—led to high rates of burnout among high-performing women over the last decade.

A thoughtfully upbeat and humane business book.