"Nothing has transformed the business world in the past forty years more than the women who entered it," writes A. Mikaelian in the introduction to Women Who Mean Business
. In the pages that follow, freelance writer Mikaelian offers a revealing look at these female pioneers through profiles of 75 who have broken through the so-called glass ceiling in nearly every field of corporate endeavor. Each sketch opens with enlightening yearbook-type data, such as work history, education, associations and networks, community service, mentors and influences, and greatest obstacles overcome. Following these are brief narrative biographies that detail the subjects' business histories and philosophies. The women, drawn from every state in the U.S. and several Canadian provinces, include Mary Jean Connors, Knight Ridder senior vice president of human resources; Anna Garcia, president of ANKO Metal Services; Brenda J. Culpepper, PepperCo Music Group president; Rebecca Graham Paul, president and chief executive office of Georgia Lottery Corporation; and Phyllis J. Campbell, president of U.S. Bank Washington. "As the last generation that faced a male-dominated workforce," Mikaelian concludes, "their lives are a record of that time and an inspiration to anyone who is building a career." --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
No area of women's lives better reveals the astonishing changes of the past 30 years than their working lives. Sixty million womenA46% of all workersAare now in the U.S. labor market (double the number in 1970). Through a series of more than 70 interviews with accomplished women in their 40s and 50s, Mikaelian documents the lives behind those numbers. She reveals the responses of an impressively diverse group of women (ranging from the CEO of the Georgia Lottery Corporation to a v-p and general counsel at Harley Davidson Inc., to an owner of a pottery business) to basic questions about "mentors and influences," "greatest obstacles" and "advice to aspiring business women." Short biographies attached to the interviews allow each woman to elaborate more fully the story of her struggle to be successful. Among the all-too-familiar obstacles that women face in the workplace: sexual harassment, the glass ceiling, the wage gap and balancing work and family. A surprising number of women also claim that their most formidable struggle is with self-doubt. Relentlessly upbeat, the triumphal "I will survive" tone of these exemplary stories may be laudable and make for feel-good reading, but it fails to illuminate the grittier reality of systemic sexism in the workplace. Still, readers who are admirers of tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit, and women (or men) of any age looking for pragmatic strategies to cope with workplace challenges, changes and sexism, will find this book amply rewarding. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.