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    Inspired to extend a helping hand to ambitious women working in corporate America, a veteran executive offers honest, practical, slightly irreverent advice about navigating companies that are run and populated predominately by men: how to interpret their sometimes surprising behavior, avoid common mistakes, flourish with the good guys, deal with the bad guys, and nurture a wonderful, satisfying career in a non-traditional role.

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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

San Diego Women’s Groups

I was astonished to discover dozens of women’s groups in San Diego—some are focused on networking, particular industries, occupations, professions or hobbies, and some are just for friendship. As a service to the community, I have listed them here with links to their websites and information about contacts, meetings, and dues. Most of these are non-profit although there are a few exceptions. Please let me know if there’s anything I should correct. I hope you meet some wonderful new women!

AAUW – American Association of University Women – Breaking through barriers for women and girls. Click here. Various non-member and member events. Annual membership dues.

ABWA – American Business Women’s Association – Soaring Eagles Chapter – For working women and business owners. Click here. President: Shelley Gardner. Monthly meetings first Thursday of the month. National dues.

AFWA – Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance (Formerly: ASWA – American Society for Women Accountants – San Diego). Click here. Jeanette Ding, Officer. Monthly events plus quarterly social events for members and non-members. National dues.

AWIS – Association for Women in Science – San Diego. Click here. Public Relations: Hoang Nhan and Lisa Fong. Various members-only and non-members events. National and chapter dues.

Athena San Diego – to promote professional growth for women executives and rising managers in science and technology. Click here. Amy Bergen, Executive Director. Many non-member and members-only events. Annual membership dues.

Aviara Women’s Club – to provide a variety of experiences in which members may become better acquainted with their neighbors through social functions, community affairs and planned activities. Click here. Catherine Morley, President. Meet monthly on the 2nd Tuesday at Carlsbad City Library. Many members-only events. Annual membership dues.

Chic CEO – For entrepreneurs with style. Click here. Stephanie Burns, CEO; Jody Coughlin, CMO. Various Networking Events as Savvy-CEO. No membership dues. Pay for events.

CREW – Commercial Real Estate Women – To promote, educate and support a network of professionals in the field of commercial real estate. Click here. Jennifer Schumaker, President. Various members-only and non-member events. Membership dues.

CWI – Connected Women of Influence – For executive and professional women. Click here. Michelle Bergquist, Founder. Various members-only and non-member events. Membership dues.

Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County – To support and promote Democratic Party principles & platforms, including equality of opportunity, a level playing field, and fair and equal treatment for all. Click here. Monthly meetings. Membership dues.

Ellevate Network – The essential resource for professional women who create, inspire, and lead. Sallie Krawcheck, Chair. Annual membership. For local events, check out the San Diego chapter page here.

eWomen Network – To support, promote and showcase our members’ products and services and to help them achieve their professional goals Click here. Dietra Stivahtis, Managing Director. Various members-only and non-member events. Membership dues.

EWI – Executive Women International – Connections, Careers, Community. Click here. Tracey Amernick, President. Various Members-Only and Non-Member Events. Membership dues.

FemCity San Diego – a Femfessionals Group. Innovatively connecting ambitious women. Click here. Anne Von Dyl, President. Monthly events. Membership dues.

Foundation for Women – eliminating global poverty through microcredit. To help women accomplish their dreams and reach their potential. Click here. Deborah Lindholm, Founder. Multiple events. Donations requested.

Girl Fest San Diego – To prevent violence against women and girls through education and art. Click here. Nicole Ryans, Director. Annual festival. Looking for volunteers. Pay for events. As of Jan 2014, appears to be in hiatus.

GOG – Good Ol’ Gals – Together We’re Better. Click here. Gini Craig and Shonna Jordan, Founders. Monthly meetings in four locations. No membership dues. Pay for events.

GOTRSD – Girls on the Run San Diego. To inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls. Click here. Amy Jerome, Executive Director. Program Fees.

HBA – Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association – Southern California Chapter. Click here. Christy Fleurat, President. Various members-only and non-members events. National dues.

Hera Hub – Workspace for Women. Click here. Felena Hanson, Owner. Members-only and non-member events. Membership dues.

Lawyers Club of San Diego – Advancing the status of women in law and society. Click here. Johanna Schiavoni, President. Various members-only and non-members events. Membership dues.

League of Women Voters – A nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government and influencing public policy through education and advocacy. Click here. Donna Bartlett-May and Kay Ragan, Co-Presidents. Many non-member events. Annual membership dues.

