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Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders

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Despite real progress, women remain rare enough in elite positions of power that their presence still evokes a sense of wonder. In Through the Labyrinth, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli examine why women's paths to power remain difficult to traverse. First, Eagly and Carli prove that the glass ceiling is no longer a useful metaphor and offer seven reasons why. They propose the Despite real progress, women remain rare enough in elite positions of power that their presence still evokes a sense of wonder. In Through the Labyrinth, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli examine why women's paths to power remain difficult to traverse. First, Eagly and Carli prove that the glass ceiling is no longer a useful metaphor and offer seven reasons why. They propose the labyrinth as a better image and explain how to navigate through it. This important and practical book addresses such critical questions as: How far have women actually come as leaders? Do stereotypes and prejudices still limit women's opportunities? Do people resist women's leadership more than men's? And, do organisations create obstacles to women who would be leaders?This book's rich analysis is founded on scientific research from psychology, economics, sociology, political science, and management. The authors ground their conclusions in that research and invoke a wealth of engaging anecdotes and personal accounts to illustrate the practical principles that emerge. With excellent leadership in short supply, no group, organisation, or nation can afford to restrict women's access to leadership roles. This book evaluates whether such restrictions are present and, when they are, what we can do to eliminate them.


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Despite real progress, women remain rare enough in elite positions of power that their presence still evokes a sense of wonder. In Through the Labyrinth, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli examine why women's paths to power remain difficult to traverse. First, Eagly and Carli prove that the glass ceiling is no longer a useful metaphor and offer seven reasons why. They propose the Despite real progress, women remain rare enough in elite positions of power that their presence still evokes a sense of wonder. In Through the Labyrinth, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli examine why women's paths to power remain difficult to traverse. First, Eagly and Carli prove that the glass ceiling is no longer a useful metaphor and offer seven reasons why. They propose the labyrinth as a better image and explain how to navigate through it. This important and practical book addresses such critical questions as: How far have women actually come as leaders? Do stereotypes and prejudices still limit women's opportunities? Do people resist women's leadership more than men's? And, do organisations create obstacles to women who would be leaders?This book's rich analysis is founded on scientific research from psychology, economics, sociology, political science, and management. The authors ground their conclusions in that research and invoke a wealth of engaging anecdotes and personal accounts to illustrate the practical principles that emerge. With excellent leadership in short supply, no group, organisation, or nation can afford to restrict women's access to leadership roles. This book evaluates whether such restrictions are present and, when they are, what we can do to eliminate them.

30 review for Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christina Mitchell

