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This review is from: Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers (Hardcover)How to undo years of socialization of gender roles while working in business? This is a dilemma that women are facing as they push on the glass ceiling. What if the glass ceiling were as much self-created as part of corporate culture? These are some of the issues that Lois Frankel attempts to address in "Nice Girls."
Her analysis of gender training (such as Nice Girls Aren't Loud) are pretty much what I heard as a child. Yet...what a delicate line women must walk, as being tough is interpreted as bitchiness instead of hard-headed business savvy. So here's the problem; Frankel advises worrying less about being liked, advises apologizing sparingly -- not profusely and frequently, but that isn't the same as permission to have a take-no-prisoners attitude. While occasionally being disliked is going to be hard on women who work cooperatively and not in a hierarchical manner, Frankel explains why niceness may short-circuit the path to a deserved top spot.
While Frankel's book has excellent advice about avoiding subtle but destructive body language and practices like apologizing and making declarative statements into questions, as well as failing to blow one's own horn as needed, there are other books that explain the male-dominated playing field such as "Hardball for Women." It's not enough to understand our own failures to mesh into a world where men pretty much make the rules, it's also important to understand the rules thoroughly. "Rules favor the rulemakers, and when they don't, the rules are changed." Look at the troubles of Carly Fiorina and the attitudes towards Martha Stewart to see some of the pitfalls that can trap someone while following the advice in Frankel's book without understanding all the rules or new rules of behavior.