CHICAGO - Poker is the new power move for women looking to succeed in the workplace and life.
More women are joining poker clubs with the belief that skills they learn at a poker table translate directly to other tables where key decisions are made, from the classroom all the way to the boardroom.
Erin Lydon is the general manager of the company Poker Powher, which aims to teach one-million women to play poker and learn to take risks, read people's tells, and make quick decisions.
"We do want you to be a good poker player, but then take all those skills and strategies right into your workplace, whether you're negotiating for a salary, you're wanting a promotion, you're thinking about a new position," Lydon said.
There are now Poker Powher clubs globally, including in the Chicago area where the Morningstar Corporation is in on the game with players like financial analyst Erin Stafford.
"As a financial analyst and in the financial risk space, you know, we're trying to maximize value and minimize risk. That's something that you're doing in poker all the time because you want to have more chips, but you don't want to get kicked out," Stafford said.
With these clubs, there is no real risk since no actual money is being gambled. And in a world where women make up 49 percent of the workforce, but only 7 percent of CEO’s, Poker Powher believes the first step is gaining courage to take a seat at the table.
"I always say that if you don't sit, you don't get to play. And if you don't play, you don't get to win. And we want women to win," Lydon said.
The leaders of Poker Powher want to target women early in their careers or in college to teach them these skills. But they also hope to get older women involved as mentors and men too, because the ultimate goal is to have women and men at the table equally.