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April 26 , 2009

The New Soft War on Women

How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men--and Our Economy


For the first time in history, women make up half the educated labor force and are earning the majority of advanced degrees. It should be the best time ever for women, and yet... it’s not. Storm clouds are gathering, and the worst thing is that most women don’t have a clue what could be coming. In large part this is because the message they’re being fed is that they now have it made. But do they?

In The New Soft War on Women, respected experts on gender issues and the psychology of women Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett argue that an insidious war of subtle biases and barriers is being waged that continues to marginalize women. Although women have made huge strides in recent years, these gains have not translated into money and influence. Consider the following: 

- Women with MBAs earn, on average, $4,600 less than their male counterparts in their first job out of business school.

- Female physicians earn, on average, 39 percent less than male physicians.

- Female financial analysts take in 35 percent less, and female chief executives one quarter less than men in similar positions.

In this eye-opening book, Rivers and Barnett offer women the real facts as well as tools for combating the “soft war” tactics that prevent them from advancing in their careers. With women now central to the economy, determining to a large degree whether it thrives or stagnates, this is one war no one can afford for them to lose.

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