There was a palpable tension in the room when Bob Chernow began his recent speech to Tempo Milwaukee by telling the women that the original title for his talk was, "The Future of Women in Business, or, There Ainâ€™t Nothing Like a Dame."
But Chernow put the women more at ease by telling them, "My projection is that women will dominate the management of business within 40 years."
That provided cover for my good friend Susie Falk, who had booked Chernow to speak to the womenâ€™s group and so kindly invited me to attend the luncheon.
Chernow, an accomplished Milwaukee investment advisor, is qualified to make such projections, as he is the vice chair of the World Future Society and is widely regarded as one of the most
credible futurists in the country.
U.S. businesses owned by women doubled from 1992 to 2007. According to Chernow, 28.7 percent of family businesses have a female CEO or president, up from only 5 percent in 1997. By 2020, Chernow projects that 30 percent of Fortune 1000 companies will be led by women.
Chernow cited a growing list of women leading major corporations, including: Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Companies; Ellen Kullman of DuPont Corp.; Marissa Mayer of Yahoo; Phebe Novakovic of General Dynamics Corp.; Ginni Rometty of IBM; Sherilyn McCoy of Avon Products Inc.; and Laura Lange of Time Inc.
Chernow said the "echo boomers," the children of baby boomers, like to work more in collaboration than their predecessors. That will suit women, who like to manage in a more collaborative fashion than their male counterparts, Chernow said.
"Our new world is a relationship economy where business subcontracts, creates alliances and partnerships and uses outside consultants. In this world you need the active participation of those
involved and the job of managers is to work with theseÂ relationships. In short, you just canâ€™t order people to work; you need their willing participation," Chernow said. "Women and men
think differently. Men operate in a hierarchical manner; women in a consensual style."
Chernow offered the following ideas for women to get ahead in business:
- "Make others comfortable with you. Be aware that some men do not understand how to interact with women or minorities."
- "Eliminate jealousy and envy as much as possible. Ask yourself if the success of others affects you personally."
- "Be curious. Explore. Experiment. Expand your thinking. And get out of your comfort zone."
- "Take Risk. As Wayne Gretzky said, â€˜You always miss 100 percent of the shots you donâ€™t take.â€™"
- "Walk the factory floor. That is, seek out and listen to those who work for you. Youâ€™ll get great ideas from them."
- "Focus on small wins."
- "Seek positive people; avoid negative people."
- "Find meaning and passion outside of your work."
- "Pick your battles. Everything does not have to be a fight."
- "Laugh at yourself. Lighten up."
- "Give of yourself."
- "Remember, your people skills go a long way. Emphasize the natural advantages that you have as a woman: listening, exchanging ideas, collaborating."
- "And lastly, remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said: â€˜The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.â€™"
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Steve Jagler
Published March 25, 2015
By virtually every measure, Minnesota is taking Wisconsin's lunch money, according to a recent study by the LaCrosse Tribune, which lies right at the border.
Published March 11, 2015
In his Feb. 23 column for the BizTimes, Steve Jagler observed that each time a project is proposed to propel the city forward, someone or something seems to pop up and attempts to stop it. Judging from the feedback Steve Jagler received in response to his piece, many readers feel the same way.
Published Feb. 9, 2015
Since 1851, Wisconsin's state motto has been "Forward." However, these days, a more appropriate motto might be "Just hold on a minute..."
Published Jan. 14, 2015
If it seems like so many public policy decisions are hanging fire in Wisconsin these days, it's only because they are. And so many of these loose ends seem to be intertwined and interdependent.
Published Dec. 23, 2014
As the legal slog to develop a new streetcar system in Downtown Milwaukee continues to play out in court, in City Hall and at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, proponents and opponents alike would do well to keep an eye on Cincinnati.
Published Dec. 2, 2014
If asked to return for another term as secretary and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Reed Hall says he would be honored to serve again.
Published Nov. 14, 2014
In recent years, the Milwaukee Bucks have not had much to celebrate when they've conducted their annual preview luncheon with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. This year, however, there was a tangible buzz in the room at the event, which was held at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Published Nov. 12, 2014
In essence, preserving net neutrality would ensure that all consumers and businesses will have universal levels of access to a fast Internet, not just some preferred customers who would pay for "faster lanes" on the Internet.
Published Oct. 29, 2014
Over the years, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and its president, Tim Sheehy, have been vocal and ardent opponents of new taxes. That's why more than a few business leaders were still trying to process the messages Sheehy gave them when he spoke to the Milwaukee Rotary Club recently about the need to raise public financing for the region's cultural and entertainment venues.
Published Oct. 19, 2014
Empower your people to think like entrepreneurs and serve your customers. That was the leading takeaway message from the panelists at the first Next Stage Workshop recently presented by BizTimes.