Endorsements for the Book


"Regardless of what kinds of shoes we wear, Kathleen Archambeau's book, Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels is an essential tool for American women who want to succeed in business without giving up who they are as women. It provides sound advice to empower women to use all of our God-given skills and strengths to realize our potential and our dreams. This book re-defines success with an emphasis on women's values, the very values essential to bettering our world."

Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

First Woman Democratic Leader, Minority Whip



Weekends, weekends are for my husband and my kid. Vacations – we take a two-week vacation to exotic places every year! My company – it’s a company that understands your personal life is just as important as your corporate life. That’s why we do yoga every Friday and bring in food to share once a month. This book lets women know they don’t have to play it by men’s rules to succeed in Corporate America.”

Leslie Blodgett


Bare Escentuals and MD Formulations,

A $240 Million Company with 28 retail outlets nationwide

#1 Most-Watched QVC Program in 2004



“As President of one of the country’s oldest women’s colleges, I am pleased that Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels finally addresses the practical, day-to-day issues women face in Corporate America. Kathleen Archambeau provides a real-life roadmap for women to forge fulfilling careers without compromising their values – from selecting women-friendly companies, all the way to advancing beyond the glass ceiling.”

Dr. Janet L. Holmgren


Mills College



Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels revolutionizes the way women look at getting ahead in Corporate America. Rather than teach ‘hardball for women,’ Kathleen Archambeau’s approach maximizes the ‘soft skills’ that women are so naturally adept at for the most success in all areas of women’s lives — work, relationships, home and community.  

The values of service that we embody at this Jesuit institution are especially highlighted in her chapter, “The Soul Sister.” I recommend this book not only for women, but for anyone wanting to get ahead in corporations and in life.”

Larry Brewster, Ph.D.

Dean and Author,

The Public Agenda

(Wadsworth, Fifth Edition, 2003;

St. Martin’s Press, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997)

College of Professional Studies

University of San Francisco



“Finally, a book about women succeeding in business without sacrificing their health or their families!


Cornelia van der Ziel, M.D., OB/GYN, FACOG

Harvard University Medical School Clinical Instructor

Co-Author, Big, Beautiful and Pregnant (Avalon Publishing Group, 2006)



“When life seems full of impossible hurdles, sometimes just hearing an inspiring story of how someone else overcame great adversity to achieve great things can motivate us to continuously fight for our dreams. Kathleen’s book, CLIMBING THE CORPORATE LADDER IN HIGH HEELS, is full of these kinds of real-life stories, including my own story of how I spent 3 months rowing single-handedly across the Atlantic after my partner had to be rescued.  But this book is not just a book of stories.  It is full of practical advice and exercises to help you make those dreams a reality in more than just your career, but in life, as well.”

Debra Searle BBC Television Presenter and (Transatlantic) Rower



Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels breaks new ground. After 20 years of working with women corporate executives and professionals, I can tell you that this book will shock you and help you change the way you work and play. No other book for women trying to succeed in Corporate America presents quite this idea of reaching a pinnacle of financial security and creative expression, while keeping most of the central aspects of your life — your home, your family, your relationships, your friends, your health, your hobbies, your spiritual life, your community life — intact. No other book tells you quite how to do it. Not only does Ms. Archambeau tell you how to do it, but she delivers real-world examples from her real-work 20 years of corporate life experience.”

Nicole Schapiro

San Francisco Immigrant of the Year in 1997

NY Times Featured Author,

Negotiating for Your Life (Henry Holt, 1997)



Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels is not an ‘in your face’ attack on men. Instead, it is a realistic guide to politically navigating the world of Corporate America. It is about time women learned the secrets to success that will assure them the financial rewards and personal satisfaction that have eluded so many. As a corporate executive, I’d give the same advice Kathleen gives to any woman trying to strike a balance between the personal and the professional.”

Jack Biggane

Former U.S. Vice President of Sales and Self-Made Millionaire
Founder Mollie Biggane Melanoma Fund

Verisign, Inc.



“Kathleen Archambeau and I have worked together for more than five years. She’s a delightful mix of playful creative and results-driven executive. She enjoys what she does and makes the atmosphere in a corporation warm and fun. Her success in no way takes away from her humanity. She exemplifies all the positive qualities of women — strong intuition, collaborative decision making, good listening skills and big-picture thinking. If this book tells women how to be more like her, I’m buying copies for all my colleagues and staff!”

Peter Liebowitz

President and CEO and Self-Made Millionaire

Liebowitz Associates



 Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels turns feminist and corporate advancement theories upside down. In the real world of work, here is a book that works. At the ‘end of the day,’ you will be a better professional and better person for having read it.”

Lisa Friedman

Top 1% Producer in the Country

Prudential Real Estate (8th-largest real estate company in the country)



“I have just finished reading Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels by Kathleen Archambeau and I only wish it had been available when I started my career. I highly recommend this book to young women in business school or just beginning their careers. Women in mid-career or beyond can also benefit from the book’s practical information and wisdom. The integrity, humanity and humor by which Ms. Archambeau clarifies the simple truths that lead to success makes this book a must read for all women in the business world. If you only have time to read one book, read this one so you will make informed choices for a fulfilled and happy life as well as a rewarding career.”

