A sweeping, salient survey of the gender gap in corporate America.
There are scores of bestselling books about being female in the workplace, most of which are written by women for women. Lipman (co-author: Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Art of Perfection, 2013, etc.) attempts to bump the dialogue to another level by including men in the conversation. Currently the chief content officer of Gannett and editor-in-chief of USA Today, the author has long been a fixture in the upper echelons of American journalism. In this volume, she combines decades of her own observations and experiences with a profusion of data-driven research about the state of the gender union—or disunion—in the workplace. The sheer number of stories and statistics can be overwhelming at times, but they do conclusively demonstrate that inequality and sexism are alive and well in the workplace. Establishing these facts seems less about proving a point and more about getting details out of the way before moving to the main inquiry of the book—namely, how to bring about real change? Lipman chronicles numerous initiatives—many spearheaded by men—indicating that, “despite intractable issues of misogyny and abuse in some corners, we are closing in on solutions.” Such programs as formal mentoring programs, blind job applications, and various educational initiatives are making a difference, though on a grand scale, the gains appear to be slight and slow. Despite the many obstacles, the book is packed with pithy insights on how real change might occur. The author notes that it will take more than just men and women reaching across the gender divide and working together; it will also require each sex to examine how they are perpetuating a workplace ideal that favors men. Impressively, Lipman manages to call out the problem and stare it squarely in the face without demonizing or alienating those who are vital to its solution.
A solid start to an essential, gender-inclusive conversation.