Influence: How Women's Soaring Economic Power
Will Transform Our World for the Better

by Maddy Dychtwald, Christine Larson

Voice (Hyperion), 2010. ISBN 978-1-401-34102-2.
Reviewed by Trilla Pando
Posted on 06/18/2010

Nonfiction: History/Current Events; Nonfiction: Cultural/Gender Focus; Nonfiction: American Women in Their Cultural/Historical Context

2010 is quite a year. Quite a year for women. Coast-to-coast, South Carolina to California, in the November mid-term elections, women will go up against men in newsworthy numbers, and women will face each other not only in minor races but major contests. Two women sit on the Supreme Court, another, at the time of this writing, awaits confirmation. Women business leaders abound, as do philanthropists.

It is a good year for Influence to be published and the perfect year to read it. Maddy Dychtwald and her co-author Christine Larson are not surprised by the emergence of women—not only into the market place and political area but also into all aspects of life, and not only in the United States but across the world. The book is about women rising (and women risen), but is also the story of women waiting. Women, the authors assure us, are but beginning their ascent. This will be good for women; this will be good for all people. And this is not a book for women alone to read. Rather, all who are interest in the future, particularly in a better future, will be riveted not only by the facts that this book is loaded with, but also with stories that the authors use to illustrate their hard facts, including stories about themselves.

Dychtwald, a demographer and a trend expert, skillfully knits together her statistical data and personal stories to chart the growing role of women across the world. Early on, she posits a model of the three stages of economic power beginning with survival, rising through independence, until ultimately reaching influence. It is the influencial women who, deservedly so, receive much of the focus of the narratives.

The final section of the book suggests specific actions that women (and men) can take, not only to help themselves but to help other move through the pyramid. The final suggestion is to spread the word. Good advice. Reading this book provides an excellent beginning.

Demographer and trend expert Maddy Dychtwald is also an author, public speaker, and marketing executive. With her husband she is the co-founder of the firm, Age Wave. A graduate of New York University and the author of two previous books, she lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more about her on her website.

A free-lance writer specializing in personal finance and business, Christine Larson lives in California with her husband and twin sons. Visit her website.

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