Chantal Gadd Trauner

President, C.G.T. Agency Sales

Atlanta, Georgia

Member of the International Artist Conference Network



“In my years as a Director at ABC’s KGO-TV, I saw a lot of very talented women burn themselves out trying to climb the corporate ladder.  I may have come close myself. In my current position as VP at California State Automobile Association, I support my staff by modeling leadership behaviors that encourage work-life balance. This book inspires me to stay the course and remember what’s most important in life.”

Rose Castillo Guilbault

Emmy Award-Winning Producer and former Chair, SF Commonwealth Club

Author, Farmworker’s Daughter:  Growing Up Mexican in America (Heyday Press, 2005)



“As a producer, I am committed to developing films that depict women and minorities in non-stereotypical roles.  I was impressed by the spin Ms. Archambeau placed on traditional female roles.  She took the strengths of those roles and turned them ‘on their heels’ to help women find real success – both fulfilling careers and adventurous, joyful lives.  I loved the light tone and quick read of her book and would recommend it to any women working in Corporate America today.”

Marilyn Atlas

Hollywood Film Producer (co-producer) of the highly acclaimed independent film,

Real Women Have Curves



"Kathleen Archambeau weaves some of the studies we've conducted at Carnegie-Mellon into a practical set of guidelines for women who are attempting to move beyond their proscribed gender roles to actualize their highest potential.  Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels honors those traditional gender roles, while showing women how to take those roles forward for success in business and in life."

Linda C. Babcock, Ph.D.

Co-Author of bestseller, Women Don’t Ask (Princeton University Press, 2003)

James Mellon Walton Professor of Economics, Carnegie-Mellon University



"It was a pleasure having Kathleen Archambeau host a recent Bank of America Diversity Brown Bag event in Concord, California that featured "Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels". The buzz continues among male and female associates about Kathleen's book because it is not only a practical educational reference but and actionable guide for dealing with work/life balance. The book supports a core value we have taken to make our workplace a family friendly environment through inclusive meritocracy"

Harriet Gartner

Cowboy Boots to High Heels

Dr. Reyes Ortega

April 26, 2008

Yes, the times, they are a changin’.  As the course of presidential debates, primaries, and super delegates move forward, a sense of national pride expands as our dialogue fine tunes itself toward the presidential elections this November.  There is historical significance associated with this particular race to the White House. We are reminded that for the first time in our nation’s history, those who have been vying for the presidency are a sample representation of our varying parts.  The presence of white males, a Mexican American, a woman, and an African American, by all definitions, describe this juncture as a momentous occasion in the study of the history of presidential elections.  

Much ahead of the national election curve, California’s northern region and local political history is not so much in the making, but I would argue has already been made. Described as the new bedrock of Republican conservatism, Placer County now adorns a mantel piece that was once held by our state’s Orange County of the south.  This new political distinction is defined by the characteristics of traditional social conservatism.  However, it may be surprising to some that parallel characteristics of traditional social liberalism have unfolded, as well.

For example, the Sierra College District has earned a statewide reputation of excellence due in part to the cumulative visions of its presidential leadership and the educational philosophy of its faculty and staff.  In its 72 year history, Sierra College stands as a higher education institution of prominence.  

For the past 15 years, new leadership dimensions of expertise have mirrored the demographic shifts of the state of California.  While our nation learns how to embrace the notion of presidential feminism and color-ism, presidential diversity has long proven itself worthy at Sierra College.  The diverse academic and life experiences of two Mexican American presidents and a female president have added to the rich legacy of those before them.  Dr. Kevin. M. Ramirez, Dr. Morgan Lynn, and Dr. Leo E. Chavez have continued to build upon the educational and workforce opportunities that align the needs of our region with those of the state.

The 1980’s brought us closer to conceptualizing our responsibility to achieve gender equity with such quotes as, “It’s harder to climb the ladder of success in high heels”.  In 2006, Kathleen Archambeau’s book, Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels, reminds us of our strides toward equity and reaffirms the need to employ a step-by-step approach to what lies ahead.
The presence of women in leadership roles at Sierra College today is indeed a marker of success with a representation shift of 0% in 1969 to about 57% for the current academic year.  Albeit white women, the tradition of leadership roles once held predominately by men, are reminiscent of times past.

Yes, times are changing.  And the first to let us know would be the mothers, wives, and daughters of the founding fathers of higher education in Placer, Nevada, Sacramento and El Dorado counties.  Without a doubt, they would be quite proud of the inroads that have been made as we respond to our ever-growing and demographically-changing region.


NOTE:  Reyes Ortega, Ph.D. is a counselor and professor of history at Sierra College who lives in Auburn, CA