It can be described as Fortune Magazine meets Oprah. “It” in this context is Pink Magazine and its founder, Genevieve Bos, who was on hand to usher in the formal beginning to The Forum for Women in Accounting and The Forum for Recruiting and Retention.

Pink Magazine, based in Atlanta, is a national magazine, events producer, and Web site designed exclusively for career women. Bos kicked off her remarks by sharing a bit of her personal story, which included her parents’ divorce during her childhood and a father who swindled the family out of money.

Bos noted that 67 percent of traditional couples have dual income, yet 37 percent of the women earn more than the men in the relationship. Does that change the power dynamics at home, she asked the audience?

You bet it does.

Still, she added, though many women are making more money than their male counterparts, that doesn’t necessarily mean women are managing their finances well.

“I am shocked at how many senior-level women are making a ton of money,” she said. “But they are doing a terrible job managing that money.”

She rattled off more statistics mixed in with personal stories. For example, 90 percent of women say it’s their family, by far, that is the most important thing in their lives. Eighty-seven percent of women say they put a lot of time and energy into their career, and 69 percent say making a lot of money is important in life.

“Women no longer need to choose between a beautiful career and a beautiful life,” she said.
If that’s not enough to chew on, Bos added, by 2010 women will control more than half of the private wealth in the U.S., or about $14 trillion. By 2020 that number is expected to rise to $22 trillion. Why? Women typically inherit twice, once from their spouses and then from their parents.

Women also purchase or influence the purchase of over 80 percent of all consumer goods, including stocks, computers and automobiles.

According to Bos, Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women board directors attained significantly higher financial performance. On average there is notably stronger than average performance at companies with three or more women board directors, she noted.

“Three seems to be this magic number [in which] theoretically there is some backup,” she said. “Two of them start pushing and then maybe a third will be the deciding factor.”

Women, however, are frustrated by other women, said Bos. Talk to senior women and ask them what their biggest challenges are in their career and they almost always say other women.

Bos uses the analogy of crabs in a sand bucket. If you have one crab in a plastic bucket, it can get out easily. When two crabs are in there, both of them can’t get out easily — they pull each other down.

“We don’t need men to do anything to us in business,” she said. “If we don’t care for each other and lift each other up, we are going nowhere, especially inside our own businesses.”

America’s most successful women are passionate about what they do, create and maintain a personal brand image, choose their company and their boss, select the best mentors in and out of the company whenever possible, and develop and invest in their network over the years.

“Doing great work is not enough,” Bos said. “Doing great work is a baseline.” More important, she added, is staying in the game.

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