For most of
history, being female defined the limits of a woman's achievements.
But now women can be successful careerists equal to men. In Norway,
women legally must constitute a third of all boards; in the U.S.A.,
women have gone from being 3 percent of practising lawyers in 1970
to 40 percent today. Currently, more than seventy million educated
women work alongside men.
"sisterhood" of working women is deeply divided. Young, educated,
full-time professional women, who have put children on hold, are
making enormous strides in the workplace. But for a second group of
women, this is unattainable; instead, they work part-time, earn
less, are concentrated in heavily feminized occupations such as
cleaning, and gain income and self-worth from having children at a
The new female elite, the
top 10 percent, lead lives completely different from all previous
women in history. Their working lives increasingly resemble those
of the successful men they work with. A groundbreaking look at
modern women, The XX Factor lifts the curtain on the
social, cultural, and economic schisms behind the phenomenal rise
of women in the workplace.