Lean In San Diego – Committed to offering women ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals.On Facebook here. Reb Risty, Chapter Chair. Various “Circle” events.

MANA de San Diego – Empowering Latinas through education, leadership development, community service and advocacy. Click here. Catherine Arambula, President. Various members-only and non-member events. Annual membership dues.

MANA de North County San Diego Click here.

Multicultural Women’s Network – World-class vision and ultimate success! A network of professional women from all walks of life and multi-ethnic backgrounds. Click here. Sohaila Handelsman, Co-Founder. Meets the first Thursday of the month. Non-members welcome. Annual membership dues.

NAWMBA – National Association of Women MBAs (formerly MBA Women International) San Diego – dedicated to the advancement of business women as corporate leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs. Click here. Chapter getting organized. National dues.

NAWBO – National Association of Women Business Owners – To help women evolve their businesses by sharing resources and providing a single voice to shape economic and public policy. Click here. Tamara Badkerhanian-Ganev, President. Various members-only and non-member events. Annual national membership dues.

NAPW – National Association of Professional Women – an exclusive network for professional women. Click here. Rene Reyes, President. Monthly Meetings. Membership dues.

NLWBA-SD – National Latina Business Women Association – to encourage Latinas to develop their business and professional goals through education, networking and business referrals. Click here. Angelica Grace Velasquez, President. Periodic members-only events. Membership dues.

NCAAWA – North County African-American Women’s Association – To celebrate racial and ethnic pride and to explore the beauty and strength of our culture as women in our country. Click here. Edith Jones, contact. Monthly meetings on 4th Thursday. Annual membership dues.

NCWIN – North County Women in Networking – For professional women from the entrepreneurial, corporate, educational, and non-profit sectors. Click here. Ann Haug, President. Monthly luncheon. Membership dues.

NCWSA – North County Women’s Soccer Association – – offers women of all skill levels the opportunity to have fun and stay fit on the pitch. Click here. Charisa Calvert, Contact. Games on Saturday. Player dues.

Rancho Santa Fe Business and Professional Women’s Association – To encourage, support and motivate each other to achieve professionally, to develop our true potential as women, and to have fun in the process. Click here. Betty Potter Englishbee, Contact. Monthly luncheon on 3rd Thursday. Membership dues.

Run Women Run – inspires, recruits, trains, mentors and supports pro-choice women for elected and appointed offices in San Diego County. Click here. Periodic workshops and committee meetings. Membership dues.

San Diego Association of Insurance Professionals (FKA: San Diego Insurance Women) – Dedicated to the development of leaders in the insurance industry. Click here. Carol Russell, President. Monthly dinners. Open to non-members. Affiliated with IAIP which has annual dues.

SDCWA – San Diego Chinese Women’s Association – To promote Chinese cultural awareness and appreciation. Click here. Monthly Saturday meetings plus special events. Annual membership dues.

San Diego Surf Ladies – To create a supportive community for women surfers. Click here. Lisa Smith, President. Social and training surf sessions, competitions, and an annual film festival. Annual membership dues.

San Diego Surfers Women’s Rugby Club – Division II Women’s Rugby Team, open to women of all ages and levels of play. Click here. Vivian Hanson, President. Seasonal games and an annual tournament.

San Diego Woman’s Club – a social club for women for over 120 years. Click here. Pat Barton, President. Various members-only and non-member events. Annual membership dues.

SDWIF – San Diego Women in Finance – For women (and men) who are working in the finance field. Click here. Christine Chang, organizer. Monthly meetings on 3rd Wednesday. No membership dues.

San Diego Women’s Book Club – For women in San Diego to get together once a month to discuss good books. Click here. Toni, organizer. Monthly meetings. No membership dues. Pay per event.

San Diego Women’s Chorus – Non-audition, lesbian-identified chorus – Come for the music; stay for the heart. Click here. Chris Allen, artistic director. Various members-only events. Rehearsals Sunday afternoons. Membership dues.

San Diego Women’s Hiking Group – to build friendships among women with a foundation of fun, support, open minds and hearts. Click here. Frequent hikes. Annual membership dues (of $1!).

San Diego Women’s Drum Circle – Changing lives one beat at a time. To create an empowering community through the healing energy of the drum. Click here. Vicki Morgan, Founder. Meets monthly on 1st Saturday at Universal Spirit Center in Hillcrest, 7-9 pm. Donation requested.

