Margaret's Books
The Naked Truth
A Working Woman's Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters
"...a provocative new business book ...aims to offer practical solutions to difficulties women might encounter in the workplace..."
  • Daily Telegraph
"...Heffernan’s book gives strategies for dealing with toxic bosses and misogynistic environments..."
  • The Times T2
About the Book
THE NAKED TRUTH: A Working Woman's Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters was first published in 2004.

"I never wanted to work in business," writes Heffernan. Twenty years after expressing that sentiment, as CEO of a technology company, she found herself "having the time of my life" and wondered whether she had "completely lost my mind? Or sold my soul?" Heffernan sees "women creating a new business order that places values at the heart of business, takes sustainability seriously, and recognizes that business is and always will be emotional."

Eleven chapters are peppered with her own illustrative anecdotes and insights plus those of 63 career women representing a wide variety of positions and professions. These contain instructive descriptions of potential pitfalls and urgent advice, each one ending with a list of "Travel Thoughts" to keep in mind. Readers are told how to climb the corporate ladder, maintain a female identity, navigate toxic environments, see through common fallacies, acquire power, balance work with personal life, break into top management, assert autonomy, strike out on their own and reinvent a "parallel universe" of humanitarian alternatives.

In this provocative book, Margaret Heffernan, former CEO and Fast Company contributor, fuses her own experience with that of hundreds of women to identify the biggest challenges and the best solutions that women face today. From VPs of Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurs to women just starting their careers, she traces the patterns and themes underlying women's power, choices, love, sex, money, and many other vital topics for working women. Without sugar-coating the facts, preaching, or oversimplifying, she offers solutions and shares the truth about the working world: women's choices are limited, you can't have it all, women do work differently from men and, yes, it is possible to find success amidst all of this and feel good about it.

"Finally! A book that exposes the masculine myths about what it takes to be effective in business and helps women reclaim the relational intelligence we have been taught to ignore. A must-read for all women who want to increase their power and influence in the workplace—especially those who are thinking of leaving because they are tired of the corporate gamesmanship that requires splitting themselves into a 'work me' and a 'home me.'" - Joyce K. Fletcher, professor of management, Simmons School of Management, Boston, Massachusetts

“What I like about Margaret’s book (and Margaret for that matter) is the no–nonsense approach she brings to the topic of women in business. It’s not just that she sounds like the mentor you wish you had, it’s also that she doesn’t shy away from any topic, refuses to sugar–coat her own experience or her advice, and recognizes that the issues of women in business won’t get serious discussion until they cease to be a them–against–us mindless posture. She’s real. She’s smart. She’s experienced. She speaks the truth. What more could you want?" - Alan Webber, founding editor, Fast Company

“...she (the author) perceptively dissects the nature of power and its source...” - Management Today
Book Information
Published: September 2004
ISBN-13: 978 0787971434
Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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Featured Review
Book Reviews
Network of Executive Women Online
For those women who think "you can have it all," comes this contrarian view from business journalist and former technology CEO Margaret Heffernan. Heffernan interviewed more than fifty mostly female executives for this book and it delivers, as the title promises, some hard truths about the work and lives of women executives.

Some women think even less of their own capabilities than their male counterparts do and often aim low from the very beginning. Many male executives continue to stereotype women ("geisha," "bitch") and try to hold them down. Toxic bosses and hostile work environments still abound. Sexual harassment, pay discrimination and hostility to the "mommy track" are not everywhere a thing of the past.

But Heffernan and her interview subjects (many identified only by pseudonyms) aren't just doom and gloom. They offer real solutions to the challenges women executives face on and off the job. How to increase confidence, build relationships and reputation, create alliances and networks, mentor and be mentored, and avoid the familiar trap, "I'll do it myself."

There are chapters on how and when to exit a dead-end job, how to become an entrepreneur, and how to balance work, family and an inner life. It's important stuff. Because one thing most women know that many men don't, is that your job is part of life - it's not your life.
Other Books by Margaret Heffernan
Willful Blindness
Simon & Schuster
A Bigger Prize
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Beyond Measure
Simon & Schuster
Women On Top
The Naked Truth
More Than A Dream