Female Sports Exec Tackles the Glass Ceiling in Debut Novel THE CLOSER
A quick Google search for women in sports will get you a list of the "10 Hottest Female Sportscasters," or speculation about the future tennis prowess of Serena Williams' baby. Needless to say, the sports world is one of too many arenas that is categorically a male-dominated field.
As one of the few female senior executives at Nike and the Chief Executive Officer at Lucy Activewear, Shaz Kahng has firsthand experience as a woman succeeding in a male dominated sports world. In her debut novel, The Closer [OLOM Press, August, 2017], that experience is evident as she expertly weaves an inspiring story about a woman succeeding in business, in a way that is both enviable and enjoyable.
Vivien Lee finally has the chance to go after her dream of running a business. A lifelong athlete, Vivien arrives at the Smart Sports campus in Portland, Oregon and is introduced as the first female president. It's one of the highest-profile jobs in an industry inhospitable to women. Principled but slightly naïve, Vivien believes her male peers will give her a fair shot. Early in her tenure, she makes a series of utterly relatable rookie mistakes, which leave her confidence shaken and her professional reputation at risk. Thanks to guidance from the Ceiling Smashers, a secret society of successful professional women, Vivien learns to navigate the treacherous business terrain and her male colleagues. But has the help come too late? Will Vivien triumph in the sports industry against impossible odds?
The Closer is an eminently readable debut novel of its own merits: it's smart, funny, and has a protagonist that you can't help but love. But perhaps more important than that, the book highlights a woman succeeding in business and being supported by other women amidst a sea of pop culture female bosses who are more like The Devil Wears Prada than anything we'd aspire to be.
"I have been a Chief Executive and have never read fiction where a woman leader was portrayed in an inspirational light," says Kahng. "I began writing this book partly because my experiences informed the book, and partly because it's a story that needs to be told."
Even for those of us who will likely never be the CEO of a multinational company, The Closer is an important and inspiring novel. Not only is it one of the few fiction books where there is a smart, successful, positive female leader who solves problems in ingenious ways, inspires her followers, and maintains her integrity throughout the story but provides all readers with a positive role model.
Shaz Kahng has led teams in a few male-dominated industries. She is a retail/apparel chief executive who has previously worked as a research scientist, a global consulting partner, a builder of e-businesses, and a brand strategist. Kahng was one of a handful of female senior executives at Nike. She also ran Lucy Activewear and made the company profitable for the first time in history. She graduated from Cornell University and has an MBA from the Wharton School. Shaz lives in San Francisco with her husband and twin daughters.
For more information visit www.ceilingsmashers.com or connect on facebook.com/ceilingsmashers, Twitter @ceilingsmashers, and Instagram @ceilingsmashers. The Closer is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.