Can Poker Help Close The Gender Pay Gap?

In a world where only 8% of Fortune 500 companies are led by female CEOs, the need for innovative approaches to empowering women in professional environments is more pressing than ever. To achieve this goal, self-made billionaire Jenny Just is using an unexpected tool for professional development; she’s teaching women to play poker in order to instill confidence, develop critical-thinking skills, foster real-life risk-management experience, enhance strategic decision-making skills, and encourage networking.

Why Poker?

Jenny believes that the main principles of poker (strategy, risk and reward) translate perfectly into skills that boost performace in the professional world. The game demands players to make critical decisions based on limited and constantly changing information.

This process involves analyzing the strength of their hand, observing opponents’ behaviors, calculating odds, and making calculated bets. All these elements mirror situations women encounter in the workplace, making poker an impactful platform for teaching essential career skills.

Building Confidence

One of the most significant benefits of playing poker is the confidence it inspires in players. Much like in professional settings, poker requires players to voice their strategies boldly and take assertive actions. Even making a successful bluff requires confidence.

These skills translate seamlessly into professional scenarios, whether it involves speaking up in meetings, negotiating a higher salary, or asking for a promotion. The ability to maintain a strong ‘poker face’, even when dealt a weak hand, is a skill that can help women navigate challenges in the workplace and beyond.

“By the fourth lesson, the girls were sitting up straight. Nobody was going to look at their cards, and definitely nobody was getting ahold of their chips. The confidence in the room was palpable.” – Jenny says.

Enhancing Critical-Thinking Skills Through Poker

Poker is a game that demands a high degree of critical thinking Players must continually analyze information, make observations about their opponents, weigh risks, and make their moves—all within a short span of time. This intense, fast-paced decision-making process can help women become comfortable with quick, on-the-spot decision making—a skill that is invaluable in the corporate world.

Learning About Risk Management the Poker Way

Risk management is a core element of poker, since players are constantly calculating the potential risk and reward of their actions. They have to quickly consider factors like the number of players in the hand, their position at the table, the potential size of the pot, and their readiness to take on risk.

This skill can be directly applied to business scenarios, where similar factors come into play when deciding how much to invest in various business initiatives.

Strategic Decision-Making

Poker is a game of strategy. It requires patience, timing, logic, and discipline. These skills are equally valuable in the business world. Patience can be crucial when waiting for the right opportunity, timing can determine the success of a decision, logic can guide rational decision-making, and discipline can help maintain focus on long-term goals. Regularly playing poker can enhance these skills, equipping women with the strategic decision-making capability needed for higher management positions.

Networking & Poker: A Perfect Pair

Finally, playing poker is a great networking opportunity, providing opportunities for women to connect with their peers, share experiences, and build relationships. Networking is a crucial skill in the corporate world, and poker provides a fun and interactive platform to foster this skill.

When you first begin networking, it’s tough to be thrown into the deep end, especially if you work in a male-dominated field. By starting slowly and honing your social skills in a less professional setting, you can become really effective at networking in the real world.

About Poker Power

Power Poker was started in 2019 and professionals around the world quickly recognized its value. Today, the company works with 240 companies including Fortune 500 companies like Comcast and Morgan Stanley. 

Lessons are virtual, and played with fake money. So, students don’t have to worry about losing any actual cash. Four lessons cost $50 for individuals but companies can book entire workshops for their staff.

As Poker Power continues to grow, its potential to reshape the professional landscape is becoming more and more evident. Women are beginning to see poker as a powerful tool for developing critical career skills and gaining an edge in the corporate world. As more women take a seat at the poker table, I’m sure we’ll see them also taking their rightful seats at the boardroom table.

Through strategic risk-taking, confidence-building, critical thinking, and networking, poker has the potential to provide women with the skills they need to succeed professionally. By leverage the power of poker, companies like Poker Power are doing their part to help close the gender gap in the corporate world.

Read the original article on Beat the Fish.

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