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Up-beat, pragmatic, and chock full of advice, What Works for Women at Work is an indispensable guide for working women.
An essential resource for any working woman, What Works for Women at Work is a comprehensive and insightful guide for mastering office politics as a woman. Authored by Joan C. Williams, one of the nation’s most-cited experts on women and work, and her daughter, writer Rachel Dempsey, this unique book offers a multi-generational perspective into the realities of today’s workplace. Often women receive messages that they have only themselves to blame for failing to get ahead—Negotiate more! Stop being such a wimp! Stop being such a witch! What Works for Women at Work tells women it’s not their fault. The simple fact is that office politics often benefits men over women. Based on interviews with 127 successful working women, over half of them women of color, What Works for Women at Work presents a toolkit for getting ahead in today’s workplace. Distilling over 35 years of research, Williams and Dempsey offer four crisp patterns that affect working women: Prove-It-Again!, the Tightrope, the Maternal Wall, and the Tug of War. Each represents different challenges and requires different strategies—which is why women need to be savvier than men to survive and thrive in high-powered careers. Williams and Dempsey’s analysis of working women is nuanced and in-depth, going far beyond the traditional cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approaches of most career guides for women. Throughout the book, they weave real-life anecdotes from the women they interviewed, along with quick kernels of advice like a “New Girl Action Plan,” ways to “Take Care of Yourself”, and even “Comeback Lines” for dealing with sexual harassment and other difficult situations.
Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has authored eleven books, including White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America and Unbending Gender: Why Work and Family Conflict and What to Do About It.
Rachel Dempsey is a writer and attorney. Her writing has appeared in publications including the Huffington Post and Psychology Today.
Anne-Marie Slaughter is the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009–2011 she served as Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Anne-Marie Slaughter Preface 1. Introduction: It’s Not (Always) Your Fault Part I: Prove-It-Again! 2. Spotting Prove-It-Again! Patterns 3. Prove-It-Again! Action Plan Part II: The Tightrope 4. Spotting Tightrope Patterns 5. Tightrope Action Plan: Neither a Bitch 6. Tightrope Action Plan: . . . Nor a Bimbo Part III: The Maternal Wall 7. Spotting Maternal Wall Patterns 8. Maternal Wall Action Plan Part IV: The Tug of War 9. Spotting Tug of War Patterns 10. Tug of War Action Plan Part V: Double Jeopardy? 11. The Experience of Gender Bias Differs by Race Part VI: Leave or Stay? 12. Leave or Stay? Reading the Tea Leaves 13. Leave or Stay? Don’t Dismay Part VII: 20 Lessons 14. The Science of Savvy in 20 Lessons 15. Conclusion: Jump-Starting the Stalled Gender Revolution Acknowledgments Notes Selected Bibliography Index About the Authors