Interview with Janet Hanson, 85 Broads

When I started reading Janet Hanson’s book, More Than 85 Broads – Women Making Career Choices, Taking Risks, and Defining

Janet Hanson

Janet Hanson

Success ON THEIR OWN TERMS, I couldn’t put it down. By reading personal stories of 95 women coming from all walks of life and nationalities, I was inspired. I was also amazed by Janet’s personal story of work, family, relationships, marriage, children, battling cancer, and her decision to leave a successful 14-year career at Goldman Sachs, and later to open her own businesses – Milestone Capital Management, a money management company and 85 Broads. Janet Hanson’s work and book are a tremendous contribution, providing motivation to women around the world.

Janet’s passion for her work, family, and team was noticeable in the first few minutes of our interview. Janet decided to start 85 Broads so that other women would have the professional connection she missed after leaving Goldman Sachs to have children. Feeling disconnected, isolated and not supported by former colleagues at Goldman Sachs, (because they didn’t have the time (before emails!), or they didn’t understand what she was going through), Janet decided to create a network for women. Janet first founded Milestone Capital Management (MCM), the only woman-owned firm of its kind, in 1994. 85 Broads was seven years in the planning, and it took two years to really get it off the ground. MCM provided the much-needed technical support to build the software and the network’s online presence in 1999. 85 Broads currently has 14,000 members worldwide and it continues to grow. Originally created for current and former female professionals at Goldman Sachs, 85 Broads has grown to include college students. Members of 85 Broads mentor young women through two programs, for business graduate students there is Broad2Broad and Broad2Be for undergraduates.

In 2004, Janet accepted an invitation to join Lehman Brothers as a Managing Director and Senior Adviser to its President, while still running MCM and 85 Broads, promoting her book, networking, and taking care of her family. Janet believes that she has been able to manage it all after deciding to move out of the suburbs of New York City into the country. Although the commute is long and sometimes stressful, Janet says that once she is home, she gets to breathe and really enjoy some quality time with her family.

Janet’s secret to success is simple: be passionate about change.
“Nobody starts a business because everybody else is doing the same thing, but because there is something about your dream and your idea that can make a difference.” Janet says. “Ask yourself where you want to be in 10 or 20 years, and it’s probably not to be rich but to create and really build something unique.”

Janet also recommends having a smart team working with you. During our interview Janet credited her staff several times for the success of 85 Broads, and said she invests in her employees’ talent and future goals.

In the next few years, Janet plans to produce an edgy movie based on the book and expand the 85 Broads network to countries where networking opportunities are not available. Her vision is that this generation of women will be different; they will have role models, know how to reach them, and young women of today will want to become role models as well.
The most important reward Janet considers she has from being an entrepreneur is freedom. Entrepreneurship is hard work, and takes a lot of dedication and determination, but Janet says she would not trade it for anything.

More Than 85 Broads – Women Making Career Choices, Taking Risks, and Defining Success ON THEIR OWN TERMS reflects the diversity of the 85 Broads network. Janet really wants to encourage college students to create the habit of networking and establishing relationships that will be crucial in their careers. She also would like to end the stereotype that successful women can only come from rich families, attend affluent schools and live in certain neighborhoods.

In the book you will find stories of women from all over the world, such as from Asia, South America, the United States and Europe. These women’s experiences are incredible life lessons that need to be shared with other women. If you need one reason to read this book, it is to be inspired and encouraged by these women’s personal stories and their triumph over adversity. Many of the women profiled are successful business owners, work for non-profit organizations or have established their own non-profits, built schools, contributed to foundations, and have professional careers that make a difference in the world.

Every story is an amazing example of humbleness, courage, warmth, and inspiration. So before you even start reading this book, be thankful for who you are, what you have, and believe that whatever it is that you are facing; personally, professionally, and spiritually, others have experienced similar challenges and have survived. Janet invites you to look beyond stereotypes, ethnicity, race, backgrounds, and preconceived notions of success to really appreciate every human being and welcome this era’s global diversity.

Janet is a true winner. As a trailblazer, cancer survivor, adventurer, entrepreneur, a parent, giver, visionary, and much more, Janet shares stories of members of her network representing many of these qualities. You will be amazed by the kind of adversity these women have been through, and by their strength to come out of every situation stronger and ready to help change the world for the better.
If you are curious about a career on Wall Street, you can learn a lot from this book as well. More than 85 Broads is for every woman who has faced, is facing, or will face challenges in her life. You will find at least one story or event that you can relate to – and who knows, you might even find someone you know there, I did!

For more information about Janet Hanson, Milestone Capital Management, 85 Broads and the recently published book More than 85 Broads – Women Making Career Choices, Taking Risks, and Defining Success ON THEIR OWN TERMS, please visit the website

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