Despite occasional shopworn truisms, a generally inspiring assemblage of informed perspectives.

NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED

TRUE STORIES OF WOMEN LEADERS IN TECH

A collection of interviews with female leaders in the high-tech industry discussing their experiences with gender bias.

After she was introduced to programming at 14 years old, debut author Rao Gluckman enthusiastically decided she wanted to become an engineer. She didn’t, however, anticipate the gender bias she would encounter when she pursued a position in management and joined the ranks of leadership. She sought out role models and mentorship among other women in positions of authority within the high-tech field, a strategy she became convinced could be helpful to other women as well. Consequently, Rao Gluckman, who currently manages a team of software engineers at a computer software company, spoke with accomplished female executives about their encounters with bias, their influences and inspirations, and their strategies for success, and she compiles 19 of those interviews here. The topics range widely—institutional bias, compensation, and the difficulty balancing the demands of work and family. One theme is the “imposter syndrome,” the discomfiting feeling of self-doubt even some of the savviest women suffer in a male-dominated industry. There are also incisive discussions of the illusion of meritocracy, a myth undermined by the ubiquity of bias. International perspectives are represented as well. Yanbing Li, a senior vice president and general manager, notes that there is much less bias in STEM fields in China. Each interview is prefaced by a “biosketch,” a brief synopsis of the subject’s experience and perspective, and ends with bulleted “takeways,” brief summaries of the exchange’s chief points. The author is a perspicacious interviewer and skillfully extracts illuminating insights and fresh perspectives from her subjects. For example, Alaina Percival, CEO and board chair for Women Who Code, observes that undercompensating women ultimately hurts companies that are unable to retain top talent as a result. The author’s prose can lazily default to clichés: Phrases like “and the world becomes your oyster” undermine the genuine insights shared. Also, some of Rao Gluckman’s own counsel is vague and overly general; her solution to the imposter syndrome problem: “By tackling it head on, becoming disciplined, and learning more about the area we are insecure about.”

Despite occasional shopworn truisms, a generally inspiring assemblage of informed perspectives.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 303

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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