As a young woman who has just finished graduate school and looking to move forward with her career, I decided to read Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.’s Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. Women of all ages in a variety of career fields make “mistakes” that set them back from moving forward with their careers because they are acting like nice girls.
Frankel often compares men and women in the workplace throughout the book, and she bluntly states the truth: the workplace is a man’s world, and women don’t need to act like men, but women should be acting like adult women, not nice girls.
Frankel begins the book with a short 49-question quiz to gauge your strengths and weaknesses in seven different areas: How You Play the Game, How You Act, How You Think, How You Brand & Market Yourself, How You Sound, How You Look, and How You Respond. Frankel breaks up these areas into different chapters and lists each mistake and coaching tips to resolve the issue.
As females, we are often socialized from a young age to act “ladylike,” which means not displaying anger, acquiescing to others, and avoiding confrontations. As nice girls, we are told to speak softly and not get in the way of others. Girls often learn that crying is okay because showing anger isn’t. Frankel addresses many of these socializations and she even confesses to being a “recovering nice girl.”
This book is by no means a short read, and it takes some deep thinking about how we as women can look, sound, and behave differently in the workplace to achieve more respect, new positions, and more money. This book makes for a great guidebook to navigating the professional world and would benefit as reference material to store in your bag or desk.
The audience for this book appeared to be women who are top executives in the corporate world, and I wish she would have addressed how college-aged women can nail interviews and emerge successfully in the workplace at an early start, but the book helps you see red flags of nice girl behavior and how you can alter it ahead of time.
If you have read this book, what did you think? What other book recommendations do you have that discuss and help women in the workplace?