Sheryl Sandberg Adds Her Voice to the new Dialog About Women at Work

If you watched or read any news outlet this week you know that Facebook’s successful Chief Operating Officer and newly minted billionaire, Sheryl Sandberg, has just released a book about women in leadership roles, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.  I have it ordered and will begin reading it Wednesday.  You need to read some of the reviews.  Sheryl joins a growing list of  “Wise Women” who are thoughtful, experienced and have achieved some career success and now want to ease the path for other women in the workplace.  Kudos to Sheryl.


Recently published books point to issues blocking women from top positions in business and the non-profit world. 

  • Our educational institutions graduate more women every year than men but the number of CEOs and Board Members remains low
  • Many women leave the workplace after spending years in middle management and not getting promoted into executive roles 
  • More women are starting entrepreneurial work options than ever before  
  • Women still earn 70 cents on the dollar of what men earn in comparable positions


Every woman knows what the issues are at work and it is up to all of us to create a new discussion of the disparities in salaries and promotions we face.  In fact this is also important to men who have a wife, daughter, mother, or friend working to sustain them through work. We all have a stake in this conversation.


The subtle discrimination that over half of our US workers deal with in their career development continues even in 2013.  Women ask me all of the time, “How can I be promoted in my current workplace?”  “Why is the man in the next office still making more than I am since I have the same educational background and level of experience?”  I was asked recently in a television interview, “Why the economic downturn has so severely impacted women in hiring, promotion, and downsizing efforts? “ The answer is that long held, cultural stereotypes still persist in men and women’s perceptions about work and careers


Sounds like Lean In is a must read.  I also suggest you also put on your reading list, How Remarkable Women Lead written by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston from the McKinsey Consulting group.  Last year in my book, Voices Words From Wise Women,

I shared advice and leadership tools through the stories of many successful women who were interviewed the last twenty years. The more you read the more you understand how pervasive the issue of UNDER employment for women continues even in 2013!



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Yesterday one of my clients, Dr. Connie Gores, was appointed President of Southwest Minnesota State University.  It was incredible feeling to see another woman who has worked her entire career to achieve a goal reach the pinnacle of her field.  I am confident that she has the skills, knowledge, and character to become one of the best women presidents in higher education.  Stay tuned in to see the results of her work with the Mustangs of Marshall Minnesota.   Celebrate the accomplishment and anticipate the future.


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It’s on my list that I’m checking twice for a successful holiday season!

It’s time to get back to blogging about women, leadership, and work & life Balance

Here’s a question I often ask my clients, “When was the last time you thought about not following up on that personal goal?”  Or the question might go, “So when was the last time you truly did something for yourself?” 

Ahh…life it runs away from you.  Women get so busy …..that their personal time to pursue spiritual reflection, read a new book, take a class, or pursue healthful practices of self-care like exercise, drinking enough water and watching their eating …all of  those personal things just seem to get forgotten.  I am no exception here and it is especially true during the holidays.  I have been so…busy with work and life that I have not even blogged.  My reflections about women and our universal issues are an important part of my life and my self-care but it just hasn’t gotten done lately. My apologies readers.

This over worked and out of time feeling is an almost universal condition for women who work, have families, and busy lives.  This is especially true as we approach the end of the year.  In fact “Finding the Balance” is one of the topics from my book, VOICES Words From Wise Women and it gets discussed in every group of women with whom I speak.  It’s not just me…but “Every Woman” who struggles with  balance.  How do we develop successful work lives, keep our personal lives going, and take time for our self-care related to the mind, body, and spirit?  Not an easy task.  Rule Number 1:  Be conscious of the need to find balance every day of your life.  I will be thinking about it and writing every day so stay tuned.  Here come the holidays!!! KJ

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Mother’s Day is About Your Values

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and all of us have been touched by a special woman in our lives. The person who bore us and raised us has no equal.  It’s great that every year we take a moment to remember those who are/were our mothers.  After all, these women influence society and teach us to define what is important to us. Mothers are the ones who helped us become what we are today.

The older I get the more I realize the influence of your mother is present throughout your entire life. In my own world last week when my first book went to a best seller status, I wished my mother was still here to see it happen.  After all, the book was written for her and is a tribute to wise women everywhere!

My mother believed that we are defined by the love and care we give to others.  She taught me that we are all equal in the almighty’s eyes no matter what our nationality, our gender, our age, or our race.  She believed we all experience defeat at some time, but the important thing is to never, never… give up!  A stubborn Scots woman for sure was my mother.

I know that you, too, can name values your mother taught you to revere.  How did your mother influence your goals for work and life?  Why are you different because of what your mother taught you about life?  How did her influence impact your career choices?

As you think about your own mother this weekend, I suggest it is also time to reflect about the public dialog about women and mothers in the world.  You cannot watch the news or read about current topics and miss that we still evaluate women on how they look rather than on their contributions to society.  Really listen to what people say.  Look at who the politicians are who talk about legislating a woman’s reproductive decisions.  Women still do not have the same access in the workplace with regards to salary and promotions. Older women have a more difficult time finding another job after a lay off than do men of the same age.  Yes, sexism and ageism still exist.

