Every year I look forward to The Wall Street Journal's annual "Women In The Economy" report, a task force of Big Wigs who get together to discuss what's holding women back in filling the C-suites and the board rooms. Even though women continue to make over 80% of all purchasing decisions, and more women than men are going to grad school, there are only 17 Fortune 500 CEOs--an improvement from last year by 5 women--but still pretty pathetic ladies and gents. Here's a statistic that brings tears to SL's eyes: McKinsey & Co. research says "companies are still bleeding female talent at an alarming rate. Women land 53% of entry level jobs and make it to the belly of the pipeline in large numbers. But then, female presence falls off a cliff to 35% at the director level, 24% among senior vice presidents, and 19% in the C-suite." Something is wrong with this picture. Over the next couple of blogs, yours truly will slip off her stilettos, and slip on her sexy spexy reading glasses and write about what's going on here. For starters, we'll talk about how women need to give themselves bragging rights. Men have no problem telling the boss how great they are, what a fine job they did on that big sale, and why they should be first in line to snag that high profile project or coveted promotion. Women? They don't like to boast about their accomplishments after all, didn't mom tell you it wasn't nice to talk about yourself on the playground? Stop right there. Ladies, raise your hand, and raise it early in the game. Keep you and your accomplishments front and center. That's the advice not just men on the WSJ WIE Task Force gave, but also the female high rollers like Beth Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp. I love this quote from Laszlo Bock, Senior VP of Google, Inc. "For God's sake, nominate yourself for promotions." If you don't, says Bock, "You're holding yourself back." And why, I ask, would women want to do that? More thoughts on that in the next chapter of "The Ladder Series: Year 2." (If you want to know more, visit


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