The Superwoman Myth : Can Contemporary Women Have It All Now? book cover
1st Edition

The Superwoman Myth
Can Contemporary Women Have It All Now?

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 30, 2021
ISBN 9780367896928
November 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
152 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The book begins by raising a thoughtful question, "Can women have it all, family, work and everything in between?" If yes, then are women ‘superwomen’? More importantly, what or who is a ‘superwoman’? In other words, this book discusses the role of contemporary women in today’s modern career world and its myriad of challenges, and in turn explores the nuanced role of millennial women and provides insights into how women juggle demands at home and at work; family and career management.

Using case studies from interviews with two hundred women, the authors draw on data from women themselves to explore how they navigate their daily lives to achieve work-life balance. This book will motivate readers to reframe their roles at home and in the workplace and hopefully help them reclaim control in their career/family journeys. This book is also an essential guide to thought leadership for women in leadership positions or aspiring to be in leadership position. Finally, this book will demystify gender roles in the workplace and at home, enabling women of all ages and backgrounds to embark on their career with confidence.

This book will motivate younger women who are embarking on their first career and looking to develop the inner leadership that helps them thrive in life.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The motivations behind this book 1. Becoming 'superwoman' or not? 2. Contemporary women, can we even have it all? 3. The changing nature of work and the impact on women 4. Ensuring well-being 5. Rushing and reaching breaking point 6. Diversity 7. The contemporary landscape for women 8. "You should have asked" - Do we still have a long way to go? 9. Female leadership 10. The end. Or the beginning.

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Jennifer Loh has over two decades of teaching and training in both psychology and management. She began work as a Clinical Research Associate under the mentorship of Professor Gordon Parker (Founder of the Black Dog Institute) on a large mental health literacy project among psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and allied health professionals in Australia and Singapore. This collaboration led to the publications of a number of peer reviewed journal articles. Since then, Jennifer has continued to collaborate extensively with well-respected researchers around the world including Australia, the USA, UK, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. These collaborations led to the publications of more than 35 peer reviewed journal articles, book, book chapters and technical reports. She is an expert in counter-productive workplace behaviours with a focus on women in the workplace. Jennifer also has a deep passion and commitment to the global issue of gender equity and diversity of women in various works of lives. Jennifer currently works at the University of Canberra and is the Associate Dean Research (Higher Degree Research) for the Faculty of Business, Government and Law and the Deputy Head of School for Canberra Business School.

Raechel Johns is a Marketing and Service Management academic at the University of Canberra. She has a particular interest in service systems, design and increasing service accessibility for all. In her research she explores community and individual wellbeing, and well as technology use, adoption and impact. She is also interested in supporting minorities and reducing vulnerabilities. For example, Raechel has done research focused on gender, on LGBTIQA+ communities, on Indigenous Australians, foster care service delivery, research on people with disabilities, and a number of other key areas. Raechel has published her work in a number of academic journals, co-authored and edited a number of books, and has presented her work nationally and internationally.

Rebecca English is a researcher, teacher and mother whose work is concerned with parenting and education. She has an interest in the ways parents make choices for their children that align with their beliefs about family, parenting and other factors. Her work explores questions of how parenting practices and beliefs are enacted in families and how these practices and beliefs lead to parents making certain choices for their children. Rebecca asks questions about how families enact power and agency decisions in their lived experiences and choices around education, health and parenting. Rebecca qualified as a teacher in 1998 and has been teaching for 20 years. She currently teaches at Queensland University of Technology. She has been interviewed for television programs such as The Project, ABC Mornings and SBS/Vice's short productions as well as dailies including the Sydney Morning Herald, Courier Mail and various other publications.


"It’s been some decades since ‘You can’t have it all’ became ‘Girls can do anything!’, but as this new book makes crystal clear, the reality for contemporary women has not significantly changed from that of our mothers. We are in the midst of one of the great technological transformations, and as the authors show, now is a fine time to craft new paths that might bridge that tired old gender divide. Mixing personal stories with national statistics, they offer an informed and accessible account of the past and present, and of possible futures that are woven through with strands of optimism. Whether considering the gig economy, intersectional identities, educational options, women’s rights or political constraints, they illuminate the bollards and the bypasses that characterize the twenty-first century context for women as a group, as a congress of separate groups, and as economic and political actors in the current world." – Distinguished Professor Jen Webb, Dean, Graduate Research (University of Canberra), Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice

"‘The Superwoman Myth’ is a unique investigation of the lives of modern women. It unflinchingly probes the complex realities of our messy, pressured lives, seeking to peel back the cliched idioms and ideals and assumptions of work and motherhood, to discover what actually lies beneath. In an accessible yet academically rigorous way, this book seeks to answer the question: Do we really have to do everything, all at once? And if we don’t, what other pathways can we forge? The tome includes practical strategies for navigating the maze of domestic and work life, questioning the status quo and making change. Many of these are gleaned from real life women across a spectrum of cultures and identities and backgrounds." – Ginger Gorman, author of 'Troll Hunting' and editor of BroadAgenda

"This book investigates the myriad of issues around what it means to be a woman navigating the complexities of everyday life. It presents the stories of a diverse group of Australian women regarding the challenges, and the issues they are confronting on a daily basis. Through these multiple voices, practical strategies are presented regarding how to understand and manage the competing demands on their time and lives. This is a deeply insightful book you can dip into or read from cover to cover; it draws on evidence and translates it into practical strategies. It is a guide full of good ideas to help women understand and participate actively in contemporary society." – Emeritus Professor Judyth Sachs, Former Provost (Macquarie University)