    Ok, Mr. Castellanos, this review is for you. I will start off with a great big, "Bite Me!" (Brought to you on behalf of Rachel Maddow and professional U.S. women). This book is one for a university course, but it sooooo tremendously dispels Mr. Castellanos's arguments towards Rachel Maddow on Meet the Press (see: Huffington Post ), that I HAD to post a review. On the show, Mr. (Asshole) Castellanos made the argument that women earn less because they work at their profession less hours per week c Ok, Mr. Castellanos, this review is for you. I will start off with a great big, "Bite Me!" (Brought to you on behalf of Rachel Maddow and professional U.S. women). This book is one for a university course, but it sooooo tremendously dispels Mr. Castellanos's arguments towards Rachel Maddow on Meet the Press (see: Huffington Post ), that I HAD to post a review. On the show, Mr. (Asshole) Castellanos made the argument that women earn less because they work at their profession less hours per week compared to men. This is true. The reason: women are STILL primarily responsible for child rearing and housekeeping despite the fact that men do contribute more to such duties than in the past. Men can and do put in the extra hours needed to succeed because most upper-level professional men have stay-at-home wives who take on the home responsibilities. Upper-level professional women do not, typically, have stay-at-home husbands, and a woman's role remains primarily responsible for the cooking, cleaning, nursing, laundry, etc., even if that means arranging for outside help to assist in the completion of these duties (Hello? Men? You all can't clean a toilet?). If you are middle class or below, both partners are working with the woman still primarily responsible. In other words, men's careers are not derailed by family obligations, women's careers are derailed. (Oh, and by the way, when you look at a combination of paid professional and unpaid domestic hours of work per week, women work more hours than men.) Now, there are other factors that impede women's progress and the book makes these factors clear. It all comes down to the fact that there remains discrimination against women in business (both in hiring and promotions), although it would probably be better categorized, according to the authors, as prejudice since gender stereotypes are automatically assumed (we all carry stereotypes...it's part of humans making sense of their world through categorization). The authors revealed their findings through a meta-analysis, or taking the results of various studies and identifying patterns in conclusions. Men are not better natural leaders, although that is a stereotype we carry. Women are just as capable, but we consider women nurturers, not leaders. Long-standing business culture is tough to crack open in order to expose it to change. Now, there is a nuanced argument that I wish to make. According to the authors, more women opt out of corporate business to start their own businesses, allowing women to structure the type of work life they need, which fosters family time and gives them access to success. So, I want to know if the Republican party is willing to admit that WOMEN are the job creators? That's right. Job creation is not the result of tax cuts for billionaire men and their corporations. Me thinks the Rethuglican Party (not be confused with reasonable Progressive Republicans) had better rethink their stance on birth control, abortion services, and bible-thumping about appropriate roles for women. You are going to alienate a strong voting base. The book is not perfect. They define gender only as the binaries of male and female. The meta-analysis also does not discuss work hours in relation to family life of same-sex partners and/or professional barriers they encounter. Still, it was enough for me to flip Mr. Castellanos the bird, and that is satisfying enough for me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    The glass ceiling is no longer an adequate metaphor. Women can rise to the top of organizations, but there are still plenty of obstacles to navigate around. This book uses the metaphor of a labyrinth to examine the ways in which women aspiring to leadership positions can be stymied, and how women can better navigate the labyrinth. It's an academic yet extremely readable and well organized book. The authors use their own research, data from hundreds of other studies and analyses, and anecdotal ev The glass ceiling is no longer an adequate metaphor. Women can rise to the top of organizations, but there are still plenty of obstacles to navigate around. This book uses the metaphor of a labyrinth to examine the ways in which women aspiring to leadership positions can be stymied, and how women can better navigate the labyrinth. It's an academic yet extremely readable and well organized book. The authors use their own research, data from hundreds of other studies and analyses, and anecdotal evidence to make their case. The bibliography is very comprehensive.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katharine Rudzitis

    I’d love to see a revised version. The studies are a little dated now, but a great overview of some of the challenges and areas still changing for women in leadership.

  4. 5 out of 5

    CJ

    Overall I really enjoyed it. I did think some of the information was rehashed towards the end of the book, which I found to be unnecessary. But the information the authors provided was awesome and I'm happy that I read the book! Overall I really enjoyed it. I did think some of the information was rehashed towards the end of the book, which I found to be unnecessary. But the information the authors provided was awesome and I'm happy that I read the book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    As seen in What Works for Women at Work. As seen in What Works for Women at Work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marlea

    I have read this book a few times, and I think it is a must read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Deniz

    A good examination of women leaders around the US today. There were some good facts in here and some areas I had not thought of before. The biggest downfall for me was the repetition of information, at least once a page you got "as we discussed in chapter X." The last few chapters had no new information but recycled the old information. One chapter (cannot remember which one) was extremely depressing and made it seem like being a leader as a woman is so hopeless you might as well just give up now. A good examination of women leaders around the US today. There were some good facts in here and some areas I had not thought of before. The biggest downfall for me was the repetition of information, at least once a page you got "as we discussed in chapter X." The last few chapters had no new information but recycled the old information. One chapter (cannot remember which one) was extremely depressing and made it seem like being a leader as a woman is so hopeless you might as well just give up now. That was disappointing. It is a social science book so for those that are looking for a great deal of scientific data- this is not it. It does quote some studies but a lot of the time the studies are not up to standard with what we would like to see in order to generalize it to the wider population. This book is written mainly for women who do have options and are not necessitated to work and those that have the ability to advocate for themselves. There is mention of minority women which I believe is just as important and needs to be brought up more. Overall, I preferred Sandberg's "Lean In" better but I did get some good information and talking points from this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    This is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in multidisciplinary, empirical perspectives regarding women and leadership. The text is easy to read, well-researched (drawing often from the author`s own studies and publications), and all-around interesting! I will not only use this as a resource for informing my own line of research, but also as a personal guide. It is about time we reconsidered the overly simplistic metaphor often used in this discussion (e.g., a "pipeline" or a "glass cieli This is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in multidisciplinary, empirical perspectives regarding women and leadership. The text is easy to read, well-researched (drawing often from the author`s own studies and publications), and all-around interesting! I will not only use this as a resource for informing my own line of research, but also as a personal guide. It is about time we reconsidered the overly simplistic metaphor often used in this discussion (e.g., a "pipeline" or a "glass cieling") and replaced it with "labrynth" instead- it`s certainly a more accurate term to describe the evidence from both research and practical perspectives.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dale Gomez

