Weekly News Update

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The WSJ looks at how top executives (including Google’s Marissa Mayer) manage their time and energy so they don’t burn out.  Meanwhile, Learnvest wonders why so many women are burning out before age 30. In semi-related news, Lifehacker has some suggestions for how to survive the workday when you’re completely zonked.  (Speaking of Marissa Mayer:  The Jane Dough has a fun round-up of the first jobs of the top women in business.)
Jezebel takes on the Above the Law article quoting Professor Anna Akbari, advising women to wear skirt suits because they’re more “appealing” to men.  (My $.02: I don’t think that’s true — I think older men and women both react better to skirt suits because they are the older, more traditional, conservative choice.) ATL comes back with a super thinky piece on skirts and feminism from the same professor.
Savvy Sugar suggests 10 interview questions to master.
NPR reviews a study that finds that women don’t play “queen bee” (and in fact DO help other women).
Apartment Therapy advises you how to start collecting artwork — even on a budget.
Elle reveals the four secrets to self-discipline.
– Finally:  there’s an interesting piece from the Harvard Business Review on why boards need more women.  Readers: do any of you have experience with how to get on a board?  Would love to write a piece about this.

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  1. Business, Not Law :

    I guess the question about boards would be…how prestigious of a board are you talking about? From my somewhat limited experience, it’s often about a willingness to serve and advance the mission or the organization (for smaller organizations) or a personal connection (i.e. alumni-based board). Other times there is opportunity to serve at a “Junior Board” or “Young Leaders Board” level (usually 35 and under or 40 and under) and possibly advance to the senior board from there (again possibly depending on size and/or perceived prestige of the senior board). And yet again, one might be targeted for a board position based on their placement at a prominent organization in the community (i.e. CEO/COO of a major corporation sought after to serve on XYZ board)

    In the end, I think a majority of it comes down to networking, as do many things in life!

    Kat–I am happy to discuss this more offline if you are interested. Again, I can only speak based on personal experience but certainly not to the “how to get a board spot in a Fortune 100 company” though I suspect it’s much of the same principles above.

  2. For anyone in need of bag repair:


    I knew about ArtBag but not the others. ArtBag gave me a ridiculously expensive quote when I stopped by, but may now try one of the others.

  3. On the board question: I am a relatively young attorney (going into my third year), and I was asked to join the board of a great organization early this spring. Here in SF, there is an event called Board Match ever year, where boards looking for members go to meet prospective candidates. I met some people from the organization at that event two years ago, but at that time just started volunteering–truth be told, I think they thought I was a little young/inexperienced/didn’t have access to lots of potential donors. But I stuck with volunteering, and this year was invited to serve. So I think that’s one potential way to do it – just finding something you’re passionate about and demonstrating your commitment.

    Cynically, I would say it’s probably far easier to get on a board if you have pools of cash yourself, or have access to people with pools of cash.

  4. anon mouse :

    Anyone have advice / comments for how to deal with a first performance review? I’m in my first “real” job since undergrad, had a positive mid-year review, and have been a hard worker thus far. I’m mostly worried about the bonus negotiation, and that I’ll just be too passive and not negotiate for maximum.

  5. On the board question, I actually see a dire shortage of willing women to fill independent non-exec seats on corporate boards in my part of the world (Asia). There is a lot of demand because most regulated entities have a minimum quota of independent non-execs and many boards would like to nod at diversity with at least a couple of women. Supply is constrained because many mid-career folks are out (most HR departments are reluctant to allow their full-time staff to get involved with 3rd party boards) and search committees tend to be fairly inward-looking (they still want a board member who is “one of us”) while many of us are sensitive to the very substantial responsibilities of board members to provide genuine oversight in a post-2008 world.

    I get asked often (used to work for a big bank, now run my own small firm) and have provided many many referrals. If a person was interested to get on a board, I’d say the following :
    – Helps hugely to be a retired lawyer, banker or accountants since you are assumed to (somewhat) know the rules
    – The financial industry has big demand at the moment – calls for improved governance is translating into the need for independent boards at what used to be subsidiary entities
    – Otherwise network with private-equity, start-up and other deal folks since these are often where the need for new boards originates
    – Let your head-hunter contacts know of your interest – many search committees will turn to them for help

    I am also on the board of a couple of non-profits. Appetite to pitch in with fund-raising is a big thing but these guys also appreciate legal/ financial background for similar reasons ie. directors’ responsibilities have proliferated, plus they like directors who can provide an independent check on their endowment managers.

  6. Bloomsday Reader :

    Re: Appropriate Dress for Women Summer Associates

    First of all, I have to say that sometimes this blog promotes too much of a go-along attitude for my taste. Women did not get where they are without someone taking the risk of protesting.

    Having said, that, this is just another example of Jezebel opining in regard to a world about which it knows NOTHING. If you’ve slaved for years and possibly gone into debt to get into and do well in law school and there is a surplus of people in your intended profession you are not going to take the chance of pissing off an interviewer by wearing pants instead of a skirt. (Although if you’re truly top–notch, I do not think it will matter.)

    Law firms have lots of silly rules, many of which are unwritten. I see no harm in giving women law students a fighting chance. If after being hired they get to positions of power then and only then will they have influence, including over things like pantsuits versus skirts. But when is that going to happen? The numbers are ridiculous, given the amount of time women have been in the market.

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