- Hardcover: 299 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (April 16, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1422101029
- ISBN-13: 978-1422101025
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,260,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success Hardcover – April 16, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite advances in women's rights, as well as telecommuting, job sharing and flex-work, the components of corporate advancement have been largely unchanged since the 1950s; according to author and economist Hewlett (Creating a Life), these outdated criteria are decidedly stacked against women: lock step progression, face time, unreasonable hours, flattery and obeisance, golf and strip clubs and male bonding. The 60 percent of women workers who take a career-path detour ("off-ramp"), typically for family reasons, are welcomed back with un- or underemployment. Meanwhile, traditional male incentives-money and power-don't hold the same appeal for women, leading to substantial attrition rates among the business's upper echelons. Although Hewlett is admirably thorough in her research of "off ramping" as a strategy for women, and provides plenty of real-world examples, she's unconcerned with the larger implications for workers of either gender; though the female focus doesn't detract, it may leave readers with some unanswered questions (why should any employee withstand what resembles fraternity hazing just to get ahead?). Nevertheless, Hewlett looks at all areas of a constrictive work environment and offers intelligent solutions for reaching one's full potential within it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It is difficult not only to pinpoint the issues behind female "opt-outs" from the workforce but also to cite pragmatic, business- and women-friendly programs and policies that will retain female talent. Economist Hewlett, a workplace expert, author (When the Bough Breaks, 1991; The War against Parents, 1999; and Creating a Life, 2002), and recently cofounder of the Hidden Brain Drain Task Force, has blueprinted a new second-generation road map to success. Not content with merely chronicling the reasons for nonlinear discontinuous careers (ranging from motherhood to elder-care demands), she articulates the dramatic business case for diversity--retaining intellectual "goods," keeping an impressive amount of capacity, and diverse teams making better decisions--then identifies six elements critical to retention. Each of those six--flex-work arrangements, arc-of-career flexibility, reimagination of work life, continuation of ambition, harnessing of activism, and reduction of stigmas and stereotypes--is buttressed by actual corporate case studies, and a "toolkit" sidebar that captures the business case, how to begin, and critical elements. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
Chapter 1 - Why Mess with the Male Competitive Model. Good way to start a book. I think we'll be hearing more about this as generation y gets further into the workplace. While a hardcore minority will stick to the traditional Gordon Gecko "greed is good" model, we'll see countless others rebel against the values of the generations before them (as all generations before rebelled against their parent's values).
Chapter 2 - Looks at how large a factor elder-care already plays in women's lives. In fact, it's larger than child-care as this affects all women. This is only going to increase as Boomers start being the ones needing care.
Chapter 3 - Extreme Jobs, Extreme Demands. Thought this chapter could make a whole book. It's a great overview of how corporate America has changed. I have a friend whose parents were both big executives at major companies, yet all the time growing up, she swears that both made it home for dinner almost every single night. This is practically unheard of even for middle management these days.
The latter half of the book gives examples of companies who are launching innovative programs to resolve the situation. This makes it a must-read for any management team who is struggling to keep women, OR, better yet, recognizes what a great asset they have and wants to boost them up even more! However, it still begs the question of what to do for the majority of women who do not work for the handful of Fortune 500 companies who get it, and have the funds to produce such innovative programs.
She also presents case studies of firms that have done it successfully.
Solidly researched, lucidly analyzed, persuasively argued and a good read. This is a win-win book that is both good for business and good for talented women workers. If employers followed its advice they would retain talented employees --and these talented women would at last be able to have it all: marriage, family and a career. A book that all career women --and the employers that ought to love their work enough to want to retain it-- should read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We all know (and the author does fine background, in case we don't) that women are fairly easily...Read more