This mother’s day give a true gift to women.  If you are going to celebrate Mother’s Day then realize how much you owe to your own mother and stand up for women everywhere and honor women at work and at home 365 days a year!

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One of Life’s Greatest Joys

  • “Your book is a valuable asset to women and the field of career development. This book is both scholarly and practical- not many in the field are. VOICES is amazing and has already enriched my life and my client’s as well.”

This quote landed in my email box late last night.  There is no greater compliment than for a colleague to recognize your work, and this quote came from a fellow counselor practicing in the area.  I was touched as it is my goal to inspire women to achieve their dreams for work and life satisfaction.  It’s why I wrote the book last year and what I plan to be doing for the next ten years.  One of life’s greatest joy comes from helping others.

My first book, VOICES Words From Wise Women, has its official launch on this coming Tuesday, April 24th.  See the webpage at

As I have prepared for this event, many friends and colleagues are in contact about the book.  Here is another quote:

  • For every woman, whether just beginning or advancing in a career, this book provides profound insights. For me, each chapter evokes one or more “A-ha!” moments that have transformed my job search. How I wish that Dr. Jordan had written this book 20 years ago — because I might have taken a different path, and for sure, would have benefitted mightily from her advice about the art of negotiation, self-promotion, and life balance.

The leadership principles and practical tools in the book were shared by many successful women who wanted to leave a legacy for other women.  I am encouraging every person to consider purchasing several copies of the book on April 24th. A percentage of the sales will be donated to the American Cancer Society to support breast cancer research.  I know the career principles in the book can help every working woman gain some control over work and achieve their personal vision of success.  Join me as I reach out to women in the workplace to help everyone be all that we can be!

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Women and Myths about Marketing

Here it is almost time for the official launch of my first book, VOICES Words From Wise Women on April 24th and I am learning about marketing once again.  Over the years I have explained the job search process as the analogy of a marketing campaign in which you understand your “brand” and build strategic relationships with specific employers and “establish your target market”.  

I work with clients to help them set their goals, emphasize their strengths and experiences to an employer, relate these to the job description, and get that job or make the sale!   For many, these have been difficult concepts because of the negative stereotypes associated with “selling and sales.”  However, the truth is all of us are in the business of persuading others to buy, learn, or believe certain ideas.  This is a good thing as we help one another move forward with information and let the “customers” decide on the worth of the product or concept.

Now with a personal marketing project on the horizon and the book launch scheduled in a few weeks, I am finding out once again just how hard it is to “walk your talk.”  It is one thing to teach about the marketing involved in a job search, and it’s quite another to do marketing for yourself! 

Today I find myself marketing a good book and a set of principles that can help other women be successful. I believe in the book and the capacity it has to help others find career success and life satisfaction.  I know there is a need out there as many women in the past few months said, “if only I read this book 20 years ago…”   

So here is marketing message: “Help the women in your life find career and personal satisfaction and order a copy of VOICES Words From Wise Women from on April 24th.  You will help them achieve their personal dreams and also help many others as a portion of the profits that day will be donated to the American Cancer Society to support breast cancer research.”

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Women and the College Presidency

Last week in the Chronicle of Higher Education there was an interesting article about the decrease in the number of minorities who are achieving the President’s position.

Since I am working with women who want to achieve a presidential position as well as women who are now sitting presidents, I was very interested in the statistics cited in the article.  A survey was conducted to review the status of the presidency in 2011 and there were 1660 respondents from all sectors of the nonprofit higher education sector.   Women made some incremental gains with now more than 1/4 of college presidents are female and more than 1/3 of the presidents in community colleges are women.

I believe that while this was cited as a positive number and factor in the article, the number is in fact way too low to think this is a good percentage!  This statistic means that if you are a woman looking for a presidency in a four year institution you really only have a one in four shot at getting the office.    How can I tell my clients this news?   Since female students are now in the majority achieving graduate degrees, this number has to begin to change to reflect who will be in the field.  No longer can the president of a college be presumed to an older while male.

The article did go on to cite that, “On the pathway to the presidency, women say they are more likely than men to have made choices with family in mind. More than a quarter of female presidents (25%) said they had altered their careers for family considerations.  Just 19 percent of men, on the other hand, said the same.”  Women are still seeking ways to balance their careers and their families.

If you want to achieve a presidency one day, this is an important issue for all women to think about in their career planning process.  For example, will they plan to focus on their family responsibilities during the years their children are in K-12 grades but then begin to search for a presidency when their family responsibilities are less intense?  Will they plan to have children? Does this mean that if a woman will be looking for a presidency in her 60’s she needs to begin planning for it early on so she can acquire the experience, career progression, and skills required.  Will she still be able to find sufficient energy to do a good job in her family roles ?  Will ageism in the workplace be a factor for women seeking the presidency more than it is for men?

Women will need to be self directed and self motivated to change these statistics.  The path to becoming a president has to begin with the end goal in mind at the beginning of your career and a strong focus and work ethic will be needed to acquire the background required to be competitive.  It will be interesting to see how many women in the talent pipeline in 2012 will become presidents this coming year.  Their egos and confidence levels need to be high as they begin these job searches since it is still a male dominated role.  They need to  apply to enough searches ( in the 8 to 16 ranges) as this should help them break through the one in four chances.     Good Luck Every Woman!

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