Tele-Interview: Martha Burke talks about Cult of Power: Sex Discrimination in Corporate America
In 2002, Burk, chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, led a protest against the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters golf tournament for its refusal to admit women to the club.
Cult of Power: Sex Discrimination in Corporate America and What Can be Done About it
By: Martha Burk
CULT OF POWER: SEX DESCRIMINATION IN CORPORATE AMERICA AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT.
In 2002, Burk, chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, led a protest against the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters golf tournament for its refusal to admit women to the club. In her initial letter to chairman Hootie Johnson, Burk simply requests that he review the club’s policies and open the membership to women; Johnson’s reply to Burk vilifies her and calls her references to discrimination offensive. As her struggle with the club intensifies, Burk learns that several powerful corporate presidents are members of the club (she includes a complete list of the club’s members) and uncovers countless anecdotes of daily discrimination against women in the workplace. In dynamic, no-nonsense prose, Burk weaves together documents and other previously undisclosed material with a discussion of why gender discrimination is still accepted at the highest levels of business and how it affects all working women, from the top tier to the rank and file. Burk addresses the systematic nature of the barriers: barriers ranging from male acculturation to employment laws that don’t work to the hypocrisy of corporate diversity initiatives and “awards” for good works. Cult of Power is an important contribution to our understanding of how the attitudes, rules, processes, and pastimes of corporate America perpetuate an antiquated and unbalanced system. But it also provides real solutions and concrete examples that clearly show what must be done to end gender discrimination and bring about true parity in the workplace.
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