the promotable woman

A few years ago I stopped by a friend’s house after work with a plate of leftover cookies. I’d baked for a coworker’s birthday and wanted to share the leftovers.

This did not go as planned.

Instead, my friend promptly scolded me for bringing baked goods to the office. She made me feel like a distorted combination of June Cleaver and Melanie Griffith’s character in Working Girl. She rambled on about a book called  The Promotable Woman as the reason why I should never again share food in the workplace.


The Promotable Woman (“PW,” as I shall call her), has a giant cell phone, sateen pumps and a brown leather portfolio. She has solid leadership skills and knows how to overcome obstacles and stereotypes. PW knows damn well that no man or glass ceiling will get in her way, uh-uh.

The website behind this movement carefully illustrates women of all ethnicities succeeding in their careers. All women can be promotable! We can rule the world!

All of these women clearly know not to bake for their coworkers. I’m such a fool.


And no, we haven’t come a long way, baby, if we’re still referencing 1980s Virginia Slims taglines.


I haven’t read the book and don’t see it joining my list anytime soon. I can’t verify if, in fact, there is a chapter that warns you not to bring cookies to work, but after exploring the website I did decide a few things:

1. I’m grateful to the hard-working women who paved the way for me to be treated with equality at work.
2. I will never revert to a 1980s hair style – even if it makes a comeback – because I think it would destroy my career.
3. Cookies are not the enemy. Being passive and afraid to speak up for yourself is a more detrimental move.
4. There are a lot of things you can do to better yourself and your career path…but I think the most important are: always strive to do your best and treat others the ways the way you’d want to be treated.
5. Dressing inappropriately at work is the fastest way to get recognized for the wrong reasons.

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One thought on “the promotable woman

  1. Well said. I bought baking supplies last night at the store specifically to bake something to bring to work… I’ll stop baking altogether so I can become a “Powerful Woman,” climb the ladder with my Virginia Slims and shoulder pads in tow. Funny how times have changed… we can be powerful, bake a tasty cake, and rule the world.

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