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An AOL Insider Cracks the Code to Outrageous Success for Women


15 min read
9 take-aways
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What's inside?

Forget your manners: be assertive and bold. Pick your friends for their impact. It’s bodacious, even if it’s not pretty.

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Many of the ideas in "bodacious" will sound familiar, since Mary Foley is advising women to be more assertive, strategic, competitive and political. It’s the formula men have long used to get ahead, but Foley addresses her counsel directly to women, along with tips on how to overcome traditional ideals about acting feminine. Hardnosed or not, Foley writes in an engaging way, as she combines personal growth suggestions with examples from success stories, including her own. After a ten year career starting as a customer service rep, she became an AOL millionaire and retired. Now an author, speaker and personal coach, she dispenses advice in a catchy, casual style, which makes even familiar suggestions interesting. While some men may find it interesting to eavesdrop on these lists and reminders for women in the workplace, recommends Foley’s breezy career boost to women white collar and professional employees who are ready to pump up on pep talk.


Becoming Bodacious

Mary Foley succeeded by being "bodacious." Beginning as an $8-an-hour customer service rep at America Online, she became the firm’s corporate training manager, in charge of training 12,000 employees. After 10 years, at 33, she quit and undertook the adventure of her own consulting company so she could teach the success principles she learned at AOL.

Today’s "Now Economy," emerging on the ashes of the dot-com driven "Next Economy," demands this kind of bodacious approach. To succeed, you need bodacious qualities: which means being bold and courageous, having inner strength and standing up for who you are. Although women particularly need these traits, they contradict traditional training which tells women to be nurturing, cooperative and caring as they put others’ needs ahead of their own.

Despite discrimination laws and how-to books on being more assertive, women still make only 75 to 85% of what men make. They are vastly under-represented in some of the best paying jobs in high-tech and IT. Women are being held back because they continue to respond to the message they learned growing up: "be nice...don’t offend" and do what is...

About the Authors

Mary Foley retired from AOL at 33, after 10 years of working her way up from an $8 an hour customer service rep to become AOL’s first head of corporate training and a multi-millionaire. Through her company, Bodacious Ventures, she shares her success strategies as an author, speaker and personal coach. She serves on the board of HumanR, a human resources software and consulting company. Martha Finney is a veteran human resources reporter for magazines, newspapers, NPR and CNN. She also wrote Find Your Calling, Love Your Life.

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