DiscoverYoung and Profiting with Hala Taha#164: Machiavelli in the Workplace with Stacey Vanek Smith
#164: Machiavelli in the Workplace with Stacey Vanek Smith

#164: Machiavelli in the Workplace with Stacey Vanek Smith

Update: 2022-04-041


A couple of years ago, Stacey Smith found out that a male colleague in a similar role was making $20k more than she was. In the fashion of any true reporter, Stacey started researching the gender gap in the workplace, exploring everything from why women make less money to why there are fewer women in leadership roles. In this episode, Hala and Stacey talk about sexism in the workplace, the gender pay gap, Stacey’s book Machiavelli for Women, unconscious bias in the workplace, Machiavelli’s princes, mentorship, the Cinderella syndrome, negotiation advice, and more.  

Topics Include:

- Sexism in the workplace and the gender pay gap today

- Why isn’t this changing?

- Conflicting views of women leaders 

- Hot boxing in the corporate world and what happens to women in this world 

- Unconscious biases and their reverberations  

- History of Machiavelli and his princes 

- Takeaways from Machiavelli

- Cringy advice in Machiavelli for Women 

- Growing career after having a child

- Advice for men and mentorship in the workplace 

- Key observations that Machiavelli made about human nature that are true today

- Definition of power and Machiavelli's power principle 

- Cinderella syndrome 

- Advice on negotiation and asking for women 

- Fake it till you make it 

- Birds of a confident feather 

- The easy ask

- Advice for women and men 

- And other topics…

Stacey Vanek Smith is the co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money. She's also a correspondent for Planet Money, where she covers business and economics. 

Before coming to NPR, Stacey worked for Marketplace, where she was a correspondent and fill-in host. At Marketplace, Smith was part of a collaboration with The New York Times, where she explored the relationship between money and marriage. She was also part of Marketplace's live shows, where she produced a series of pieces on getting her data mined. Her work has appeared on All things Considered, Consider This, Morning Edition, Up First, Weekend All Things Considered, It’s Been A Minute, with Sam Sanders, How I Built This, and Rough Translation, as well as in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Awl and People Magazine.

Stacey earned her bachelor's degree in comparative literature and creative writing from Princeton University. She also holds a master's in broadcast journalism from Columbia University.

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Resources Mentioned:

Stacey on NPR: 

Machiavelli For Women by Stacey Smith: 

Harvard University’s Implicit Association Test (IAT): 

Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock: 

Stacey’s Website: 

Stacey’s Podcast:


Stacey’s Twitter: 

Stacey’s LinkedIn: 

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Hala’s Linkedin:    

Hala’s Instagram:    



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#164: Machiavelli in the Workplace with Stacey Vanek Smith

#164: Machiavelli in the Workplace with Stacey Vanek Smith

Hala Taha