Managing Lives: Corporate Women and Social Change

By Sue Freeman Joan Mendelson | Go to book overview

Introduction

Are women who have assumed what had been men's roles in our society playacting? Do their daily pursuits contradict their true natures as females? Or has women's psychological nature been misapprehended? Is it possible that, psychologically, women resemble men as much as they do one another? Could it be that social change has produced a blending of gender roles that cannot be adequately accommodated within existing social structures?

The experience of corporate women can instruct us about gender and about the interaction between individual development and social change. The psychology of corporate women seems particularly pertinent to questions of male-female difference, since these women operate primarily in what has been and continues to be "a man's world." That women can and, moreover, want to occupy this formerly male preserve has dramatically altered conventional understandings of what women are about.

The traditional view of females as emotional caretakers was clear-cut and allowed a simple understanding of female identity and life path. More recent notions of females as both caretakers and executives are more complicated and difficult for some to accept. Examination of the literature on psychological development reveals a struggle between these conflicting ideas. Findings that males and females might be more alike than different, particularly when they function in the same pro-

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Managing Lives: Corporate Women and Social Change
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 3
  • I - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 17
  • 1 - Work 19
  • 2 - Career Planning 34
  • 3 - Mobility 54
  • 4 - Managing 70
  • II - Confidence 95
  • 5 - Self 97
  • 6 - Family 122
  • 7 - Marriage and Children 140
  • III - CONNECTIONS AND CONTEXT 171
  • 8 - Relation between the Personal and the Professional 173
  • 9 - Females in Male Organizations 191
  • 10 - The Context of Opportunity 217
  • Appendix 229
  • Notes 235
  • Index 257
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