Breaking the Boss Bias

How to get more women into leadership

Catherine Fox
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Despite the surge of women into university, jobs and sitting in federal parliament, why are men still overwhelmingly running the show?

Fewer women are running governments, and the small proportion who make it as CEO has barely budged. The major culprit is right under our noses. Entrenched gender bias about who should be the boss means leadership is mainly seen as a masculine endeavour. And no matter how well qualified and experienced, women continue to be underestimated and face an obstacle course of sexism to get to the decision-making table.

In Breaking the Boss Bias, Catherine Fox sounds the alarm. She argues that toxic sexism woven through processes, beliefs, management, education and leadership norms is keeping privileged men in power, making decisions for us all. It’s time for a new way to lead and to unlock the talent being wasted from boss bias.

‘Forensically researched, tightly argued, suffused with Fox’s trademark wit, Breaking the Boss Bias presents a compelling case for more women leaders and asks the question – why are they still so rare?’ – Jane Caro

‘What a wake-up call! We are moving backwards on gender, and the stats for women who come from diverse backgrounds are staggering. This is compulsory reading for all leaders.’ – Shirley Chowdhary

‘No matter what they do or how high they fly, most women know what it feels like to be ignored or left out of decision-making. Instead of being fobbed off with excuses, this important and practical book outlines why it happens and what we can all do about it.’ – Melissa Doyle AM

‘This book isn’t just about women but about building a better future for everyone. A powerful and important book for our times and must-read for all leaders.’ – Kirstin Ferguson AM

‘This meticulously researched case for change is exactly what we need to move us from incrementally playing around the edges to sustainable, systemic progress towards gender equality in leadership.’ – Michelle Ryan

‘Catherine cuts through the crippling stereotypes, exposes backlash and bias, delivers disruption and serves up seven steps for real change. She has proven to be Australia’s corporate gender equality whisperer.’ – Natasha Stott Despoja AO

Contributor Bio

Walkley Award–winning journalist Catherine Fox spent two decades at the Financial Review, writing the popular Corporate Woman column, and has consulted to many of Australia’s largest organisations, including the ADF. She is the author of Better than Sex (with Helen Trinca), Women Kind (with Kirstin Ferguson), The F Word (with Jane Caro), 7 Myths about Women and Work and Stop Fixing Women. In 2022 she was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to journalism and gender equity.