Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success
"Employers should be listening to what talented women want and use this book to hold up their end of the bargain, so that the best and brightest can have both a job and a life." (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and author of Confidence )^"Every woman who's ever been knocked off course in the quest to have the elusive 'all' should run out and buy this book today!" (Dee Dee Myers, former White House press secretary and author of Why Women Should Rule the World )^"Shipman and Kay have issued a rallying cry for women that is also a wake-up call for men. Our wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers are reshaping business as we know it. And that can make us all better off." (Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind )^"Without wasted words, Shipman and Kay provide practical suggestions for how you can take charge of your career with courage and confidence." (Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office )^"Womenomics makes a compelling statement about the financial impact women can have in the workplace and offers valuable ideas for capitalizing on this trend, even in this economic climate." (Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook )^"Buy a copy of Womenomics for yourself, your best friend, your daughter, your star employee, and even your boss." (Cathie Black, president, Hearst Magazines and author of Basic Black )^"A personal, provocative and challenging book for career women who want less guilt, more life." (Diane Sawyer )^"Womenomics describes the workplace trend that finally makes it possible for women to be successful and sane at the same time. And happily, it's a recession-friendly formula. (Tina Brown, founder, The Daily Beast )
From Publishers Weekly
This collaboration between broadcasting powerhouses Shipman and Kay gives career women explicit permission to demand the balance that's been missing in their lives. The authors assert that after decades of trying to outdo men or fighting the Mommy Wars in the office trenches of the 1980s and 1990s, women have gained enough corporate clout to start changing the workplace to suit their needs. Shipman and Kay review the depth of women's influence as consumers and earners, maintaining that their power gives them the right and the ability to ask for flexibility in their work lives, to negotiate assertively and effectively, to say no and to give up the guilt associated with getting their needs met. Through Shipman and Kay's own stories of struggling with demanding work and home lives and anecdotes from other working mothers, the authors make a convincing argument that with some mental and emotional effort, women can create their ideal work and home lives. Filled with pragmatic and optimistic steps, this book will inspire readers to set in motion a flexibility-driven business revolution that can benefit all women and men, families and workforces. (June)
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The authors do an excellent job of painting a coming revolution in the idea of the "workplace," seeing a future revisioning of work that is "results only"--that is, you are paid for the results you produce, and not where or when or how you produce those results. I think this workplace revolution may indeed be in the offing, and ties in with larger goals of reducing gas consumption in commuting, problems with traffic congestion, office energy use overhead, etc. This vision was useful to see in print. What if work was something you could combine with family life, in a way that family did not suffer? That is a vision worth having.
Also, the authors do provide some very specific advice, which sets it above other books that only paint the picture and do not tell you how to do the same yourself.
Probably the biggest weakness, though, is that not all (and maybe not even most) jobs are the professional level ones the authors have where the person herself is valuable and results do not have to be achieved in a certain location/time. Many women are utterly replaceable, and some jobs (like Wal-Mart cashier) have to be done at a certain place and time. I am not sure this book would be very helpful to women working in such positions, and I'd like to see the authors tackle those issues. I'd recommend Joan Williams' Unbending Gender as a complementary book that readers interested in this topic should also peruse.
I wish I had this book some months ago when I had a personal crisis at work. My need for flex time has nothing to do with needing time for anything except myself. I'm an introvert who needs a lot of "alone time". Upcoming expected long hours at work in the company of lots of people had turned me into a nervous wreck, and I finally broke down and told my boss that I thought I would suffer mentally and physically by having to deal with it. He and his bosses reassured me that I was too valuable to lose and they hadn't realized how much I it meant to me, and immediately re-arranged things to give me the time off that I needed. This was in the current economy in a male dominated electric power company.
Also, to the person who felt like you getting a more flexible schedule means that someone else gets screwed by having to take up your slack - we're all different, and I know for a fact that, while no amount of money would make the extra hours worth it to me, there were other people in my department who would jump at the chance. By bowing out of the project, I gave those people the opportunity to do something that they wanted to do. The fact that you don't want something doesn't mean that other people feel the same way.