Pioneering Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Magdalena Yesil came to the United States in 1976 with two suitcases and $43, blind to the challenges she would face as a woman and immigrant in Silicon Valley. Today she is best known as the first investor and a founding board member of Salesforce, the now multibillion-dollar company that ushered in the era of cloud-based computing.
In Power Up: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy, Yesil urges women to look beyond the alarming gender statistics of the workplace and feel confident entering tech or any field - but also prepared to deal with the challenges. She shares what she experienced as a woman in Silicon Valley with surprising candor and heart, relying not just on her insight but that of more than a dozen top women entrepreneurs to offer pragmatic takeaways on topics such as:
Pragmatic, incisive, and full of highly actionable advice, Yesil prepares ambitious women to break glass ceilings and rise to the top in the New Silicon Valley - and beyond.
Magdalena knows her stuff as a long standing V.C. and Entrepeneur. This is a solid read for any ladies navigating male dominated industries that continue to be plagued by harassment, unfair wages, etc....I love her metaphor of water as a way to flow through difficult obstacles.
In Power Up, the author shares blunt but pragmatic advice applicable to any professional-minded reader regardless of age, sector, or gender. I myself am a male reader and out of the technology space central to the 'new economy' but often found myself pausing to better absorb the nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout the book. I think the advice maintains relevance due to a straightforward framework to fight bias, whether real or imagined, centering around a core belief about the value of self and work product. (For the male readers hesitant to pick up the book, it also does not hurt to be a little more sensitive to challenges faced by women in the workforce).
The advice itself shines through a well-narrated collection of stories that reveal a charismatic and personable character. That said, I found the listening speed most comfortable at 1.25x. Highly recommend.
Where does Power Up rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Power Up is a very inspiring read of one woman's approach to working in a male dominated space. Magdalena's story as a female immigrant who moved to the Bay Area, is a very relatable story. Not only is it great to hear about challenges she faced throughout her career, both as a professional and a women, but also how she tackled them.
What other book might you compare Power Up to and why?
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg is an inside peek to the life of a strong and intelligent women who seems to chart her own path on her own terms and encourages other woman to do the same. Amy Poehler's, Yes Please, is a different type of take on a smart and powerful woman building her own success (and of course it's hilarious).
Which scene was your favorite?
The depiction of one of the work conferences complete with female dancers and the author's response was pretty awesome. I also really liked the numerous insights of other accomplished female business woman and how they tackled common workplace challenges in their own careers such as balancing their careers, negotiating salary, proactively planning maternity leave, raising a family, etc.
If you could give Power Up a new subtitle, what would it be?
Be the Driving Force Behind Your Own Career.
Any additional comments?
Definitely worth the time and money to read this book!
I bought this book in hardcover, then wanted to read it more quickly so also bought the audio. Magdalena reads the book herself on the audio, which can give you a clue into the overall generosity of this work. While the print book already is so warm and personal, the audio makes it even more so. Now I’m going to go back to the hardcover to reread and mark passages that felt especially pertinent to me.
I’m an entrepreneur and often struggle with the sheer exhaustion of “doing it all” and making something from nothing. Magdalena’s book gave me many tools not only to pick myself up and keep going but to be even more skillful along the way. This is one of the best business books and wise “pep-talk” books I’ve read, and I’m recommending it to all my friends. I recommend it to you too.
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