Why More Women Entrepreneurs Should Play Chess

SusanPolgar

Why More Women Entrepreneurs Should Play Chess https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/business/article/Why-More-Women-Entrepreneurs-Should-Play-Chess-15166281.php

Why More Women Entrepreneurs Should Play Chess
Why More Women Entrepreneurs Should Play Chess

I've been playing chess casually for about 10 years. I learned to play alongside my kids, now ages 16, 14 and 11, when they were young. Before I knew it, they were outplaying me. So while I was proud of them as a mom, as a fierce competitor I decided I needed to improve my game. And recently, I realized that the skills I developed playing chess were skills I could apply to my business. I run a manufacturing company. Over the past five years, I have invented a product, built a brand and become a supplier to several national retailers. These obligations require planning and analytical skills, and although I am naturally a planner (I still use a Day Runner, gasp!), I knew that my long-term planning skills needed significant development. So I joined a local chess club. Our club is run by Scott Hunt, a USCF National Tournament Director. The atmosphere at the club is pretty textbook: smart guys with limited social skills. I am the only woman, though surprisingly, a significant number of children also attend. Every week we have tournaments, and I am assigned to play two games. I have not yet played against another woman. Being the only female at the chess club feels similar to being a woman in an industry dominated by men.  I have to constantly fight to assert my position. More times than I can count, I've been presumed to be the hired salesgirl, not the president of my own company. It's a humbling experience, and at the club, it's a similar story. Most of the men assume I am "just a mom" and not a club member. They ask, with eyebrows raised, "You play?" Related:  How Chess Prepared Me to Be a...

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