Why Women Mean Business. Understanding the Emergence of Our Next Economic Revolution

  • ID: 4514507
  • Book
  • 376 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"A timely contribution to the increasingly vocal debate about the economic importance of women. It is refreshing to read the authors comprehensive analysis of gender as a business issue, not a women s issue We can t make the future happen unless women help the men adjust."

Niall FitzGerald KBE, Chairman, Reuters, in his foreword

"This excellent book asks every leader in the public or private sector to act on Gender as a Strategic Business Imperative The emerging force of women in the 21st century is part of a major social and economic change which has to be acknowledged by any organisation looking for a competitive edge."
Larry Hirst, General Manager, IBM UK

"An important contribution to a serious business and political issue. It reframes the gender debate, providing pragmatic and realistic tools to harness the potential of women globally."
Vivienne Cox, Executive Vice President and CEO of Gas, Power & Renewables and Shipping, BP

"Leveraging the power of women, as business executives and as consumers, is one of the greatest challenges and opportunities for companies. This book presents powerful arguments to commit significant resources and management thinking to that cause."
Gerald Lema, President, Asia Pacific, Baxter International

"Why Women Mean Business is able to push the discussion from ′let′s fix the women′ to a powerful new source of economic growth. Not only does it give a bright roadmap with how to do tips but more importantly it shows the shift in how to think that is required."
Peter Bakker, CEO, TNT

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Foreword by Niall FitzGerald KBE xiii

Preface by Michael Kimmel xv

Acknowledgements xxi

CHAPTER ONE: WOMENOMICS 1

Guarantors of growth 1

The strategic side of the gender divide 6

Opportunity cost 9

Valuing difference 12

Becoming gender–bilingual 15

Declining demographics is not destiny 18

21st century forces: weather, women, web 22

CHAPTER TWO: MOST OF THE TALENT 27

The talent wars are here 28

Female brainpower 30

Under–used talent 34

The role of business schools 36

Tapping into the pool 39

Recruiting: making women welcome 40

Retaining: structural repairs needed 44

Promoting: return on investment 57

Building better boards 62

Legislating solutions the controversial quota 65

CHAPTER THREE: MUCH OF THE MARKET 73

Purchasing power beyond parity 75

Female finances 77

Sex and segmentation 85

The many faces of marketing to women 89

Shut–your–eyes 90

Marginalise 93

Specialise 94

Prioritise 96

CHAPTER FOUR: BECOMING BILINGUAL , WHAT COMPANIES CAN DO 103

A fresh look at traditional approaches to gender 103

Equal and different 107

Diversity dilemmas 110

Recognise that best is biased 113

Surprising sectors 119

A new approach to gender 120

Understand the starting point 120

Personalise the conversation 124

Manage the metaphors the power of vocabulary and vision 126

The building blocks of bilingualism 130

1 Getting it : top management commitment 131

2 Management bilingualism: proactively managing difference 132

3 Empowering women: the knowledge and networks to succeed 133

4 Banning bias: identifying and eliminating systemic bias from corporate systems and processes 134

CHAPTER FIVE: SEVEN STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION 141

Key success factors 141

1 Awaken your leadership team 143

2 Define the business case 148

3 Let people express resistance 151

4 Make it a business issue, not a women s issue 155

5 Make changes before making noise 162

6 Don t mix up the messages 166

7 Give it a budget, not just volunteers 170

CHAPTER SIX: CULTURE COUNTS, WHAT COUNTRIES CAN DO 183

Making bosses and babies 183

Best and worst: surprising results 187

Imperfect deal in America 199

Continents of contrast 206

Public policy pull, private sector push 212

CHAPTER SEVEN: FIGURING OUT FEMALES 223

What companies need to know about women 223

Discomfort with politics 225

The conversations that matter 236

Careers are not straight lines 238

Phase 1: ambition 242

Phase 2: culture shock 244

Phase 3: self–affirmation 252

The lure of entrepreneurship 256

Alternative views of power 258

Sex, success and the media 259

Change agents on their own terms 264

CHAPTER EIGHT: TOMORROW S TALENT TRENDS . . . TODAY, WOMEN–FRIENDLY MEANS PEOPLE–FRIENDLY 271

New models of work 273

Fathers count too 277

Technology as enabler 280

The value of grey brainpower 285

Making the most of the Me generation 291

The future is already here 296

CHAPTER NINE: CONCLUSION, FROM BETTER BUSINESS TO A BETTER WORLD? 301

New voices, new choices 302

New measures of success 306

A challenge for business 309

Index 317

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Avivah Wittenberg–Cox
Alison Maitland
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