Pat Heim, Tammy Hughes and Susan K. Golant, “Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business”

41k69z4ujnlReviewed by Femflection

The authors of “Hardball for women” share their insights into gender differences in the workplace and offer suggestions on how women can soar in male-dominated environments.

It teaches women to use the unwritten rules of business to get ahead in their careers.

The game of business is hardball, played according to the rules of the male culture. The book explains the different behaviors and mind-sets boys and girls learn and carry into their lives as adult men and women. For example, boys learn to compete; girls learn to get along.

Some “Hardball for Women” quotes:

  • “Before negotiating a raise, start collecting a file of evidence, showing how you have impacted the bottom line… Don’t believe there is no money in the budget. Don’t assume your boss knows how great you’ve been doing. Don’t threaten to leave – you may be given the opportunity.”
  • “Actually power is like money; neither good nor bad. Its negative or positive spin depends upon how we use it.”
  • “Simply stated power is the ability to get things done.”
  • “I Strongly urge you to consciously consider what success means to you. Instead of allowing others or society to determine when you win, you determine it.”
  • “Whether you’re moving to a new company or a new department within your current organization, I believe you’ll end up miles ahead if you shop for a boss, not a position. You may secure the greatest job in the world, but a miserable boss will turn gold into ashes…. In many ways, your boss maybe more important than the job.”
  • “Women lose sight of their goals by taking on extra responsibilities. We are virtual responsibility magnets. We don’t make these decisions consciously or deliberately but out of fear that if we don’t act on a need it will never get resolved. But we fail to realize that once we become responsible for something we might be responsible for it forever.”
  • “Studies have shown that the terms girl and lady have pejorative connotations: They conjure images of someone weaker and lazier; someone more nervous, afraid, dependent, immature, and inconsiderate; someone less sexy, intelligent, and certainly less charismatic than ‘woman.’ Indeed, the term woman is overwhelmingly interpreted as more favorable and is most often used to describe adult females who deserve respect.”
  • “Leadership doesn’t mean giving marching orders that others must follow blindly. Rather, it means causing others to want to follow. Successful leadership is personal.”

“Hardball for Women” – the book:

Each chapter begins with a summary of the hardball lessons boys learn and the house-and-doll lessons girls learn. It concludes with key pointers for playing hardball successfully. Concepts are illustrated with compelling real-life examples.

This constructive, straightforward and no-nonsense guide deals with how and why the two genders are different, how to make the best of one’s assets and how to be forceful without being cruel or overly aggressive.

It also addresses the issues of being a team player or a leader, using language and non-verbal cues powerfully, and setting goals and staying focused. Staying focused is especially important for women since women tend to back off and lose when others become aggressive.

Most of my career, I’ve worked in male-dominated fields.

Biggest take away for me from the book was that I can truly do something to place myself on equal standing with both men and women in the workplace. It all depends on knowing the rules of the game and find out how to navigate them effectively.

A while ago I took my 20 years old “Hardball for Women” edition down from the shelf and loaned it to one of my female friends who had issues with her male boss. She recognized herself very well in the description of the gender issues and they were so much applicable to her own situation that she bought her own 2015 edited copy.

If you have a career in any workplace – and it does not need to be a mostly male workplace – this book provides invaluable advice.

At the same time, it offers men considerable insight into the strengths and contributions of the female culture.

I highly recommend “Hardball for Women” to any woman who works.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via

For more content visit our website


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s