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New York Times Book Review Editor's Pick
Long-listed for the George Orwell Prize
Noted British academic and journalist Alison Wolf offers a surprising and thoughtful study of the professional elite, and examines the causes—and limits—of women’s rise and the consequences of their difficult choices.
The gender gap is closing. Today, for the first time in history, tens of millions of women are spending more time at the boardroom table than the kitchen table. These professional women are highly ambitious and highly educated, enjoying the same lifestyle prerogatives as their male counterparts. They are working longer and marrying later—if they marry at all. They are heading Fortune 500 companies and appearing on the covers of Forbes and Businessweek. They represent a special type of working woman—the kind who doesn’t just punch a clock for a paycheck, but derives self-worth and pleasure from wielding professional power.
At the same time that the gender gap is narrowing, the gulf is widening among women themselves. While blockbuster books such as Lean In focus only on women in high pressure jobs, in reality there are four women in traditionally female roles for every Sheryl Sandberg. In this revealing and intelligent book, Alison Wolf examines why more educated women work longer hours, why having children early is a good idea, and how feminism created a less equal world.