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This former Wall Streeter is partnering with FinServs like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America to use poker to help women improve their job performance.  

A tech firm aims to help women at financial services firms learn to play poker, because it helps them build the skills they need to succeed at the office.

Playing poker can make you more effective at work: That’s the thesis of a platform called Poker Power that provides instructions and strategy to women, who don’t learn the game growing up as frequently as men do.  

President Erin Lydon worked on Wall Street for years and realized the hard way that she didn’t have the same ingrained negotiating instincts as many of her male peers when she missed out on earning a higher bonus. 

Poker Power aims to change that status quo by educating women on the game while coaxing them to see how their newfound skills translate to the real-world. Playing poker can help people learn how to better negotiate, read their peers, spot patterns, know their value, take calculated risks, and gain confidence.  

“Through the repetitive gameplay of poker, you can learn to translate those skills and strategies to the workplace,” she told Insights Distilled.  

Poker Power has over 200 corporate and high-education partners in total, including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and other FinServs, Lydon said. The firm teaches sessions either in-person or through Zoom paired with its proprietary platform, and as one-off lessons or longer classes. 

“Part of our primary clientele is in the financial world,” Lydon said, including banks, private equity firms, and VCs. It’s critical that women in the industry “are gaining as much skill and strategy from the game of poker as possible that they can then bring back to their own businesses.”