Book Reviews

Lynn Harris has written a lucid, clear-eyed analysis of the barriers facing women’s career advancement at the most senior levels and she gives excellent advice on how to navigate around those barriers.  This book provides the most astute insights I’ve yet seen into the elusive but vitally important unwritten rules. Every business school should make this required reading and it is a must-read for any woman who is serious about her career.

Stephanie MacKendrick
President, Canadian Women In Communications

This impressive book does a phenomenal job at opening ones eyes to the realities of why gender inequality still exists at the highest levels in our organizations and gives highly practical guidance to women who want to succeed in this environment. It is a must read, not only for women seeking management and leadership positions, but also for men who want to make a positive difference in their corporate cultures.

Susan Cordts
President/CEO, Adaptive Technologies, Inc.


Lynn Harris has demystified the challenges facing women who aspire to corner offices in large organizations. Her book is structurally sound, clear and rational. It’s also teeming with examples from people’s personal experiences that bring life to the book. This is a roadmap for corporations that wish to mine the wealth of talented women within their organizations and a first-time look at “corporate refugees”, women who find success on their own terms. This is an important and valuable resource for the development of women leaders. It is a stellar achievement.

Joan Jenkinson
Executive Producer, S-VOX: VisionTV |
One: the Body, Mind & Spirit channel | Joytv 10 & 11

This is a book that every woman who aspires to the C-Suite or boardroom will not be able to put down. It is packed with facts and advice, extremely well researched, written with a good sense of humour and dose of pragmatism. For those women who are considering changing course from the traditional route to the top, there are also some great insights from those who have left that world far behind.

Diane Morris
President, The International Alliance For Women.


Lynn Harris demystifies the structural arches that still support the enduring “glass ceiling” and provides a coherent and functional framework of the thinking and behaviors that foster success for women aspiring to leadership roles in today’s organizations. This book provides a core of understanding, in the form of practical contexts and language that stimulates confidence and managerial courage, regardless of gender. An energizing read and indispensable as a management and leadership reference tool.

May Scally
General Manager, Labplas Inc.

In Unwritten Rules Lynn Harris expresses in clear and understandable terms the issues and their underlying causes that women face everyday in the work place. She gives us invaluable insight into the simple and yet complex and divergent choices that women have to make to succeed.

Mackie I. Vadacchino
CEO, Bioforce Canada Inc.


Many business books published in recent years have focused on women who are included among what I view as “celebrity CEOs.” In 2005, for example, Fortune identified and celebrated Meg Whitman (eBay), Anne Mulcahy (Xerox), Brenda Barnes (Sara Lee), Oprah Winfrey (Harpo), Andrea Jung (Avon), and Pat Woertz (Chevron). With all due respect to what these and other prominent female CEOs have achieved, Harris identifies and (yes) celebrates others…most of whose names are unfamiliar to most of those who read this book. I admire Harris for doing so and I also admire Sue Van Der Hout, Susan Mey, Barbara Laskin, Susan Macaulay, Linda Ward O’Farrell, Zelma Guzman, Rebecca Stewart, and others who summoned the courage to re-write the “rules” by which they would live and work, thereby changing the “game” in ways and to an extent that will serve as a beacon of hope as well as an illumination of perils to countless others. 

One final point: Men as well as women can be victimized by the unwritten rules that are identified in this book. It is in everyone’s best interests to expose the inequities and indignities they nourish and sustain. As Lynn Harris makes abundantly clear, these are not gender issues to be addressed; rather, they involve human rights that must be affirmed. If denied to anyone, they are compromised for everyone.

Robert Morris