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  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    The Spirit of the Discreet Guide
    FIRST PRINCIPLES
    The Facts of Life
    In and Out of the Men’s Room
    Tuning In and Dropping Out
    Hold It Right There, Lady
    Skeptical Spectacles and a Critical-Thinking Cap
    YOUR SISTAS AND YOU
    Whose Girl Are You?
    Taking Care
    You’re Different, and That’s Only Mostly Bad
    Impressions and the Real Thing
    Sistas
    EARLY MANEUVERS
    School Days
    Your First Company
    The Cubette
    NAVIGATION TIPS
    Guiding Lights
    The Big C’s: Competition, Challenge, and Conflict
    DANGER—FALLING COCONUTS
    Sit Down and Shut Up
    How Do You Get Anything Done?
    He Doesn’t Think You’re Very Smart
    But Don’t Be Dumb
    TOUCHY SUBJECTS
    After Hours
    One-on-One: Danger Zones
    Sex At Work
    GUYS, GUYS, GUYS
    The Big Guy
    The Good Guys
    International Guys
    The Messed-Up Ones
    Bad Guys
    Super Bad Guys
    YOU’RE A BIG GIRL NOW
    Managing—Between a Rock and a Hard Place
    Work—Why You’re Paid
    THE EXECUTIVE WOMAN’S DILEMMA
    What? I Can’t Hear You
    Courage
    Common Sense
    A Powerful Combination
    THE PRIDE OF THE LIONESS
    Power and Risk
    Leadership
    THE DIAMOND

Mitt Romney’s “Women/Binders” Email

Dear Mac,

Well, by now you’ve probably heard the uproar about my saying that we had binders of women during the debate. Gosh, here I am trying to help them, and that’s the thanks I get. Sometimes I think you just can’t satisfy them no matter what you do.

What you may not know is what happened online with all the new-fangled internet things that they have now (I’m just learning all this stuff myself). Apparently, as soon as I said that about the binders, there were literally millions of comments about it. Don’t these women have anything better to do than sit around and scrutinize every little thing a guy says during a presidential debate? All this stuff online now is really something – they call it social media. But after I read some of those comments, I’d call it antisocial media (and they say I don’t have a way with words). Some of those comments make no sense at all, but some of them are downright rude. One woman said I was patronizing. Hey, no guy I know would ever attempt to ‘patronize’ a woman if she wasn’t willing, not if he wants to keep his manhood or doesn’t want to go to jail – ha, ha. But you know me Mac, I’ll just keep trying to do the right thing even if they don’t appreciate it.

It all started back at Bane Capital when Jerry (remember Jerry? Now there was a guy who got along with the ladies) said I should think about bringing a woman onto the board or as a partner. Not both obviously, no need to go overboard with this stuff. And I thought that could be a good idea. It might be nice to have a woman’s touch around the place. You know with those VC guys, it could lead to a lot of testosterone when they got heated up. Actually, it’s one of things I miss about the old days. Everybody in Washington is so PC I just get sick of it. So anyway, I thought getting a female partner could be good. I wasn’t that enthusiastic about getting a woman on the board. I wasn’t sure how that would work, you know, some of those meetings can go awfully late. And they can get rough, and I didn’t think that would be a good place for a woman (see, even then I was looking out for them).

So I told Jerry, did he have any suggestions because most of the women I knew could make a good pumpkin pie but might not be too handy with a calculator. Finance can get pretty technical with all the numbers and stuff. He said he didn’t but why didn’t I ask Sherrie to put a list together. Do you remember Sherrie? She was my secretary for years – now there was a woman who appreciated being treated well. I remember how grateful she was when I gave her a $100 Christmas bonus one year. As I recall, her husband had just left his job because of the big C, so they really appreciated the extra cash. And you know me Mac, I’m a sucker for a pretty face. 🙂

Sherrie did a great job putting the list together (she eventually turned it into a binder) so we could look at their backgrounds, photos (my idea, I thought that was important), and who they knew, if anybody. We passed it around at the next board meeting (with only a few inappropriate comments, I might add). We never ended up hiring one, can’t remember exactly why not, probably that’s when Jerry moved on and we had to deal with some serious issues. But that binder was something else. I tell you, there are some really talented women out there. See? Even after tonight, I’m still sticking up for them.

Well, it’s getting late, Mac, so I better sign off. Gosh, it sure is nice to be able to get all this off my chest with an old pal. You and I go way back, and trust me, I won’t forget you when I’m elected. Just call on me if you need anything, and that goes for all the fraternity guys. You know me Mac, I won’t forget my old bros.

–Mitt

Copyright © 2012 Jennifer K. Crittenden

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    Raised on a farm in southern Indiana by an idealistic professor and a feminist homemaker, and after language and film studies in Europe, Jennifer was an unlikely candidate to graduate from a leading business school and enter corporate America. To her surprise, she excelled in her new world and spent the next twenty years building a scintillating career, rising from Financial Analyst to Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary, working for big pharma and biotech companies in the US, Europe, and the UK.

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