Sex and the Office



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Publisher’s Weekly – The difficulties facing women in high-level jobs are not always borne of malice—often they result from run-of-the-mill discomfort and anxiety, says scholar and journalist Elsesser. She should know; she went to MIT when the graduate student body there was more than 80% male and worked at the Morgan Stanley trading floor when female traders were few and far between. The changing boundaries and rules regarding acceptable behavior both in the workplace and at work-related social events, she argues, can have a detrimental effect on workplace relationships—and, consequently, on women’s careers. Both men and women struggle with distinguishing between friendliness and sexual harassment, and with handling compliments to coworkers, outings on business trips, and networking—not to mention workplace romances. How to overcome those barriers, which keep men and women fearful of and apart from each other in the workplace? Elsesser adeptly provides both philosophical and granular help to managers, leaders, and anyone else looking to navigate the tricky gender partitions which exist in the workplace. A helpful, thoughtful, compassionate guide.

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