Drawing on an eight-year survey of 825 black and white female managers, and juxtaposing the stories of seven black and seven white women executives at some of the most prestigious companies in America, this book illustrates the profound impact of "early life lessons" on women's professional identities and "reveals the power of geography and social location when combined with race." Foregrounding "the first generation of [black women] to hold managerial or executive positions" (many took their first jobs in the 1970s), the authors show that "the combined effects of race and gender create not only very different organizational identities and career experiences, but also very separate paths to the doors of corporate America." Bell and Nkomo (business professors at Dartmouth College and South Africa's UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership, respectively) are particularly adept at delineating the prejudices that create special problems for black women in the executive suite, without losing sight of the experiences they share with white women. They conclude that while there are crucial differences in the experiences of white and black female executives, the similarities suggest the enduring power of gender discrimination in the workplace and "the extent to which managerial careers are steeped in patriarchal ideology." An epilogue "offers suggestions on how to begin the sometimes difficult dialogue between black and white women executives. Bell and Nkomo have provided a well-researched and thought-provoking look at some important aspects of race and gender in corporate America.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"Our separate ways" is usually used in reference to a point of departure, but here it describes the quite different paths black and white female managers have followed to achieve success. Bell and Nkomo have been tracking the relationships among race and gender and advancement for more than 10 years. They discuss the results of their research, which included extensive life history interviews with 80 black women and 40 white women and in-depth surveys of 825 black and white women managers. Because "black women executives remain a mystery to others in their organizations," Bell and Nkomo focus on the individual stories and personal experiences of 14 women. These poignant narratives highlight six "significant flashpoints" in the women's journeys: breaking into management, adjusting to the corporate environment, encountering barriers, overcoming barriers, making change in the work environment, and coming to terms with personal life choices. Bell and Nkomo also consider the way black and white women managers view themselves and their female colleagues. David Rouse
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Bravo...Being a Black woman with a Civil Engineering Degree from an Ivy League University, currently working in Construction Management, this book tells the story of "how it is". Read morePublished on March 21 2002
Once you start reading about these women's childhoods, it is hard to put down the book. You will find your own story amongst the women in this book. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2001