Why Women Mean Business by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland
Black Friday deals - an avalanche of bookish bargains, plus extra discounts and clearance items - live now at Foyles
|Why Women Mean Business by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland|
|Category: Business and Finance|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A very readable explanation of how women at senior levels in a company can make a positive impact on the bottom line. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 390||Date: October 2009|
|Publisher: John Wiley and Sons|
Do you want to improve your business? Make more profits? You probably need to look at the sector which makes 80% of purchasing decisions, is the majority of the talent and represents 59% of graduates.
When I picked this book up I worried that it might be another diatribe on the subject of women being just as good as men and they've been unfairly treated despite being just the same really. I needn't have worried – the book is as far from that as it's possible to be. It's a calmly, logically worded explanation of why ignoring the differences which women deliver can seriously damage your business – particularly in the bottom line.
If eighty per cent of purchasing decisions are made by women then it pays to have in senior positions people who understand how women think – and they do think differently to men. It's not better or worse – it's just different – but who is better to advise on how women think than another woman? Statistics prove that companies which have more women in leadership positions – positions of influence – and generally doing better than those that are male dominated. It's not just the token woman on the board either – that makes no difference.
A company which consistently looks to bring in, retain and promote the best women is likely to be ahead of the game, but they do need to change the way that they think to ensure that women are retained rather than leaving the company at an early stage. It is, of course, a chicken and egg situation. The best women are attracted to companies where there are female role models and an indication that their skills are going to be valued. The pictures of the all-male board are disappearing from company reports and even first names are not appearing as regularly as they used to.
As the authors say, this isn't a case of repairing a leak in a basement bathroom. To get this right all the pipe work in the building needs to be replaced. Attitudes need to be replaced. It might even be that recruitment agencies need to be retrained to ensure that they don't use ads with an unconscious sexual bias. Companies who have gone down this route have realised that not only do women feel better about working in the company – most men feel that it's an improvement too.
So, how is it done? Well, I've already over-simplified to explain the background to the book, but it provides a step by step look at the changes that need to be made and by whom. But I will leave you with a final thought – it isn't a case of making positive discrimination in favour of women but of eliminating the often unconscious positive discrimination in favour of men.
The book is highly recommended and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals to you then we think that you might also enjoy Managing by Henry Mintzberg.
You can read more book reviews or buy Why Women Mean Business by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Why Women Mean Business by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.