Published: September 2004
THE NAKED TRUTH: A Working Woman's Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters by Margaret A. Heffernan.
Network of Executive Women Online
For those women who think "you can have it all," comes this contrarian view from business journalist and former technology CEO Margaret Heffernan. Heffernan interviewed more than fifty mostly female executives for this book and it delivers, as the title promises, some hard truths about the work and lives of women executives.
Some women think even less of their own capabilities than their male counterparts do and often aim low from the very beginning. Many male executives continue to stereotype women ("geisha," "bitch") and try to hold them down. Toxic bosses and hostile work environments still abound. Sexual harassment, pay discrimination and hostility to the "mommy track" are not everywhere a thing of the past.
But Heffernan and her interview subjects (many identified only by pseudonyms) aren't just doom and gloom. They offer real solutions to the challenges women executives face on and off the job. How to increase confidence, build relationships and reputation, create alliances and networks, mentor and be mentored, and avoid the familiar trap, "I'll do it myself."
There are chapters on how and when to exit a dead-end job, how to become an entrepreneur, and how to balance work, family and an inner life. It's important stuff. Because one thing most women know that many men don't, is that your job is part of life – it's not your life.