The Male Mind at Work

Deborah J. Swiss, Author
Deborah J. Swiss, Author Basic Books $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7382-0327-0
Hardcover - 251 pages - 978-1-4294-9398-7
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-886284-38-8
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7382-0497-0
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What could have been a breakthrough book for working women who want to hone their skills for success turns out to be little more than a lackluster attempt to interpret and explain men's attitudes toward women in the workplace, one that won't generate much word of mouth despite its compelling subject. Swiss (Women and the Work/Family Dilemma; Women Breaking Through) interviewed 52 successful men in a range of professions and influential positions to elicit candid opinions about their experiences with female colleagues. Most of this group assembled by Swiss, a management consultant on gender equity, are singularly unenlightened men who focus on women's lack of confidence and reluctance to take risks or make mistakes, and who emphasize the importance of competitive sports in making team players; these men also clearly feel (and resent) the need to be careful in their language and behavior. Although she does a fine job extracting and cogently organizing the essence of their thinking, the results will dishearten most readers. To help women map their career tactics effectively, Swiss supplies a series of ""code breakers,"" or brief strategic suggestions (""Act self-assured, even when you're not"") and familiar advice (""Choose your battles carefully""). Unfortunately, her examples lack color, dimension and insight. Not all of her subjects regard women poorly, but by the time she gets to ""the top 10 reasons men like working with women,"" most readers will have given up. (Oct.)
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