Published: September 2004
THE NAKED TRUTH: A Working Woman's Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters by Margaret A. Heffernan.
A reader writes: "Margaret Heffernan has never been afraid to talk about the ugliness that can happen for women in Corporate America. Her new book is no different. It brings up almost every important issue for women trying to climb the traditional corporate ladder. In some cases she offers solutions, either from her own experience and research, or through the shared stories of women she interviewed for the book.
Two things in particular in the book stuck with me. In one section she discusses women and their "relationship" with work. I really liked the use of that word, "relationship." Because I do have a relationship with my work, just like I have a relationship with the people in my life or with money. (I had never really thought about it in that way before.) The second item that struck me was after I read one woman's description of something very sexist that happened in the workplace, I expected the next line to say, "that was ten years ago." Instead, the line was "that was in 2004." I think we need reminding that not everything has changed, and in fact, anything going on now is even worse than ten years ago, because it's 2005, and we all (including the boys) know better."
~Diane K. Danielson|
From Publishers Weekly...
"I swore I'd never go into business" writes Margaret Heffernan. Twenty years after expressing that sentiment, as CEO of a technology company, she found herself "having the time of my life" and wondered whether she had "completely lost my mind? Or sold my soul?" Heffernan sees "women creating a new business order that places values at the heart of business, takes sustainability seriously, and recognizes that business is and always will be emotional." Eleven chapters are peppered with her own illustrative anecdotes and insights plus those of 63 career women representing a wide variety of positions and professions. These contain instructive descriptions of potential pitfalls and urgent advice, each one ending with a list of "Travel Thoughts" to keep in mind. Readers are told how to climb the corporate ladder, maintain a female identity, navigate toxic environments, see through common fallacies, acquire power, balance work with personal life, break into top management, assert autonomy, strike out on their own and reinvent a "parallel universe" of humanitarian alternatives. Nothing is new or told in a fresh way, but Heffernan delivers the catalogue of female careerist frustration succinctly and sympathetically.