In 2002, Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, led a protest against the Augusta National Golf Club--home of the Masters golf tournament--for its refusal to admit women to the club. In riveting prose, she tells that story and draws out lessons for eliminating sex discrimination in corporations generally. In her initial letter to chairman Hootie Johnson, Burk simply requests that he review the club's policies and open the membership to women; Johnson's reply to Burk vilifies her and calls her references to discrimination offensive. As her struggle with the club intensifies, Burk learns that several powerful corporate presidents are members of the club (she includes a complete list of the club's members) and uncovers countless anecdotes of daily discrimination against women at their companies. She calls for companies to do "gender equity audits" to uncover the real statistics about matters such as the number of layoffs by gender and job category, the number of new hires by gender, including pay averages, and number of new board members by gender. With a terrific story on which to hang her recommendations, Burk achieves a rare hybrid of activism and entertainment. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
As chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, Burk (president, Ctr. for Advancement of Public Policy) wrote a letter, asking the Augusta National Golf Club to review its policies and open its membership to women. Burk tells the expanding story of her protest against the club. However, as she makes clear, her book is not about golf but power; at issue is sex discrimination in corporate America, how women who speak out are punished and marginalized, and how companies get awards for diversity without really doing anything. Chapters also cover issues such as how to recognize and overcome barriers to securing equal pay, finding good child care, and obtaining promotion. One chapter explores how laws both succeed and fail at stopping gender discrimination. Finally, Burk discusses what can and should be done to end this discrimination and bring women true parity. A call to action, this book is recommended for business and women's studies collections in academic and large public libraries.-Susan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico Lib., Albuquerque Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Enter the corridors of power and learn why so few women are there. The Augusta National Golf Club is that elite, secretive corridor of power that hosts the Masters Gold Tournament-and doesn't admit women. In 2002, Burk, the chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, decided to take action by writing to Augusta to urge them to open their doors to women. Her letter sparked a firestorm, and the firestorm led to this book. The Augusta National Golf Club is our point of entry, but Burk's real subject isn't golf but the subtle, and not-so-subtle, ways corporate America discriminates against women. The author is no ideologue. Rather, she evenhandedly addresses all the important questions: What is the difference between public space and private space? Is it legal for a club like Augusta to refuse women members? What's the difference between an all-male club and, say, an all-white club? Are feminists trying to tell their hubbies that they can't get together with the guys on occasion? (And Burk is emphatically not trying to forbid anyone's hubbie from going out for a beer with male friends.) Beyond addressing the pay gap, Burk makes concrete suggestions-on-the-job day-care, for example-that could help level the field. Syndicated columnist Burk's account is distinguished as much by its form as by its content, for she has managed one of the hardest challenges of nonfiction writing: creating a distinctive tone without having the author's voice intrude too much on the pages. She strikes a perfect balance between the personal and impersonal, seeming variously tough, feisty, and self-critical, yet conveying all these qualities through the most occasional asides. One quibble concerns theproduction: the odd quotations in light-gray boxes scattered throughout the text are distracting (e.g., "An entirely different way of opening a can of whoop-ass," from a Fortune magazine golf-driver ad) and make the whole feel, alternately, like an eighth-grade textbook and a chatty women's mag. Still, simply, an important book. Agent: Peter Sawyer/Fifi Oscard Agency