Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s new book, Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success (Harvard Business School) looks like an essential read.  She is working with 34 global companies – from Time Warner to BP – to ensure that women stay in the work place and her book sets out a practical blue print for a workplace where women are not penalised for opting for a non-linear, non-conventional career path.  She remarks that 2/3 of women are “sideswiped, sidelined, pretty much for the rest of their lives” by the male competive model which demands unreasonable hours.  Even competing with the men won’t work.   Supporting Carol Gilligan’s thesis that women fear success because they fear it challenges their perceived feminity, Hewlett says that earning a zillion dollars is not going to make you an attractive woman.  It might, rather, be a little off-putting.  For men, however, the storyline is still relatively simple:

“The compensation package, the power, the title … money and power.  Men are conditioned to understand that this is what gets them respect and stroking in this world.”

Been there, done that, got the T shirt.

What gets women respect and stroking? (“stroking” is a Transactional Analyis term, btw),,2094856,00.html