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Machiavelli for Women

Defend Your Worth, Grow Your Ambition, and Win the Workplace

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From the NPR host of The Indicator podcast and correspondent for Planet Money comes a guide for how today’s women can apply the principles of 16th-century philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli to their work lives and finally shatter the glass ceiling once and for all—perfect for fans of Feminist Fight Club, Lean In, and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office.

Women have been making strides towards equality for decades, or so we’re often told. They’ve been increasingly entering male-dominated areas of the workforce and consistently surpassing their male peers in grades, university attendance, and degrees. They’ve recently stormed the political arena with a vengeance. But despite all of this, the payoff is—quite literally—not there: the gender pay gap has held steady at about 20% since 2000. And the number of female CEOs for Fortune 500 companies has actually been declining.

So why, in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, is the glass ceiling still holding strong? And how can we shatter it for once and for all? Stacy Vanek Smith’s advice: ask Machiavelli.

Using The Prince as a guide and with charm and wit, Smith applies Renaissance politics to the 21st century, and demonstrates how women can take and maintain power in careers where they have long been cast as second-best. Based on the latest research, tips from successful women across many industries, and experiences from Smith’s own life, Machiavelli for Women is a powerful, entertaining, and inspirational guide for a new generation of successful women.

Photograph by Sylvie Rosokoff

Stacey Vanek Smith is a longtime public radio reporter and host. She currently hosts NPR’s The Indicator from Planet Money, a daily podcast covering business and economics. She has also served as a correspondent and host for NPR’s Planet Money and Marketplace. A native of Idaho, Smith is a graduate of Princeton University, where she earned a BA in comparative literature and creative writing. She also holds a MS in journalism from Columbia University.

“Rich, insightful, and full of big ideas that translate simply into daily practice, Machiavelli For Women is a delicious look at what we have to gain by examining our relationship to power.”
—Sally Helgesen, New York Times bestselling author of How Women Rise

“Accessible, funny, clear-eyed, and practical—Machiavelli For Women deserves to be an instant classic.”
—Sarah Knight, New York Times bestselling author of The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

Machiavelli For Women is the ultimate battle guide for our times. Brimming with hard-boiled strategies, laced with wit, it's a must read for every woman ready wield power unapologetically."
—Claire Shipman, bestselling co-author of The Confidence Code

“A succinct and savvy guide to making your way in the world, Machiavelli's Prince offers a clever conceit to deliver a raft of practical advice for women looking to make their mark and blast off the glass ceiling for good.”
—Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America and author of Dare to Speak

“If Machiavelli were alive, he’d undoubtedly tip his hat to Stacey Vanek Smith for totally reimagining his work in a brilliant, entertaining and super-instructive way. The magic of this book is Stacey’s ability to make scholarly material accessible and inspiring. Gender inequity in our culture is one of the enduring challenges of our time. And this book is an outstanding addition to the body of work around how to defeat it.”
—Guy Raz, host and creator, How I Built This