Why Women Mean Business: Understanding the Emergence of our next Economic Revolution


Gender is a business issue, not a women’s issue.

Never before has there been such a confluence of internationalattention to the economic importance of women. Their position asconsumers, employees and leaders is being recognised as a measureof health, maturity and economic viability. They are becomingcentral to labour market solutions to the challenges of an ageingworkforce, falling birth rates and skill shortages. Countries andcompanies are ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (25) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $1.99   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


Gender is a business issue, not a women’s issue.

Never before has there been such a confluence of internationalattention to the economic importance of women. Their position asconsumers, employees and leaders is being recognised as a measureof health, maturity and economic viability. They are becomingcentral to labour market solutions to the challenges of an ageingworkforce, falling birth rates and skill shortages. Countries andcompanies are urgently seeking policies to enable women to fulfiltheir potential.

Why Women Mean Business takes the economic arguments forchange to the heart of the corporate world. Women today are amajority of the talent pool and make up to 80% of consumerpurchases. This powerful new book brings together in a single,concise volume the multiplicity of opportunities available tocompanies that really understand what motivates women in the globalworkplace and marketplace.

Book Benefits:

Understand WHY companies that adapt to women will becomeall-round employers of choice, as well as more effective21st century marketers

Get a step-by-step guide, designed for managers, on HOW todrive growth by drawing on the complementary strengths of men andwomen

See why many current approaches to gender have not worked andwhy we need a new perspective, recognising that women are bothequal and different.

Compare policies and approaches around the world, withsurprising results

Hear from business leaders such as Niall FitzGerald(Reuters), Carlos Ghosn (Renault/Nissan) and Anne Mulcahy (Xerox)on the gender issue

The optimisation of women’s talents will boost businessperformance. Taking action to achieve this will require sustainedcourage and commitment from today’s corporate leaders. Thisis an opportunity not to be missed.

It is time for CEOs to get serious about sex.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This powerful new book analyses the opportunities available to companies that really understand what motivates women in the workplace..." (Women-omics.com, October 9th 2008)

"Wittenberg-Cox & Maitland have opened new ground (and) added a useful dimension to the debate" Management Today, February 2008)

"Offers many fascinating findings on the roles of women today... a highly collaborative book" (People Management, Thursday 7th February 2008)

"...a cheering alternative to the traditional whinge about men holding women back in the workplace" (Financial World, February 2008)

"step-by-step guide for mangers on how to create growth by valuing the input of both women and men" (theglasshammer.com. Tuesday 5th February 2008)

" need Maitland and Wittenberg-Cox to spell out the persistence of "soft"  barriers and spur the politicians to demand reforms." (commentisfree.guardian.co.uk)              

"At least someone is talking sense, and we shouldn't be surprised that it's a woman." (Scotland On Sunday, Monday 11th February 2008)

“Why Women Mean Business is an innovative and stimulating book.” (Financial Times, Tuesday 26th February 2008)

“[The authors] make a convincing case for more women in senior business roles. The case is supported by sound research.“ (Financial Times, Thursday 28th February 2008)

“…offers practical advice, backed up by case studies and statistics.” (Director, March 2008)

“This powerful new book brings together…the multiplicity of opportunities available to companies that really understand what motivates women...” (The Business Channel Newsletter, March 2008)

“…this book lays out the importance of retaining women in senior leadership positions, and the dangers of ignoring half the talent pool.” (Harper's Bazaar, April 2008)

 “The authors have been meticulous in their research, with an impressive collection of up-to-date, relevant case studies and statistics.” (Personnel Today, Tuesday 1st April 2008)

"Why and how to improve women's place in business leadership”. (International Herald Tribune, Friday 4th April 2008)

“The book is a comprehensive understanding of the emergence of women as the next economic revolution”. (TNT Link newsletter, March 2008)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470725085
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

AVIVAH WITTENBERG-COX is CEO of 20-First, one ofEurope’s leading gender consultancies. 20-First works withprogressive companies interested in building gender‘bilingual’ organisations that capture theopportunities offered by the other half of the talent pool and theother half of the market – the female half. The firm’srenowned Bilingual Leadership programmes help executives –men and women - manage difference more effectively.

Avivah is also the Founder and Honorary President of theEuropean Professional Women’s Network (www.EuropeanPWN.net), acertified executive coach and was a Visiting Coach at INSEAD. Sheis a popular speaker on leadership and gender issues across Europeand has had articles and interviews published in publications suchas the International Herald Tribune and the FinancialTimes. Canadian, French and Swiss. In 2007, ELLE Magazinerecognised her as one of the TOP 40 Women Leading Change. She livesin France with her husband and gender balanced children (a son anda daughter).

ALISON MAITLAND is an independent journalist andcommentator who has been researching and writing about women inbusiness for a decade. She spent 20 years with the FinancialTimes, including eight years as Management Writer. Her otherspecialist areas are leadership and corporate responsibility.

Alison is a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Managementat Cass Business School, City University, London. She is aconference speaker and moderator and she directs the Work-Life& Diversity Council of The Conference Board Europe. She servedon the advisory group for the Equal OpportunitiesCommission’s 2007 investigation into the Transformation ofWork. She lives in the UK with her husband and two daughters.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword by Niall FitzGerald KBE xiii

Preface by Michael Kimmel xv

Acknowledgements xxi


Guarantors of growth 1

The strategic side of the gender divide 6

Opportunity cost 9

Valuing difference 12

Becoming “gender-bilingual” 15

Declining demographics is not destiny 18

21st century forces: weather, women, web 22


The “talent wars” are here 28

Female brainpower 30

Under-used talent 34

The role of business schools 36

Tapping into the pool 39

Recruiting: making women welcome 40

Retaining: structural repairs needed 44

Promoting: return on investment 57

Building better boards 62

Legislating solutions – the controversial quota 65


Purchasing power – beyond parity 75

Female finances 77

Sex and segmentation 85

The many faces of marketing to women 89

Shut-your-eyes 90

Marginalise 93

Specialise 94

Prioritise 96


A fresh look at traditional approaches to gender 103

Equal and different 107

Diversity dilemmas 110

Recognise that “best” is biased 113

Surprising sectors 119

A new approach to gender 120

Understand the starting point 120

Personalise the conversation 124

Manage the metaphors – the power of vocabulary and vision126

The building blocks of bilingualism 130

1 “Getting it”: top management commitment 131

2 Management bilingualism: proactively managing difference132

3 Empowering women: the knowledge and networks to succeed133

4 Banning bias: identifying and eliminating systemic bias fromcorporate systems and processes 134


Key success factors 141

1 Awaken your leadership team 143

2 Define the business case 148

3 Let people express resistance 151

4 Make it a business issue, not a women’s issue 155

5 Make changes before making noise 162

6 Don’t mix up the messages 166

7 Give it a budget, not just volunteers 170


Making bosses and babies 183

Best and worst: surprising results 187

Imperfect deal in America 199

Continents of contrast 206

Public policy pull, private sector push 212


What companies need to know about women 223

Discomfort with “politics” 225

The conversations that matter 236

Careers are not straight lines 238

Phase 1: ambition 242

Phase 2: culture shock 244

Phase 3: self-affirmation 252

The lure of entrepreneurship 256

Alternative views of “power” 258

Sex, success and the media 259

Change agents on their own terms 264


New models of work 273

Fathers count too 277

Technology as enabler 280

The value of “grey” brainpower 285

Making the most of the “Me” generation 291

The future is already here 296


New voices, new choices 302

New measures of success 306

A challenge for business 309

Index 317

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)