Lessons from Machiavelli

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Statue of Niccolò Machiavelli, the work of Lorenzo Bartolini, located in Florence on the external facade of the Uffizi. Photo by Frieda tell Ubi/Wikicommons.

In her new book, “Machiavelli for Women: Defend Your Worth, Grow Your Ambition and Win the Workplace,” NPR host and reporter Stacey Vanek Smith suggests a more realistic and pragmatic approach to the complexities that still exist in the workplace for women. Vanek Smith takes inspiration from the 16th century Italian politician Niccolò Machiavelli, whose book “The Prince” is renowned for encouraging a certain amount of cunning and scheming. 

Vanek Smith, who hosts NPR’s business podcast The Indicator from Planet Money, offers women a guide to navigate workplace bias and discrimination, and provides some concrete tips on how to get ahead both professionally and financially. She also discusses her book and the lack of parity for women when it comes to pay and promotion. Why are women still viewed as pushy or undesirable if they ask for fair pay? How could the writings of Machiavelli help?  

Stacey Vanek Smith. Photo by Silvie Rosokoff. Book cover of Machiavelli for Women: Defend Your Worth, Grow Your Ambition and Win the Workplace.”




Andrea Brody