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Reach for the Top: Women and the Changing Facts of Work Life (Harvard Business Review Book) Hardcover – February 1, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rich in fact, theory and opinion, this collection of Harvard Business Review articles assembled by Nichols, an editor of the journal, is singularly enlightening on the state of women in the workplace. Complaints about discrimination, sexual harassment, not being taken seriously, etc. take a back seat here to accounts of highly motivated women who tell their own inspiring stories. One overcame poverty to become a bank president; another, after her father's fatal heart attack, revolutionized the cardiovascular diagnostic process with the products of her medical technology firm. Women are developing their own share of American business, we learn, with statistics already showing 30% female ownership.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Since 1984, Harvard Business School Press has been dedicated to publishing the most contemporary management thinking, written by authors and practitioners who are leading the way. Whether readers are seeking big-picture strategic thinking or tactical problem solving, advice in managing global corporations or for developing personal careers, HBS Press helps fuel the fire of innovative thought. HBS Press has earned a reputation as the springboard of thought for both established and emerging business leaders. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Business Review Book
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; Reprint edition (February 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087584507X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875845074
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,485,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
In the Foreword, Rosabeth Moss Kanter observes that today, "women must rely on themselves rather than on institutions to create careers. They must be entrepreneurs who make their own opportunities -- either within or outside of a major corporation -- or professionals with portable career assets -- skills and reputations that can be applied anywhere.....While the message of this book -- that women are caught in the midst of unprecedented social and economic changes -- will not come as a surprise to women who cope with these upheavals daily, the advice and solutions within can help women grapple with vast changes in their organizations." Then in the Introduction, Nancy A. Nichols asserts that "the very first thing that a woman must learn to manage is her femininity. From the moment she enters the work force until the day she leaves the corporate arena, she is judged not just as a manager on the job, but as a woman in the job." For that reason, women find themselves in a "double bind": those who act like a man are forced to act like a man are forced to act in a "sexually dissonant way"; those who act in a "feminine" manner risk being perceived as ineffective, "or worse yet, getting trampled on the way to the top."
The material is carefully organized within four Parts: Breaking the Double Bind, Fitting In or Fighting Back, The Balancing Act, and Tales from the Front. To her great credit, Nichols has selected a diversity of perspectives. One of the book's greatest strengths is the variety of real-world situations ("tales from the front" case studies) which illustrate key points. One of the most informative sections is Eliza G.C. Collins' interview with Lore Heap who (literally) launched Vector Graphics on her kitchen table with a $6,000 investment and built it into a $25-million company.
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