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Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success Hardcover – Jun 2 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (June 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061697184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061697180
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #389,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“A personal, provocative and challenging book for career women who want less guilt, more life.” (Diane Sawyer)

“Womenomics describes the workplace trend that finally makes it possible for women to be successful and sane at the same time. And happily, it’s a recession-friendly formula. (Tina Brown, founder, The Daily Beast)

“Shipman and Kay have issued a rallying cry for women that is also a wake-up call for men. Our wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers are reshaping business as we know it. And that can make us all better off.” (Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind)

“Without wasted words, Shipman and Kay provide practical suggestions for how you can take charge of your career with courage and confidence.” (Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office)

“Womenomics makes a compelling statement about the financial impact women can have in the workplace and offers valuable ideas for capitalizing on this trend, even in this economic climate.” (Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook)

“Buy a copy of Womenomics for yourself, your best friend, your daughter, your star employee, and even your boss.” (Cathie Black, president, Hearst Magazines and author of Basic Black)

“Employers should be listening to what talented women want and use this book to hold up their end of the bargain, so that the best and brightest can have both a job and a life.” (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and author of Confidence)

“Every woman who’s ever been knocked off course in the quest to have the elusive ‘all’ should run out and buy this book today!” (Dee Dee Myers, former White House press secretary and author of Why Women Should Rule the World)

From the Back Cover

You are not alone. Finally, here is a book that gets to the heart of what professional women want. You've probably been loath to admit it, but like most of us, you have had enough of the sixty-hour workweeks, the day-care dash, and the vacations that never get taken. You don't want to quit, you want to work—but on your own terms and in ways that make it possible to have a life as well.

Women have power. In Womenomics, journalists Shipman and Kay deal in facts, not stereotypes, providing a fresh perspective on the largely hidden power that women have in today's marketplace. Why? Companies with more women managers are more profitable. Women do more of the buying. A talent shortage looms. Younger generations want to work flexibly, too. It all adds up to a workplace revolution that is great news for professional women—not to mention men and businesses as well. As Brenda Barnes, CEO of Sara Lee, notes: “Companies need to recognize that this kind of flexibility offers employees the ability to manage and balance their own careers and lives, which in turn improves productivity and employee morale.” This new way of thinking and working is all the more valuable in a recession, as companies begin offering flexible schedules, four-day workweeks, and extended vacations as a way to avoid layoffs, save costs, and still reward employees.

It is personal. Womenomics does more than marshal the evidence of this historic shift. It also shows women how to redefine success, be productive, and build satisfying careers that don't require an all-or-nothing lifestyle. Most appealing are the candid personal anecdotes from Shipman's and Kay's own experiences and the stories they have gathered from professional women around the country who are coping with the same issues.

It is possible. Shipman and Kay don't waste time on what women can't do or can't have. Instead, they show women how to chart an empowering, exhilarating course to a richer life. Inspiring, practical, and persuasive, Womenomics offers a groundbreaking blueprint for changing the way you live and work—with advice, guidance, and fact-based support that proves you don't have to do it all to have it all.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
How to describe this book? It seems to combine features from several different categories, including those that are primarily a manifesto, a call-to-arms, a social commentary, an exhortation, or a collaborative memoir. Frankly, I am intrigued by the fact that it is not easily categorized. Some reviewers consider it a "must read" for women, others for "men," and still others (I among them) for both. Credit Claire Shipman and Katty Kay with identifying and then addressing a number of critically important challenges that are currently creating turmoil in the contemporary workplace. For example, for individuals:

1. How to balance what is most important in one's career with what is most important in one's personal life?

2. How to achieve and then sustain quality of life as well as (at lest a sufficient) standard of living?

3. How to achieve better results with less effort and in less time?

4. To paraphrase Ernest Becker, how to deny the death that occurs when we become wholly preoccupied with fulfilling others' expectations of us?

And for companies, these are among the most important challenges that Shipman and Kay identify and then address:

1. To attract, hire, and then retain the talented men and women we need, are there gender-specific rules of engagement that must be in place? If so, what are they?

2. What is a "status trap" and how can we avoid or eliminate it in our organization?

3. How can we most effectively help our people to achieve their career and personal goals?

4. What are real-world examples of organizations that have successfully responded to challenges such as those just listed? What are the most important lessons to be learned from them?
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Format: Kindle Edition
I stumbled upon this book at a time in my life when I was headed toward a CEO title and headed toward a crash. In the world of "Lean In" and do more - this book, from two women I deeply admired even before I read the book - was truly a game-changer for me and how I approached work, life, and everything in between.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa6254b88) out of 5 stars 68 reviews
73 of 82 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa81311c8) out of 5 stars Excellent guide for the savvy women executive May 31 2009
By Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Womenomics is based on the premise that women are demanding new rules of engagement with the corporate world. Women achievers are not willing to sacrifice family and freedom. But many don't know how to go about negotiating for what they want, say the authors. They have to overcome their own guilt and fear, so they can ask for what they want.

The book's advice seems entirely sound and appropriate for senior women executives in many fields. The authors refer to women in politics, media, finance and other industries. They suggest very specific strategies to negotiate for a desirable work schedule. The best part of the book demonstrates what happens when companies stop worrying about face time and focus exclusively on results. Just about everyone who works for an organization has tales of useless meetings and absurd ideas about what constitutes work.

