THE CHANGING LIFE OF THE CORPORATE WIFE by Maryanne Vandervelde

THE CHANGING LIFE OF THE CORPORATE WIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the past, books have outlined rules of behavior for The Executive's Wife (Burger, 1968), counseled How to Survive as a Corporate Wife (Upson, 1974), and analyzed more acutely Men and Women of the Corporation (Kanter, 1977)--all of which made corporate wifedom seem thoroughly unappealing. Vandervelde, however, contends that things are changing: women are no longer entertaining appendages, willing to transfer every two years and act as part of the team. A psychotherapist and wife of a Fortune 500 executive, she mailed a questionnaire to top executives and their wives and has used the results (a 25% response) as data for some chapters. Women today are more likely to pursue outside interests--rather than redecorate the house or drink alone--but for many, especially in the midwest, company priorities still appear high on their list. Divorce no longer has the stigma it used to, and companies now help wives find new jobs when their husbands relocate. Although much of this seems to ring true, there's relatively little formal evidence to validate the trends Vandervelde cites. She quotes from the questionnaires and personal contacts but often the content is flimsy. For example, she notes that more women than men are hospitalized for mental illness (a well-known fact) and adds that many of those women are corporate wives--hardly a riveting argument. The stresses of corporate life have been well documented, and the obligations of wives established; this throws some light on the start of a transitional period, more illuminating for participants, perhaps, than onlookers.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1978
Publisher: Summers--dist. by Atheneum