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Luwanda Jenkins – Sallie Krawcheck’s insights inspire and challenge

There’s something very affirming and reassuring about a highly accomplished professional woman who can admit that she’s faced many challenges and setbacks on her path to success.

That was the tone set by Sallie Krawcheck, past president of Global Wealth & Investment Management for Bank of America and the featured speaker for the recent annual Network 2000 Women of Excellence luncheon.

Krawcheck combined candor with humor for an authentic keynote talk to the audience of more than 1,000, mostly professional women in attendance.

Her credentials are impeccable. Fortune magazine has cited her as “the last honest analyst and the most influential voice for research quality and integrity.” She’s been listed frequently in Forbes’ and Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.”

I couldn’t help but feel a strong solidarity and spirit of sisterhood moving throughout the room as we all seemed to relate to her message, especially her 10 Rules for Success which provided great advice for women at all stages of their careers.

In fact, those rules are so powerful and helpful that they are worth repeating. Here they are:

  1. Choose your husband or partner carefully and negotiate how you will manage your household. There’s nothing that says you have to default to traditional gender roles to determine who does what in the home.
  2. Seek out career opportunities where there are objective metrics with which you can quantify and get credit for your success.
  3. Make sure your boss knows about your results and attributes them to you. Men have mastered this and use it to their advantage to negotiate compensation and other career-building steps.
  4. Say “yes” to everything. The idea here is that we learn by doing and the things we do well will lead to other opportunities.
  5. Realize that there are some battles that you cannot win.
  6. Recognize that there are some situations that are not right for you and have the courage to acknowledge it and accept that it’s OK. Don’t compromise your values and who you are to try to fit into a particular career path or organization. Be true to yourself.
  7. Identify and embrace your strengths. Be honest with yourself about your true talents and don’t be shy about using your strengths and talents.
  8. Don’t listen to the naysayers
  9. Define your concept of success and go for it!
  10. Have fun and enjoy the journey!

Krawcheck offered the kind of straightforward insights and advice that we all need to hear and internalize as professional women who continue to strive for equity and to improve our representation in the executive ranks and on corporate boards, all while mentoring and uplifting other women along the way.

A member of The Daily Record’s Maryland Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence, Luwanda Walker Jenkins is Special Assistant to the President of Coppin State University. Her email address is luwandajenkins@luwandajenkins.org.