However, I will be interested to see if female executives find the book helpful. As a sometime career consultant, I believe that implementing these strategies calls for strong corporate political skills. You have to know just how and when to make your pitch. The women we meet here have demonstrated their ability to contribute uniquely to their organizations. Many hold competing offers so they're in very strong positions.

I'd also like to see more discussions of the trade-offs involved Turning down a lifetime opportunity to enjoy your child's first day at school may seem like a no-brainer. Later those opportunities may be gone and the world looks different when you're ten years older. Regrets go both ways.

Ultimately, I'm concerned that Womenomics suggests that only married women with children face challenges of juggling work and personal life. Increasingly both men and women are resisting corporate demands and more of us are living in one-person households. Companies that claim to be family-friendly often expect single people to take up the overflow. Many corporate executives (both male and female) will understand when you say, "I want to see my son's soccer game." Meanwhile the components of a single person's life can seem frivolous and unnecessary, yet single people need time to develop and maintain networks of personal and social support.

The authors do not mention the trade-offs that take place in family-friendly workplaces. To take just one example, a female college professor negotiated for a teaching schedule that would allow her to be home by early afternoon, when her kids got home from school. Since there are only so many classrooms and time slots, someone else had to accept a less desirable schedule to accommodate her needs.

So bottom line: The book's advice seems sound, although I wonder if a strong, successful corporate women will need to read this book to figure out how to get what she wants. And I'm all in favor of family-friendly workplace policies, as long as we remember that some families consist of just one person and maybe a dog.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa64a9204) out of 5 stars Why publish these now? Nov. 16 2009
By puccagirl73 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I usually devour a book on female empowerment like a cream puff, but it took me so long to finish this book, not just because it was hard to relate to but I was reading it carefully so I would not get the message wrong. This book is quite dated and very insulting for most of the women who are not employed in so called white collar jobs, if you ask for reduced hours you get reduced pay and benefits and no one will then take you seriously. In this new economic climate if you are less visible and asking for privileges just because of certain circumstances, like motherhood, then you are the first one out the door since the company is getting less out of you for the pay and benefits they give you. Most of the concepts are pure HR family/life balance propaganda that I was infinitely disappointed that this book was even written. Reality seems to have escaped the authors and it was published too late in this economic environment to garner agreement or sympathy with most of the target readers.
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3d64b88) out of 5 stars Sounds nice but... June 21 2009
By Rushmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The timing of this book's release is unfortunate. Women who work for more traditional companies and are somewhat desperate to keep their jobs don't think about carving out time for themselves. They want more hours. They don't want to make waves.

The authors are powerful and prominent women in a relatively creative environment. They have the luxury to seek balance in their work and personal lives. Also, many of the women profiled in this book can negotiate from a position of strength with their employers. The reality for many of us who work in more prosaic industries, whose companies see their top and bottom lines dwindling, in workplaces where layoffs have taken place or could at any time, is that we are grateful to have a job to come to, and we are not writing our own tickets. The sad part is that many women probably do pick up this book hoping for a magic bullet, only to discover that it might as well be fiction. It's not about us.

The authors do make an ineffective argument that their strategy is suited to hard times as well as boom times. Also, to their credit, their underlying message that all women do valuable work is important. However, it is not groundbreaking and not particularly convincing. If this book had come out in rosier financial times, it would have a much different impact. Instead, the authors seem out of touch and only remind many of us what we can't have. Not a message we need to hear right now.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa624e2ac) out of 5 stars This Book Was Disappointing Feb. 5 2013
By C. Slocum - Published on Amazon.com
This book will be very helpful for women who fit the following demographic type:
-Aged Thirties or Forties, certainly not younger, with the cultural baggage that comes with that generation
-Thoroughly Established in Career
-Career is lucrative, self-driven, and portable
-Is a manager, executive, or other high ranked white collar profession
-Has children and likely a spouse
-Work/life issues are primarily existential and time-oriented, not financial

This book will be less helpful for those who are in occupations that require you show up to a given place at a given time, for women who had their children early in their careers, who do not command a lot of privilege. The crux of their argument is to rest on your laurels (they assume you have been working sixty hour weeks in a high prestige job up to the point of reading their book), taking a pay cut, taking a demotion, or other things that folks who work to survive may find very counter-productive.

The first few chapters about what women contribute to the work place are empowering, but after that, it stops reading as true-to-life. I am 26, and find a lot of my work/life problems tend to include things like finding affordable child-care - I have a flexible job, but it does not pay a family-supporting wage. I understand my problem is more typical for most working women. They discuss financial consequences perhaps twice in the book. It is otherwise all about time.

I struggled with the style of writing. It read a bit like an infomercial, - it read as though they were constantly trying to sell something, as opposed to a conversation. I wonder if the initial feedback of their book was that no one would buy their ideas, because it reads as pre-emptively defensive at points. The sentences are very short. In tandem with the content, the style seemed to drive home how little nuance was present in this work. I wish it had been researched beyond the few anecdotes here and there. I suspect that more research may have lead the authors to discover the economic picture is not as rosy as they think it is.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6051624) out of 5 stars For working mothers Sept. 2 2009
By Alexandra Weaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is for working mothers not really for working women. I was so disapointed in this book! I do not have kids and did not feel like this was applicable to my life at all. Here's the big mystery solved: if you have kids, your career won't/can't be first. Wow. Really? If you didn't know that you should NOT be having children.