Breaking Through Bias: Communication Techniques for Women to Succeed at Work

Andrea S. Kramer and Alton B. Harris. Bibliomotion, $27.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-62956-104-2
According to spouses Kramer and Harris, “Women don’t need to be fixed,” but society does, and quickly. The authors begin by telling how they met at the small law firm where Kramer began her career. She was surprised that the founding partners, Harris included, treated her the same way they treated the male associates. The authors proceed to identify a serious advancement problem for women, who make up 45% of entry-level professionals but only 17% of C-suite executives. They blame this gap on the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes, which lead to a kind of “benevolent sexism” that’s as damaging as it is unintentional. Kramer and Harris acknowledge that systemic change is important, but it takes time, which leaves current would-be executives in the dust. One issue they single out is that most men believe they have no biases, and don’t understand how difficult it is for women in the workplace; persuading such men to be allies is the first step. The authors discuss managing perceptions, being aware of body language, crafting communications, and using anger to its best effect. This is a well-organized, well-thought-out call to action, but the trick will be getting men to pick it up. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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