Jessica Bacal

Jessica Bacal- Mistakes I Made at Work

Jessica Bacal- Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong

This on demand audio series is a part of the Executive Girlfriends Group Vignette Series. Chicke Fitzgerald interviews Jessica Bacal. The original live interview was 11/13/15.

Today’s women are being told to “lean in,” to assert themselves, to ask for more, and to analyze their work/life balance. But despite all of this dialogue, there’s something that is not being addressed: advice on how to recover when you’ve stumbled.

Everyone makes mistakes, but for many women, acknowledging them can feel tantamount to career suicide. In Mistakes I Made at Work, I interview twenty-five high-achieving and influential women across a variety of fields—from writers to doctors to engineers.  They share their worst on-the-job moments, and how they used them as learning experiences to build successful and fascinating careers.

Jessica directs the Wurtele Center for Work & Life at Smith College, an independent women’s college in Massachusetts with students from every state and from 60 countries around the world.

It took courage for these women to tell their stories, but we’ve all been there in one way or another, and while readers might at first cringe in recognition, I also hope they’ll come to appreciate the strength of the contributors and the lessons they share.

Women interviewed in the book are:

-Joanna Barsh, director emeritus at McKinsey & Company, author of How Remarkable Women Lead and Centered Leadership
-Dr. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
-Kim Gordon, co-founder of the bands Sonic Youth and Body/Head
-Lani Guinier, Professor of Law, Harvard University
-Carla Harris, Wall Street executive and author of Expect to Win: Proven Strategies for Success from a Wall Street Vet
-Anna Holmes, founding editor of and editor of The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things
-Ileana Jiménez, high-school teacher and activist
-Corinna Lathan, CEO of AnthroTronix
-Lisa Lutz, New York Times bestelling author of the Spellman chronicles.
-Dr. Shirley Malcolm, Head of Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
-Courtney Martin, author, speaker, blogger
-Luma Mufleh, CEO of the Fugees Family
-Danielle Ofri, doctor and journalist, author of What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine among other books
-Ruth Ozeki, filmmaker and novelist, author of My Year of Meats and A Tale for the Time Being
-Sharon Pomerantz, author of Rich Boy
-Ruth Reichl, food writer, memoirist, novelist, producer, and former editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine
-Selena Rezvani, CEO of “Women’s Roadmap,” author of Pushback: How Smart Women Ask – and Stand Up – for What They Want
-Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code
-Rinku Sen, CEO of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation
-Rachel Simmons, bestselling author of Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl
-Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of Wild
-J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of Commencement, Maine, and The Engagements
– Laurel Touby, entrepreneur, founder of Mediabistro
-Alina Tugend, journalist, author of Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong
– Judith Warner, author of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety and We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication; senior fellow at the Center for American Progress

The Wurtele Center’s programs teach leadership skills, life skills, stress reduction and reflection, asking students to think about questions like: What is your story? Where have you been and where are you going? What matters to you? What skills will help you to pursue what matters? What do you do if you don’t know the answers? Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong (Plume) emerged from Jessica’s experiences with students, and from her own steep learning curve as she transitioned into higher education

Her website is

To order the book click HERE

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Jessica Bacal

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