25/04/2006 - 22:00

Still looks behind the corporate shield

25/04/2006 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Not long after I finished reading Corporate Elders: ‘Organisation Men’ Look Back (UWA Press) I had a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with the author, accomplished academic Professor Leonie Still.

Not long after I finished reading Corporate Elders: ‘Organisation Men’ Look Back (UWA Press) I had a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with the author, accomplished academic Professor Leonie Still.

The piece I have written (see page 10) barely scratches the surface of a book which offers a rare insight into our own business backyard.

The book’s historical look at the careers of 50 businessmen does focus significantly on the late 1980s, a key moment when Western Australia was a focal point in corporate Australia.

While the management lessons are intriguing, the anonymous personal tales about the 1980s and other times provide a mystery element, which allows the knowledgeable reader to guess about who may be speaking.

There really ought to be a board game to go with this book.

More importantly, in the final three pages of the book, Professor Still – a former executive and now director of the Centre for Women and Business at UWA’s Graduate School of Management – provides a summary which courts controversy and was clearly deliberately placed to do so.

“The main lesson of the research for me, then, was that men and women’s lives and careers are so different that the majority of women will never experience men’s lives, especially at managerial level,” Professor Still writes.

“While this may be a contentious issue for women, and a statement I would never have made in the 1980s, the lives and experiences of the men in this book proved to me that they operate ‘on a different plane’.”

Professor Still goes on to say that she believes women have no concept of the types of jobs men do or the networks they mix in, and that while many might view her research as biased, due to the sample, it had been a revealing experience.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t believe that ‘equality’ of the type and depth we used to speak of, is now possible,” she writes.

I recommend you read this book.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options