If there’s one thing a new parent almost certainly doesn’t have time for, it’s books.
I totally get that. I’m right there with you. (I’m plagued by the copies of the New Yorker that pile up week after week on my kitchen counter, unread.)
But I’ve been realizing lately that with all the challenges we face in this ongoing work-life dance we do, one thing we all need more of is expertise. Research. Statistics. Stories. The experiences, challenges and solutions discovered by those who came before us, or have delved deeper than us, and have figured out a little bit more than us how to get this work-life thing right. When it comes to entrenched issues like anti-mom bias in the workplace, and the often perilous return to work post-baby, we desperately need to get up as high as we can on the shoulders of giants.
So the Mindr team is making a commitment to read one book a quarter - just one - that has the power to inform us, enlighten us, and better equip us as we work to make things better for working parents and the organizations they’re a part of. And we’re calling on you to join us. Welcome to Mindreader, Mindr’s new work-life book club.
MINDREADER Q4 2018: THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID
We’re kicking things off with That’s What She Said by Joanne Lipman. Here’s the high level summary: “Going beyond the message of Lean In and The Confidence Code, Gannett’s Chief Content Officer contends that to achieve parity in the office, women don’t have to change—men do—and in this inclusive and realistic handbook, offers solutions to help professionals solve gender gap issues and achieve parity at work.”
And here’s how the other members of the Mindr team feel about reading it:
“One of the most challenging things about working to improve the work-life health of women and parents in the US workforce is the potential of falling into an echo chamber. We sit around with like minded people, passionately discussing how to elevate women in the workforce. We agree with each other and build each other up, but we don’t always know how to reach and educate those outside of our echo chambers. I’m excited to read this book to learn how to spread the message about supporting working parents as far and wide as we can.” - Rebecca Abramson, Operations
“I am so excited to dive into this book. Throughout my career, I have worked for and with both men and women and have seen both genders succeed and fail. Now that I am a mom to both a daughter and a son, I am very interested in the differences/challenges that each may face as they grow up, go to school and venture into their professional pursuits, simply because of their gender. I hope that by the time my two kiddos venture into the working world there will be a more level playing field, but in the meantime I am focused on supporting them so they can reach their full potential. I think books like this are critical to broadening the dialogue on gender equality and opening our eyes to unconscious biases that affect how we parent our children.” - Sarah Gibbs, Editorial
“My first job out of college was as an assistant to a man, in a male-dominated office. I basically shepherded things to and from his office, typed up spreadsheets, and ordered lunch for corporate meetings. He was always uncomfortable when he spoke to me, shifting his stance, and averting his eyes. Around his male colleagues, he was completely different -- a "bro". I didn't understand this dynamic -- I had just come from a liberal arts college, and felt confident in my dealings with my male friends and professors. Joanne Lipman's book is shedding a neon-bright light on what was behind the strange behavior of my first boss, and the attitudes I have encountered with other male colleagues, managers, and even men who reported to me, in my career. I can't wait to devour this book.” - Alexis Barad-Cutler, Social Correspondent
As for me, I’m excited to get into any book again, after a long hiatus that I call #momlife. But I’m especially looking forward to this book, and to understanding on a deeper level how the gender divide in Corporate America came to be, and how we can get to work chipping away at it.
I hope you’ll take the #mindreader challenge and read this book with us. There’s no pressure - you’ve got all the way until the end of the year to get through it, and if you skip some and have to rely on the crib notes, we won’t tell. Hey, we’ll even write them for you. But we truly believe everyone of us needs more facts and more tried-and-tested methods for supporting working parents - and this feels like a pretty good place to start.