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What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know

by Joan C Williams and Rachel Dempsey New York University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 394 pages
AU$54.99 NZ$56.51
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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 nations 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 todays workplace. Often women receive messages that they have only themselves to blame for failing to get aheadNegotiate more! Stop being such a wimp! Stop being such a witch! What Works for Women at Work tells women its 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 todays 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 strategieswhich is why women need to be savvier than men to survive and thrive in high-powered careers. Williams and Dempseys 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. Up-beat, pragmatic, and chock full of advice, What Works for Women at Work is an indispensable guide for working women.

Foreword by Anne-Marie Slaughter 
 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
Selected Bibliography 
About the Authors 

'Joan Williams and Rachel Dempsey clearly and vividly detail the double standards and the dead ends that so many women face in the workplace. Fortunately, the authors also provide easy-to-follow strategies to counter these scenarios. This book can help women claim their seat at the table and lean in to their careers.' -Sheryl Sandberg,author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead 'If youre a working woman searching for the best pocket guide to success at work,here it is. Prove-It-Again, the Tightrope, The Maternal Wall, the Tug of War, Double Jeopardythe distinguished scholar Joan Williams and her daughter guide women through each of these sticky wickets. Their invaluable advice is no substitute for broader changes in the workplace, they note, but it can help position more women to accomplish that change.'-Arlie Hochschild,author of The Outsourced Self and So How's the Family? and other essays 'Williams and Dempsey provide the essential bridge between research findings on prejudice and discrimination and the problems that women experience at work. Solutions exist, and these authors present them. What Works for Women at Work is a must-read book for everyone committed to creating gender-fair workplaces.'-Alice H. Eagly,author of Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders
Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Her books include Unbending Gender: Why Work and Family Conflict and What to Do About It and Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter. Rachel Dempsey is a writer and student at Yale Universitys School of Law. Her work has appeared online in publications such as The Huffington Post and Psychology Today, among others. Anne-Marie Slaughter is the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 20092011 she served as Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position.