Top positive review
73 of 82 people found this helpful
Excellent guide for the savvy women executive
on May 31, 2009
Womenomics is based on the premise that women are demanding new rules of engagement with the corporate world. Women achievers are not willing to sacrifice family and freedom. But many don't know how to go about negotiating for what they want, say the authors. They have to overcome their own guilt and fear, so they can ask for what they want.
The book's advice seems entirely sound and appropriate for senior women executives in many fields. The authors refer to women in politics, media, finance and other industries. They suggest very specific strategies to negotiate for a desirable work schedule. The best part of the book demonstrates what happens when companies stop worrying about face time and focus exclusively on results. Just about everyone who works for an organization has tales of useless meetings and absurd ideas about what constitutes work.
However, I will be interested to see if female executives find the book helpful. As a sometime career consultant, I believe that implementing these strategies calls for strong corporate political skills. You have to know just how and when to make your pitch. The women we meet here have demonstrated their ability to contribute uniquely to their organizations. Many hold competing offers so they're in very strong positions.
I'd also like to see more discussions of the trade-offs involved Turning down a lifetime opportunity to enjoy your child's first day at school may seem like a no-brainer. Later those opportunities may be gone and the world looks different when you're ten years older. Regrets go both ways.
Ultimately, I'm concerned that Womenomics suggests that only married women with children face challenges of juggling work and personal life. Increasingly both men and women are resisting corporate demands and more of us are living in one-person households. Companies that claim to be family-friendly often expect single people to take up the overflow. Many corporate executives (both male and female) will understand when you say, "I want to see my son's soccer game." Meanwhile the components of a single person's life can seem frivolous and unnecessary, yet single people need time to develop and maintain networks of personal and social support.
The authors do not mention the trade-offs that take place in family-friendly workplaces. To take just one example, a female college professor negotiated for a teaching schedule that would allow her to be home by early afternoon, when her kids got home from school. Since there are only so many classrooms and time slots, someone else had to accept a less desirable schedule to accommodate her needs.
So bottom line: The book's advice seems sound, although I wonder if a strong, successful corporate women will need to read this book to figure out how to get what she wants. And I'm all in favor of family-friendly workplace policies, as long as we remember that some families consist of just one person and maybe a dog.