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The No Club

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The No Club

Putting a Stop to Women’s Dead-End Work

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Learning to say no might be the single most effective thing you can do to advance your career.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging


A disproportionate number of women perform workplace tasks that do nothing to advance their career – or even damage it – while their male counterparts fail to share the burden of these tasks. Professors Linda Babcock, Brenda Peyser, Lise Vesterlund and Laurie Weingart argue that the inequity arises from an underlying problem: Society still expects women to say yes when asked to help and punishes them if they say no. Drawing on research and their personal experience, the four professors give women and organizations tools to create more just and equal workplaces where everyone can flourish.


Although your organization may value particular tasks, doing them might not help advance your career.

The term non-promotable task (NPT) refers to work that matters to your organization but doesn’t contribute to advancing your career: It doesn’t help you get a promotion, score top marks in performance evaluations, land interesting assignments, boost your salary or become marketable for another job. Categorizing specific tasks as promotable or not depends on whether they contribute to the organization’s “currency” – the things decision-makers care about, such as making a profit or growing market share. Tasks that directly contribute to an organization’s currency have high promotability. Identify your organization’s currency by looking at its mission statement, strategy, annual reports and marketing materials. Look at key performance indicators and the accomplishments it publicizes externally or internally.

Tasks that require specialized skills or that help you build valuable connections tend to have high promotability. In contrast, NPTs typically lack visibility, don’t require special skills or qualifications, and have a negligible impact on the organization...

About the Authors

Linda Babcock is a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University. Brenda Peyser retired in 2018 from a 35-year career in leadership in the academic and corporate worlds, including 18 years as associate dean of the Heinz College’s School of Public Policy and Management. Lise Vesterlund is a professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Laurie R. Weingart is a professor of organizational behavior and theory at Carnegie Mellon University.

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    D. C. getAbstract 1 year ago
    THIS!!! Such an important topic. Thank you so much, Mara, for selecting and summarizing this book. Fantastic read.