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Business & Economics General

The Invisible Rules

What's Really Holding Women Back in Business - and How to Fix It

by (author) Paul Harrietha & Holly Catalfamo

Barlow Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2021
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price

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In corporate Canada you see this scenario play out all the time: Highly qualified and ambitious women enter the workforce all charged up and ready to change the world, only to be disappointed as they watch male colleagues pass them on the climb up the corporate ladder. Then they drop out. It's no surprise, then, that women today occupy only 10 per cent of the highest paying jobs in corporate Canada. That's not a very impressive number after all the effort to increase the number of women in corporate leadership. What's the problem? The authors of this book, a former CEO and an accomplished academic, argue that women are held back by a series of invisible rules that tilt the playing field in favor of white men. They back up their case with deep interviews with 50 senior female Canadian executives who talk about the real-life challenges in the C-Suite and on the way up. This book aims to expose these hidden rules and show ambitious women how they can get ahead - and how executives, particularly men, can level the playing field in the future. The authors offer a new plan of action they call the CAPS Leadership Framework. CAPS stands for Credentials, Adaptability, Profile, and Support. It offers both women and employers a step-by-step plan to help qualified and committed women to ascend to senior leadership positions more rapidly and successfully by building increasing levels of awareness, credibility, celebrity, and authority on a strategic basis.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Paul Harrietha, Ph.D, is a career consultant, business owner and senior executive specializing in leadership, change management and member engagement. Most recently, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of the OMERS Sponsors Corporation, the strategic arm of one of Canada's leading defined benefit pension plans. Paul retired from the corporate world in 2020 to focus on his long-standing passions: writing, teaching and mentorship. He has a doctorate in leadership and policy, and he serves as executive in residence at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, New York. He's also chair of the advisory board for Niagara University in Ontario.
Holly Catalfamo, Ed.D., is an award-winning educator who combines strong academic credentials with direct leadership experience in both the private and public sectors. She is currently the Coordinator of the Honours Bachelor of Administration - Human Resources Program at Niagara College, and has been a full-time professor for over 16 years. She also teaches regularly in the MBA program at Brock University. Her passion for global development has enriched the lives of students in Canada and abroad by focusing on the development of school-to-work initiatives for vulnerable individuals. In 2018, she was awarded the Gold Leadership Excellence Award from Colleges & Institutes Canada, and in 2016 she joined the 3M Council as a 3M National Teaching and Learning Fellow when she was awarded the 2016 National College Sector Educator Award. In 2015, Holly won the Senior HR Leader Award for Niagara from the Human Resources Professional Association of Niagara. Holly earned her Doctor of Education from the University of Toronto.