    This is a good book for both men and women to read. It is particularly helpful for people in positions who affect personnel advancement. Diverse leadership (not tokenisim) improves performance and the bottom line performance shows it. I for one would love to be able to put my 401 in a stock portfolio that only has companies with a minimum of 25% women on the board of directors, as well as racial diversity.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vivian Cheung

    Really eye opening on some of the challenges women face in the workplace. While I appreciated the data-based foundations of the findings, it was a bit dry to read sometimes. Definitely not a sit by the pool kind of book. It took me awhile to get through it. I would have loved to hear more vignettes of successful women leaders. However, overall, it raised some great points and a worthwhile read for men and women.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    This was such an annoying book that I couldn't even read it through. Technically, I never really read any of this book, but it was required for a class, so I "skimmed" it. Which even that didn't really happen. The parts I did actually read made me so mad and annoyed that I gave up because it's so dumb. I'm just so glad that I'm done with this book! This was such an annoying book that I couldn't even read it through. Technically, I never really read any of this book, but it was required for a class, so I "skimmed" it. Which even that didn't really happen. The parts I did actually read made me so mad and annoyed that I gave up because it's so dumb. I'm just so glad that I'm done with this book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Johansen

    This is the most recent volume of amazing work speaking towards the dearth of women in leadership. It brings together statisical studies addressing both discriminatory attitudes and the burdens of childcare and parenting on a career. It recharacterizes barriers for women in the workplace from a glass ceiling to a labyrinth of small obstacles that all add up over time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It was required reading for a course of mine in business school. It took a look at women in the workplace and how they compare with men in many different areas such as in leadership roles, time management, and the amount of work that gets done. It is well worth reading if you are a woman with a career or if you are a man interested in management.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Johnson

    Outstanding & practical progress from the "old school" Glass Ceiling conversation. Through their work one can develop a plan for progress by realizing some of the primary elements that have kept women and minorities in a career maze. Great research and consulting resource. Outstanding & practical progress from the "old school" Glass Ceiling conversation. Through their work one can develop a plan for progress by realizing some of the primary elements that have kept women and minorities in a career maze. Great research and consulting resource.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Natalia

    It was good but nothing revolutionary. I've seen the data elsewhere. It also suffered from some of the same problems as Sandberg's book, though not as much. Also- did no one edit this book? It's incredibly repetitive. It was good but nothing revolutionary. I've seen the data elsewhere. It also suffered from some of the same problems as Sandberg's book, though not as much. Also- did no one edit this book? It's incredibly repetitive.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lori Grant

    A must-read book on leadership and management for women in business.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carrieg

    Fabulous information, but the presentation is a little dull.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tom Mobley

    Book covers many of the issues that may hold women back. Solid read. Worth my time. Would love to see what they would do with a second edition.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ada

    Such a great summary of lots of research on women and leadership. Folks should read this rather than Lean In.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily Wilson

    It felt like common sense with empirical data--which is great--but I was hoping for something more.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  22. 5 out of 5

    Toni

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Kehrberg

  24. 5 out of 5

    APT Cleaning Services

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annie Rice

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Ann Schwager

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura Queen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ken Adams

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

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