by Martin Veitch

Book review: Beyond the Boys’ Club

Jan 26, 2010
CareersConstruction and Engineering IndustryIT Leadership

Beyond the Boys’ Club Strategies for Achieving Career Success as a Woman Working in a Male Dominated Field By Suzanne Doyle-Morris

And now for something completely different, as Monty Python used to say. Or is it? Beyond The Boys’ Club paints, surely unintentionally, an almost equally bleak picture of the gender divide with author Suzanne Doyle-Morris viewing the rise of women in the workplace as dependent on a mixture of guile, ability to read office politics and self-confidence, as well as what one would hope, in a perfect world at least, was the only essential requirement – an aptitude for the role. Doyle-Morris, an executive coach who specialises in training female executives, says that women have to “play the game” the way that men do, by possessing high self-worth, the confidence to advertise their successes, the ability to network and a willingness to take risks. For this man at least, this is an eye-opening book. Certainly, I’d never thought about what “cues” are offered by the way women dressed in the workplace and, cosseted perhaps by a lifetime in media, I’ve never been aware of the attitudes towards women that Doyle-Morris seems to suggest are common in many sectors. This book is nicely laid out with Post-It style reminders and contains plentiful anecdotes but I was left queasily hoping that things weren’t really so bad for women on the way up, and that the author had overstated the importance of networking and mentoring and understated the criticality of ability. And most of all, I hoped that most men aren’t such crass, manipulative creatures as she portrays them. Beyond the Boys’ Club at Waterstones