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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why women and womenomics are transforming the workplace, 24 Jun 2009
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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How to describe this book? It seems to combine features from several different categories, including those that are primarily a manifesto, a call-to-arms, a social commentary, an exhortation, or a collaborative memoir. Frankly, I am intrigued by the fact that it is not easily categorized. Some reviewers consider it a "must read" for women, others for "men," and still others (I among them) for both. Credit Claire Shipman and Katty Kay with identifying and then addressing a number of critically important challenges that are currently creating turmoil in the contemporary workplace. For example, for individuals:

1. How to balance what is most important in one's career with what is most important in one's personal life?

2. How to achieve and then sustain quality of life as well as (at lest a sufficient) standard of living?

3. How to achieve better results with less effort and in less time?

4. To paraphrase Ernest Becker, how to deny the death that occurs when we become wholly preoccupied with fulfilling others' expectations of us?

And for companies, these are among the most important challenges that Shipman and Kay identify and then address:

1. To attract, hire, and then retain the talented men and women we need, are there gender-specific rules of engagement that must be in place? If so, what are they?

2. What is a "status trap" and how can we avoid or eliminate it in our organization?

3. How can we most effectively help our people to achieve their career and personal goals?

4. What are real-world examples of organizations that have successfully responded to challenges such as those just listed? What are the most important lessons to be learned from them?

With regard to the term "womenomics," Shipman and Kay define it as "1. Power. 2. A movement that will get you the work life you really want. 3. The powerful collision of two simple realities: a majority of women are demanding new rules of engagement at the very moment we've become [begin italics] the [end italics] hot commodity in today's workplace." The last claim offers but one of several indications that Shipman and Kay are vulnerable to hyperbole and puerile imagery as when asserting that their book "is not a gauzy, candle-lighting manual. We're not going to advise you to rub peppermint scrub on your feet to `take care of yourself,' or to make time for your herb-infused yoga." My own preference is for less heat and more light.

That said, they offer some excellent insights when examining a workplace - indeed a global marketplace -- in which change remains the only constant. In Chapter Seven, they offer sound advice to those who wish to negotiate successfully for terms of engagement that will enable them to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment. "Underpinning your entire negotiating strategy is a simple tactic - you have to sell this as win-win. Your bosses will usually only sign on if it makes good business sense for them as much as it makes good lifestyle sense for you." The first eight Rules they identify and discuss are best revealed within the narrative, in context. The ninth and last Rule, "Know when to quit," is followed by five eminently sensible observations to consider. Shipman and Kay conclude their book with a number of strong reassurances that can be articles of faith for those readers - both male and female - who summon the courage and sustain the determination to "start living and working the way they really want to," and, to help others to do so also.
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Womenomics: Work Less, Achieve More, Live Better
Womenomics: Work Less, Achieve More, Live Better by Katty Kay (Paperback - 15 July 2010)
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