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#74119 - 10/25/05 09:28 PM Beyond the Corner Office
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Our November read is Beyond the Corner Office: Essays by Nine Women, edited by Judy Scheffler.

A few of the women will be here during November to share their experiences in and out of corporate world.

We were nine former corporate women, averaging fifty-four years old. Active and energetic, too young to really be retired, we wanted to have fun, make money, and give something back to a society that had done so well by us. We wanted to see whether we could combine the talents and capabilities we had demonstrated in our successful business careers to create a more enriching post-corporate life.
In January, 2002 Yvonne Shepard asked us to join in a group we now call NineWomen. We used a formal process to discuss our prior successes and mishaps, joined in creative activities, visited beautiful places, and considered potential projects. Past misgivings healed. We accepted the role we had played as foot soldiers in the Feminist Revolution. We succeeded at endeavors once considered beyond our capabilities. Finally, we realized that the group and processes we used had become an end in itself. We’d already started our first project. This book of essays describes the incredible impact of this group on our lives, and provides tools and information to help other women join us as we work to enrich women’s lives, both in the career years (Act I) and in Act II.

Come back next week to meet a few of them.

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#74120 - 10/26/05 12:31 AM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
chickadee Offline
Member

Registered: 09/26/04
Posts: 3910
Loc: Alabama
Very interesting. Thanks Dotsie.
chick

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#74121 - 11/01/05 05:59 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Judy, it's time to begin posting! Yahoo...

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#74122 - 11/01/05 09:05 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Judy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 44
Loc: Summit, NJ
Hi All,

As the editor of "Beyond the Corner Office" I'd like to tell you what we've learned about our book from readers and what our group is now doing.

We gave an email to our readers -- NineWomen@att.net -- and they told us that the book is not just for women leaving the workforce, it is for women going through a transition. As with all people starting a new way of life, we first had to resolve past issues. The essays in the book talk about those issues, and we had some whoppers! We'd joined the workforce during the Feminist Movement and were among the foot soldiers that paved the way on simple things like having lour own checkbooks and traveling with men. We learned, sometimes the hard way, how to dress appropriately and we sat through sessions with executives in which they told us dumb things like we shouldn't wear open-toed shoes or perfume. We weren't allowed to hang our coats in the same closets with the men's for fear our hairs and smells might get on their coats and disturb their wives. We spent long hours supporting these meetings and giving talks to groups and then were expected to perform as well or better than the men who didn't have those extra responsibilities. And, even now, as you might read in one of the Amazon reviews of our book, there are women who think we have no right to call ourselves foot soldiers in that movement.

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#74123 - 11/01/05 10:50 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Judy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 44
Loc: Summit, NJ
Hi again from Judy

In our book we tell how we worked together to let go of the past. We probably would have eventually succeeded in giving up the past and moving on without the group. But not as fast or as well.
Now we give talks and seminars at women's groups. We've worked out exercises that help others achieve the feeling of respect for what they've done and discover some ideas about what they'd like to do next. We're surprised that we get great reviews from women of a wider age range than we expected. We've also designed a game that allows women to explore the possibilities in their lives using the power of the suggestions in the game as well as those of other players. Our game, one in which everyone is a winner, will be part of our future seminars and/or workshops

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#74124 - 11/01/05 11:22 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
The comments about clothing really get me. Do you see what gals where today? Talk about one extreme to the other.

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#74125 - 11/02/05 06:21 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Evie Offline
Member

Registered: 08/27/03
Posts: 791
Loc: Nipigon, Ontario Canada
Do you think there are more choices for women in the corporate world today, or are there still some unwritten rules, perhaps different from the ones you experienced, but there all the same?

Since you were all involved in the corporate world, what sort of dreams do you have now in your post-corporate lives? How did your "past" (corporate lives) hinder the achievement of these dreams? You said you had to "let go" of the past - how so?

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#74126 - 11/02/05 06:41 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Dianne Offline
Queen of Shoes

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 6123
Loc: Arizona
This is fascinating. My husband is part of the corporate world and some of the "rules" don't make sense to me.

I'd appreciate hearing about some of the other rules. The perfume thing is just plain stupid. Could the men wear cologne? I'm sure they did. Geesh.

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#74127 - 11/02/05 06:47 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Judy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 44
Loc: Summit, NJ
Evie,

What great questions!

Let me just take the first one now and think a little about the second.

There are undoubtedly more opportunities for women. But there are still rules. I have two daughters who tell me about their work experiences. I would say that women have to understand that they have to be as strong-willed as the men, but not in the same way. That is, they don't need to use sports images to make a point, but they do need to come up with their own forms of strong statements when needed. And some men are tough and mean competitors and women need to know how to stand up to that w/o being the same way. It's such a good question that I'll get some of the other women to respond as well.

Judy

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#74128 - 11/02/05 07:18 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Judy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 44
Loc: Summit, NJ
Evie,

Our simple dreams are just to do things we never had the chance to do before. Today we are going to Hyde Park and having dinner at the Culinary Institute and then have a sleep-over at Dana's house. Those are two things I've never done, and though wer've done sleep-overs before we've never been to Dana's place. A couple of the women are also going to take skeet-shooting lessons. I've never done that either, but I tried shooting a gun once at an outdoor place for that and the owner almost5 threw me out because he said I was going to hit one of the power lines.
We also get tremendous joy from the response we get from women who attend our seminars. When we leave we are totally worn out, but simultaneously energized.

Judy

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