So my bedtime reading this past week is a great book – The New Soft War on Women by Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett. The book is a departure from my usual finance non-fiction reading, and an absolutely fascinating study of women in the workforce. Here is a great synopsis:
Are women finally breaking through the glass ceiling and achieving promotions and pay equity, free from the gender discrimination of the past? In this well-researched book, the authors cite numerous current statistics demonstrating that women with similar qualifications as their male counterparts still earn less for comparable positions. Bias is more subtle than previously and wages a soft war on working women. Female executives such as Melissa Mayer and Hilary Clinton who do achieve top jobs face scrutiny and more criticism than males and risk falling off the glass cliff with one small misstep. Most gender-diversity programs are ineffective. Furthermore, men are gaining ground in traditionally female occupations, like nursing. The authors reassure working mothers with mommy guilt that evidence shows children’s development is not adversely affected by working moms. To win the competition for promotions, women are encouraged to network and claim credit for their accomplishments despite the risk of being disliked for it. If there’s anything encouraging, it’s that competence can trump gender stereotypes, and there’s hope if women continue to fight for equality. –Cindy Kryszak
One of the points that the book made strongly was that to be a success, women need to have a solid network and not be afraid to blow their own horn. Even as the year comes to a busy close, take time to get out and build your network; engage in activities that raise your profile, and above all, don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments with your network and co-workers. I know this sounds like something way outside your comfort zone, but work is not school. There are no report cards that let everyone know what a great job you did – we all have to be our own advocates to get the promotions and compensation we want and deserve!
And speaking of networking, we have our holiday parties coming up – we hope you will be able to join us and raise a glass of cheer to celebrate the end of another wonderful year. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!