Poker has enjoyed increasing popularity over the last few decades, attracting the attention of millions of people all over the world. Its main appeal lies on its competitive nature, and the intellectual skills that one can learn from the game. Let’s also not forget that poker has an entertainment and social side, making it a fun and exciting game to play, not to mention the massive prizes at stake once you’re able to progress to the higher levels of competition.
But more than that, poker has various practical applications than can help you become successful even outside the felts. For instance, if you want to make it big in the business world, the game of poker offers a great platform for you to learn the necessary skills to achieve that goal. This is the main focus of a new program launched by a world-renowned business school in the United States.
Empowering Women in Business Through Poker
In April, Kellogg School of Management, the business school of Northwestern University located in Chicago, Illinois, ran a pilot program which taught the game of poker to women MBAs. The first-of-its-kind extracurricular program was launched in partnership with Poker Powher, a women-led organization with an ultimate mission of teaching 1 million women how to play poker.
The new program was designed to empower future female business leaders by helping them identify the skills needed to succeed in the corporate world, some of which can be learned through poker.
The pilot program ran for six weeks and included lectures conducted by reputable Kellogg faculty such as Gail Berger, clinical associate professor and deputy director of the Kellogg Center for Executive Women, and Victoria Medvec, negotiation and decision expert.
Poker pro and two-time European Poker Tour ladies event winner Melanie Weisner also imparted her knowledge to the students, so did New York times best-selling author and former PokerStars ambassador Maria Konnikova.
The students were also given the opportunity to actually play the game and apply their new skills. The games took place under the supervision of Poker Powher’s guest pros, and no money was involved all throughout.
Poker Skills Can Be Applied in Business
A lot of women are still struggling to find their place in the world. Gender inequality exists in every corner of society, and while there have been efforts to bridge the gap, there’s still a long way to go before the problem is totally addressed.
In the business sphere, various obstacles continue to deter women from proving their worth and achieving their goals. Many are forced to decelerate their careers, with some deciding to leave the workforce altogether. The top roles across multiple industries are dominated by men, with women significantly underrepresented.
Kellogg wants to help change the current landscape by removing gender stereotypes and teaching women the right skills to become effective business leaders in the future, and they believe exposing women to the game of poker is an important first step towards achieving that goal.
By playing poker, women learn important negotiation and decision-making skills which they can later utilize in making appropriate responses to real business situations. Key traits learned in poker such as aggression and courage, and doing things in a calculated manner are also transferrable to the corporate world. The ability to read an opponent is also a key skill that can be applied when making business judgments.
Berger said these skills teach women how to make decisions without biases and take charge of their own behavior. Through poker, women are able to build confidence which will pave the way for them to advance in their lives and in their respective business careers.
Erin Lydon, Managing Director of Poker Powher said poker and business are related to each other, and by bringing more women into the game, they’re also creating more female business leaders.
The pilot run has had some positive results, with the participants sharing wonderful feedback and experiences about the program. And because of this, Kellogg will once again offer the course in January 2022, and it will become part of the school’s Executive MBA program.

TightPoker Staff

TightPoker Staff

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