Success and Betrayal: The Crisis of Women in Corporate America.
Studying the life cycle of professional women, the authors propose that the real sign of a women's success and authority is responsiveness to her intuitive "Authentic Voice Within" and her ability to pursue goals without waiting for the patriarchal approving pat on the head from the corporation.
Besides being caught up in bartering for a title or negotiating an equal pay increase, women must develop an internal reward structure that will sustain them through the tortuous twists and landings a professional career in the 1990s entails. First, they are "Wooed and Won" by the lure of the corporation. Being most often the first daughter in a family, professional women work doubly hard for years on the "Proving Up" climb. The merits and drawbacks of mentoring are discussed. Then an "Uneasy Peace" cultivates the "Seeds of Disenchantment" at a time of apparent success. During this landing, women begin to recognize the "Myths of Irreplaceability and Individual Recognition." Women at this stage approach a "Pivot Point." Critical decisions need to be made on this landing. It is similar to the "glass ceiling." Little did they realize that at this stage they will be handicapped by the unrecognized gold-plated handcuffs or "golden chains" established earlier in their careers. Three paths appear. Women either leave in defeat, depression, and anger; leave for an entrepreneurial activity; or risk reclimbing the ladder and "paying the dues" all over again in another organization. Or they climb up to the "Platform of Reconcilable Differences." For many women, love of the five Ps--people, participation, prestige, pride, and a spirit of pioneering--keep them in their organizations at this stage. They can listen to their "Authentic Voice Within" and become more focused in their accomplishments.
Women have different agendas and different rewards. What do women want? Recognition, affirmation and growth, and a power that comes from mastery, not from control. There may be no such thing as the "Androgynous Manager." Middle management women may obtain the same (if not more) degrees, read the same management literature, and even ape the style of male managers, but they cannot become "one of the boys." Lots of practical advice is offered throughout this very readable journey. The authors go beyond Rosabeth Kantor's classic Men and Women of the Corporation to point the way for many professional women.--R.F. Pagano, MD, MBA, Fallon Clinic, Worcester, Mass.
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|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Mar 1, 1993|
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