"GENDERTRAPS: Confronting Confrontophobia, Toxic Bosses, and Other Landmines at Work" by Judith Briles

"GENDERTRAPS: Confronting Confrontophobia, Toxic Bosses, and Other Landmines at Work"

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An unfocused fix-it manual for women with workplace woes. Briles, a motivational speaker and author of over a dozen books on the workplace and on gender, attempts to identify the top ten work-related problems women face. However, her data, based on surveys completed by over 1200 women (and 31 men) who attended her workshops in 1993-94, seems skewed toward women in what she calls ""Velvet Ghetto"" occupations (those dominated by women, such as health care, teaching, and retail sales). Briles thus leaves readers to wonder if her results are representative of women in other sectors and to question the credibility of her ""smoking gun"" discovery--that most women care more about equitable salaries than such headline-grabbing issues as the glass ceiling. Though pay inequity only ranks number 5 on the GenderTraps list (numbers 1 and 2 were prejudice and communication, respectively), it appears to be Briles's pet issue. She suggests that women who are inequitably paid, and others who oppose such discrimination, should stop working. ""Sometimes radical things have to be done to create change,"" she writes. Her torrent of information--from histories of sexism to innumerable lists, such as ""the ten commandments of conquering sabotage""--may confuse more than enlighten. Also, she fails to clarify why some of the problems she addresses--like bad management or drastic change--are gender traps. Briles seems most credible when she offers a cohesive analysis of the current business climate and suggests that both businesses and women can help eliminate some of the gender traps through a combination of flexibility, confidence, and communication. Briles offers a scattered plethora of lists, micro-chapters, and non sequiturs; but with all the ground covered, something here is bound to save readers a heartache or two at work.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: McGraw-Hill