San Diego Women’s Foundation – Women can do more than Woman. Making your giving count. Click here. Tracy Johnson, Executive Director. Many non-member and member events. Annual membership dues.

SDWN – San Diego Women’s Network – “Friends with a purpose” who meet monthly to network, learn from educational speakers and from each other,. Click here. Monthly meetings. Membership dues.

SCORE Women’s Networking Breakfast – to offer informative and timely program presentations along with excellent networking opportunities with more than 100 other women entrepreneurs. Click here. Quarterly breakfast on 3rd Friday. Pay per event.

Shakti Rising – a social change organization transforming the lives of women, girls, and the larger community. Click here. Shannon Thompson, director. Various events. Donations requested.

SWE-SD – Society of Women Engineers – For women from all engineering backgrounds. Click here. Many non-member and member events. Membership dues.
San Diego State Chapter Click here.
UCSD Chapter Click here.
USD Chapter Click here.

SIO – Soroptimist International of Oceanside-Carlsbad – For business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls. Click here. Karen Tjaden, President. Various Events. Membership dues.

SISanDiego – Soroptimist International of San Diego – a global women’s organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls, particularly through access to education. Making friends is a given. Click here. Paula Day, longtime member. Monthly breakfast and dinner events. Annual membership dues.

USD Women’s Center – a student-centered learning community that provides resources and engages women and men in educational dialogue around gender-related issues. Click here. Erin Lovette-Colyer, director. Many events during academic year.

UCSD Rady Women MBA Association – Unite Rady women in a safe environment to share, learn, give, and join our talents as developing professional business women. Click here. Mengxi (Maggie) Wang, CEO. Many events. No membership dues.

UCSD Women’s Center – To foster the educational, professional, and personal development of diverse groups of women. Click here. Marnie Bookolo, Director. Many events. No membership dues.

VOW – Voices of Women – to produce and support local and global educational programs that uplift and empower women and children. Click here. Jenni Prisk, Founder. Various events. Annual supporter dues.

Wine, Women, and Wealth – led by Five Rings Financial top female producers. For women who desire to take charge of their financial future, expand their knowledge, and build their confidence regarding money and wealth. Click here. Mara Hoover, representative. Various events. Free.

Women Evolution – Provide mentoring to address the drastic drop-off of women between middle management and C-level positions. Click here. Shavon Lindley, Founder. 6-Week Mentoring Program now available. One-time fee.

Women Give San Diego – a donor circle of the Women’s Foundation of California. Click here. Jan Tuttleman, Founder. Member-Only events. Membership dues.

Women in Bio – Southern California – Providing professional development programs, mentorship, networking and relationship building opportunities to women at all stages of their career. Click here. Gabriela Velasquez, Chapter Chair. Regular events open to members and non-members.

WIBSD – Women in Business San Diego – a special place between work and life. Click here. Hilary Henderson, President. Many events. Membership dues.

WINK – Women Inkorporated – A women-only networking company. Click here. Gina Alagata, Owner. Weekly events. Membership dues.

WITI – Women in Technology International – San Diego. Click here. Jennifer Beckey, Network Director. Many events. Membership dues.

Women in the Wind Sol Sisters San Diego Chapter – For women who desire to ride motorcycles in a safe and fun environment. Click here. Jenn D, President. Various meetings and rides. Membership dues.

Women of Bioscience – For women employed in the San Diego biomedical lifesciences community. Click here. Thomas Studebaker, contact. Quarterly happy hours at Cozymel’s. Free.

Women’s Business Enterprise Council-West – To cultivate relationships between certified [to be a government contractor] women business enterprises and corporate America through certification, education, and targeted networking. Click here. Damon Testa, Chairman. No dues. Quarterly meetings.

Women’s Museum of California – To educate and inspire present and future generations about the experiences and contributions by women. Click here. Ashley Gardner, Exec Dir. Many non-member and member events. Annual membership dues.

Women’s Resource Center – part of San Diego LBGT Community Center – To create a safe space where LBT women and their allies will have access to important resources and referrals regarding health care, social services, and community activities. Click here. Delores A. Jacobs, CEO of SD LGBT Community Center. Many non-member events, some are for fundraising.

Women’s Wisdom – Women empowering women in friendship and business. Click here. Mary Ann Foster, Founder. Monthly luncheons and other members-only and non-members events. Membership Dues.

YWCA – San Diego – We help women, children, and families break the cycle of domestic violence and homelessness and achieve self-sufficient, healthy lives. Click here. Heather Finlay, CEO. Donations requested.

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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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