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Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success

Author: Claire Shipman & Katty Kay

Publisher: Harper Business

ISBN: Mandy Yates

Summary:Through candid examples and useful “news you can use” bites, the authors explain that Womenomics is a power that will get you the work life balance you really want.


ISBN 978-0061697180

For decades the question about how to achieve a good work – life balance has been a contentious issue. Many business leaders have lent their voice to the debate by presenting ideas and methods on how to accomplish that perfect balance. The latest book to enter the fray is Womenomics: How to Write Your Own Rules for Success by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay. It aims to help women to succeed in creating the perfect guilt free balance between work and family.

The authors begin by presenting the idea that women are now one of the strongest driving forces within the workplace. This is coupled with the belief that many women do not know how to successfully negotiate what they need for a balanced personal and work life. Through candid examples and useful “news you can use” bites, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay explain that Womenomics is a power that will get you the work life you really want.

Unfortunately the timing of this book may let it down. While the world is struggling through one of the worst economic recessions in decades with record unemployment numbers the impetus to implement these kinds of changes is lacking. With companies desperate to save costs wherever possible, including in their workforce, the idea of rocking the boat can almost be seen as employment suicide. While the authors insist that their methods are applicable during hard times as well as prosperous ones the argument lacks conviction. Perhaps the argument would be helped by doing more to address the consequences to other people in the organization who have to accommodate the newly negotiated flexible working schedules.

Overall this book offers some great insights for both men and women and provided real life examples and statistics that engage the reader. However it seems to be directly aimed at senior female executives who have the corporate political savvy and position to be able to negotiate for what they want. For the majority of less senior readers there are interesting ideas and valuable exercises but it may be harder to apply the approaches at work.

Attaining the perfect balance between work and home is something we all wish to achieve regardless of whether we are married or have children.  This book’s focus seems to be on parents and even then mainly on women. Yet it is not only women with children who face the challenges of balancing the two - it is a problem that everyone faces.  And, this should include dealing with the potential side effects to your family life when you are forced to continue working while at home.