Lean Out: How to dismantle the corporate barriers that hold women back

Lean Out: How to dismantle the corporate barriers that hold women back

by Maureen F Fitzgerald
Lean Out: How to dismantle the corporate barriers that hold women back

Lean Out: How to dismantle the corporate barriers that hold women back

by Maureen F Fitzgerald


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Why women still fall off the corporate ladder

Despite all the talk of diversity and empowerment, women are still falling off corporate ladders like never before. Although women have been graduating in equal numbers to men for almost 40 years, they remain absent in the highest levels in public and private corporations. While individual women go about seeking work-life balance, board members and executives scratch their chins wondering why things are not changing for women.

What many leaders do not know

Academics have been studying these issues for years and know exactly why women are not advancing and what’s really holding them back. They know that women face significant barriers and biases, they know that many expensive diversity reports are collecting dust on shelves and they can’t understand why their data remains hidden.

This book is a synthesis of this research, written in plain language. It not only describes the 20 main barriers that women face but also provides 20 specific strategies to be used by any organization wishing to advance women, including:

  • don’t fall for the pipeline theory
  • stop telling women to lean in
  • notice the absurd expectations we place on women
  • don’t expect women to be mini-men
  • reject outdated stereotypes

Unlike other books that urge women to work harder and smarter, this book focuses on the corporate playing field consisting of the corporate model, workplace cultures and out-dated mindsets. If we really want women to succeed we must stop asking women to change and instead start tackling the very real barriers that are holding women back.

What people are saying

“Brilliant. Beautifully researched. Sometimes terrifying. Always riveting. If you ever want to distill your life experience as a woman between two covers this is the book to read!” ─Tracy Theemes, MA, CFP, Financial Advisor, Sophia Financial Group, www.tracytheemes.com

“Like no one before, Fitzgerald challenges the idea that women should Lean In and urges both men and women to Lean Out - against all the corporate barriers and beliefs that invisibly hold women back. A Must Read!” ─Karin Mizgala, CEO and co-founder of Money Coaches Canada

"Everyone should read this book. It is a clear and powerful call to action to bring about workplace equality. The 20 strategies are a perfect action plan for anyone wanting to finally address workplace barriers." ─Sandra Herd, Lawyer and Executive Director of Awkward Stage Productions.

Maureen F. Fitzgerald, PhD, LLM, JD, BComm is former lawyer, law professor and gender expert. She is the author of twelve books, practiced law for 20 years, has two law degrees, a business degree and a doctorate degree. She is one of Canada’s most articulate and outspoken advocates for social justice and equality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781988072029
Publisher: CenterPoint Media
Publication date: 03/09/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 162
File size: 321 KB

Table of Contents




Part One We Can’t See It Because It’s Glass

  1. Admit There Is a Glass Ceiling
  2. Stop Telling Women to Lean In
  3. Don’t Fall for the Pipeline Theory
  4. Ask Women Why They Really Leave
  5. Notice the Absurd Expectations We Place on Women

Part Two There Is Nothing Wrong with You

  1. Question the Tightrope of Double Binds
  2. Don’t Expect Women to Be Mini-Men
  3. Question Why Women Need More Courage
  4. Reject Outdated Stereotypes
  5. Stop Asking Women to Speak Louder

Part Three Policies Do Make a Difference

  1. Pay and Promote Women Fairly
  2. Make Flexible, Part-Time and Shared Work the Norm
  3. Don’t Blame Women for Self-Sabotage
  4. Deal with Discrimination and Sexism
  5. Stop Sexual Harassment

Part Four If We Really Want Women to Succeed

  1. Provide Access to Mentors, Networks and Women
  2. Provide Support for Life and Family
  3. Encourage Women to Seek Power
  4. Never Say Women Have Come Far Enough
  5. Value Feminine Strengths




Lean Out: A Manifesto for Work Equality

Appendix A The Business Case for Advancing Women

Appendix B The Women’s Leadership Gap

Selected Bibliography

About the Author

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