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Book Review - Closing the Leadership: Gap Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World

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Running head: BOOK REVIEW

Book Review

Closing the Leadership:

 Gap Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World

Tina Miller

Baker College

BUS 810 – Leading 21st Century Organizations


The book I have chosen is “Closing the leadership gap: why women can and must help

Run the world by Marie C. Wilson published in 2006 by Penguin Books. This is a part autobiography and a part self help book. It is a guide to assist other women in pursuing leadership roles within their organization or the government. The book provides information about the author’s life experiences and education on her rise to a leadership role. The author addresses different experiences that influenced her decision to create multiple programs that focus on women working alongside men in leadership positions.

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Why Women Matter
  1. Authors view
  2. My review
  1. Barriers to Leadership
  1. Authors view
  2. My review
  1. Authority
  1. Authors view
  2. My review
  1. Ambition
  1. Authors view
  2. My review
  1. Ability
  1. Authors view
  2. My review
  1. Authenticity
  1. Authors view
  2. My review
  1. Culture
  1. Authors view
  2. My review
  1. The Business of Transformation
  1. Authors view
  2. My review
  1. Conclusion
  2. References


My book review will be on, Closing the leadership gap: why women can and must help

run the world, by M. Wilson copyright 2006. The summary details of this book focus on leadership. My dissertation will be about women in leadership however the title has not yet been decided. The short review displayed on Amazon focused on sharing the power between men and women. There were also details about the author’s life and experience that intrigues me such as she is an advocate for women in leadership. The author is founder and President of The White House Project. This woman is a leader and strong voice among women today. “When it comes to women’s leadership, we live in a land of deep resistance, with structural and emotional impediments burned into the cultures of our organizations, into our society, and into the psyches and expectations of both sexes. The problem is layered, as is the solution” (Wilson, 2004, p. xii). She also is the co-creator of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. She has been profiled in The New York Times and appeared on several news shows and discussed women in leadership.

Marie C. Wilson has been a major advocate for men and women sharing leadership responsibility in business, government and the home. During her younger days she was a beauty queen in her home town of Atlanta, Georgia. She married and started a family before ever attending college. She obtained a B.A. in philosophy and a master’s in education. Her career experience was mostly volunteering however she became a director of women’s programs at Drake University. Since she had five children to support she left to obtain a position working for a company that created the first cash machines. She left that job and became the executive director for the Ms. Foundation for Women in New York City. The Ms. Foundation focused on female entrepreneurs and issues that directly affect women. In 2004 she left to work on the White House Project which is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization the works to increase women in leadership positions within their communities, the business sector, local and federal governments. Mrs. Wilson is the founder and President of this organization.

Why Women Matter authors view

        The author writes about a Fortune magazine gathering of top women in leadership. There were multiple women leaders present such as Ann Moore, chair and CEO of Time Inc; House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Abby Joseph Cohen, managing director of Goldman, Sachs & Co. The purpose of this gathering was to discuss with the panel of women leaders if they felt there was a significant difference in being a woman when it came to the role a woman plays as a leader. There were multiple responses such as “all of us are in this room because we are deserving.” (Wilson, p.2) The panel agreed that women do lead differently then their male

counterparts. They believe that women do not lead based on being self-centered or self-preservation. Women are natural leaders as they lead within their own households.

        She also addresses how women are naturally born to build relationships. As women we tend to have a more nurturing effect and therefore when conflict arises in the workplace we are better equipped to come to a workable solution. The author continues to point out multiple women that maintain leadership roles within the political or organizational arena and how they feel they are viewed by their male counterparts. The majority of these women have found their male counterparts to be supportive and even comment “for generations, women have served as peace educators, both in their families and in their societies. They have proved instrumental in building bridges rather than walk.” (Wilson, p.13).

Why Women Matter my review

        I found I agreed with the majority of the views of the writer and the panel with the exception of the self-preservation comment. The reason I decided to continue my education and pursue a doctoral is partially due to self-preservation. As human beings, male or female we both are instilled with self-preservation. There are two different views I have found on the topic of self-preservation. “Self-preservation is the primary motivating factor behind the formation of society and not, as Aristotle contends, because man by nature is a social animal.” (Millen, 2006, p.4). The concept of self-preservation is not based on gender or race though Millen referred to what Aristotle stated about man by nature. The word man could be derived from human or mankind and if we look at laws of our land we can see the interpretation that is vital to the human race. The word freeman is utilized tremendously throughout the history of this nation in regards to our rights.  Within many government bills the word freeman is a “compound word, composed of two simple words.”frei," free or true, and "MANN," a human being, and in accordance with the peculiarity of the German compound words, it emphatically expresses the ideas embodied in the two simple words. It does not mean a free man or a free woman, but a free human being. If has no reference to sex in its original, but it does embody the idea that true nobility of character cannot be developed either in man or woman without freedom.” (Burnham, 1873, p.1).



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