Episode 10 – Women in Business and Sales with Jill Konrath


Jill shares part of her journey as a woman leader in the sales space, why bald white guys don’t get it, ideas about women in sales and business, and the difficult choices women make when it comes to their careers.

Jill Konrath

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  • Marty Wolff

    Anthony, I enjoy learning from you! Jill’s comments were refreshingly candid and insightful.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      : )

  • Babette N Ten Haken

    Just an amazing two interviews with Jill, Anthony. Something to listen to, and then re-listen from time to time. Thanks for creating this set of interviews. How timely and relevant.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Babette! So glad you enjoyed them.

  • http://twitter.com/tamaraschenk Tamara Schenk

    Authentic, insightful – just a brilliant interview with Jill and Anthony! Thank you, it’s 150% relevant, timely and in context!

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Tamara!

  • http://twitter.com/DJToronto_ David Jervis

    This is interesting but is it fair to hire young woman when the odds of them getting pregnant and causing a temporary or long term disruption at work are so high? Not to mention some of these jobs are high stress which would attribute to a poor pregnancy in women (stress has been proven to be unhealthy for both mother and unborn child)

    • http://twitter.com/jillkonrath Jill Konrath

      I feel like I’m back in the 50s with your comment, David. But let me respond with some thoughts. Back when I worked at Xerox, 50% of the reps they hired were women — primarily young college grads.

      These top-notch ladies were excellent, often out-performing their male colleagues. Yes, they got pregnant sometimes. And, they missed a few months of work. But they prepped for it beforehand and came back strong.

      Was it disrupting for the company? Yes, temporarily. But they didn’t want to lose these talented performers just because they had a baby — something that is as natural as life itself. And that is how all forward-thinking employers view this.

      Let me tell you what’s really stressful as a woman … being underemployed … not being given a chance because you’re female … not making enough money to support your family/children in the lifestyle that you want.

      Stress in sales — it’s a piece of cake compared to those issues.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Hey David,

      Of course it’s fair to hire a young woman even though she might have a child. You hope you treat her so well she comes back, too. (By the way, a lot of men are taking time off to stay home with their new born children. Turns out, sometimes Momma’s career comes first).

      As to stress, you’ve got to be kidding me. In my experience, women handle stress better than we men do.

      I watched my single mother, with a high school education, no driver’s license, and four kids start working at 6:00 AM each day and finish at 10:00 PM. I don’t have any idea how she handled all that she handled (including the Hell I raised), but I know one thing: I never saw her flinch.

      I also remember when she and her business partner started their entrepreneurial adventure. The banks refused to loan them money, telling them if they could one of their husbands (husbands they didn’t have) to cosign, they might be able to get a loan.

      You may be confused as to which of us the weaker sex.


    • http://twitter.com/CharlesHGreen Charles H. Green

      Imagine an all-male sales force. Or an all-white, or an all over-50 sales force, or all under 30. Any sales force that systematically rules out an important dimension of diversity is robbing itself of a great learning opportunity.

      This is especially true for women, in my experience. Women bring an enormous amount to bear on the sales function that often leaves men dumbfounded. If they’re listening, that is.

      But you can’t listen if they’re not around to be heard.

      I’m with Jill on this; the comment feels a little like a throwback to the 50s.

    • Carolyn Coradeschi

      Gosh. I was one of those women, David. 13 yrs ago I had my first son. I was the #3 sales rep in a large medical sales company. And I barely took any time off beacause when you aren’t in the field the competitor gets the biz. But what I did do, was talk to my amazing co and proposed we hire ssles support for our top reps. We put a pilot program together which still exists today. Because my co valued me and others who had children, we produced big numbers. I stayed with them for 10 years and was always a top 1% producer.

  • Janice Mars

    Jill you rock! And, thank you bald white guy for setting up this interview. From one successful sales gal to another, do people forget that some of our clients are women or that men have mothers, wives, sisters and daughters? Loved listening to this interview. The times they are a changing.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Janice!