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The Fix: Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work

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In the vein of #Girlboss and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, discover how to thrive at work from the head of the Global Innovation Coalition for Change at UN Women with this “passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women” (Arianna Huffington). For years, we’ve been telling women that in order to succeed at In the vein of #Girlboss and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, discover how to thrive at work from the head of the Global Innovation Coalition for Change at UN Women with this “passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women” (Arianna Huffington). For years, we’ve been telling women that in order to succeed at work, they have to change themselves first—lean in, negotiate like a man, don’t act too nice or you’ll never get the corner office. But after sixteen years working with major Fortune 500 companies as a gender equality expert, Michelle King has realized one simple truth—the tired advice of fixing women doesn’t fix anything. The truth is that workplaces are gendered; they were designed by men for men. Because of this, most organizations unconsciously carry the idea of an “ideal worker,” typically a straight, white man who doesn’t have to juggle work and family commitments. Based on King’s research and exclusive interviews with major companies and thought leaders, The Fix reveals why denying the fact that women are held back just because they are women—what she calls gender denial—is the biggest obstacle holding women back at work and outlines the hidden sexism and invisible barriers women encounter at work every day. Women who speak up are seen as pushy. Women who ask for a raise are seen as difficult. Women who spend hours networking don’t get the same career benefits as men do. Because women don’t look like the ideal worker and can’t behave like the ideal worker, they are passed over for promotions, paid less, and pushed out of the workforce, not because they aren’t good enough, but because they aren’t men. In this fascinating and empowering book, King outlines the invisible barriers that hold women back at all stages of their careers, and provides readers with a clear set of takeaways to thrive despite the sexist workplace, as they fight for change from within. Gender equality is not about women, and it is not about men—it is about making workplaces work for everyone. Together, we can fix work, not women.


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In the vein of #Girlboss and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, discover how to thrive at work from the head of the Global Innovation Coalition for Change at UN Women with this “passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women” (Arianna Huffington). For years, we’ve been telling women that in order to succeed at In the vein of #Girlboss and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, discover how to thrive at work from the head of the Global Innovation Coalition for Change at UN Women with this “passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women” (Arianna Huffington). For years, we’ve been telling women that in order to succeed at work, they have to change themselves first—lean in, negotiate like a man, don’t act too nice or you’ll never get the corner office. But after sixteen years working with major Fortune 500 companies as a gender equality expert, Michelle King has realized one simple truth—the tired advice of fixing women doesn’t fix anything. The truth is that workplaces are gendered; they were designed by men for men. Because of this, most organizations unconsciously carry the idea of an “ideal worker,” typically a straight, white man who doesn’t have to juggle work and family commitments. Based on King’s research and exclusive interviews with major companies and thought leaders, The Fix reveals why denying the fact that women are held back just because they are women—what she calls gender denial—is the biggest obstacle holding women back at work and outlines the hidden sexism and invisible barriers women encounter at work every day. Women who speak up are seen as pushy. Women who ask for a raise are seen as difficult. Women who spend hours networking don’t get the same career benefits as men do. Because women don’t look like the ideal worker and can’t behave like the ideal worker, they are passed over for promotions, paid less, and pushed out of the workforce, not because they aren’t good enough, but because they aren’t men. In this fascinating and empowering book, King outlines the invisible barriers that hold women back at all stages of their careers, and provides readers with a clear set of takeaways to thrive despite the sexist workplace, as they fight for change from within. Gender equality is not about women, and it is not about men—it is about making workplaces work for everyone. Together, we can fix work, not women.

30 review for The Fix: Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Penelope King

    It is my book! Read it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wan Ling

    3.5/5 - lots of useful points and questions for self-reflection, but I think I haven't had enough work experience to benefit fully from this book! To revisit after I've gained experience in managing people / leading teams. Main ideas - creating a workplace that values men and women equally and gives everyone the freedom to be themselves, where difference (needs, interests, contributions) is acknowledged and valued (e.g. you are not just an employee, you are an employee and also a parent) - Dominan 3.5/5 - lots of useful points and questions for self-reflection, but I think I haven't had enough work experience to benefit fully from this book! To revisit after I've gained experience in managing people / leading teams. Main ideas - creating a workplace that values men and women equally and gives everyone the freedom to be themselves, where difference (needs, interests, contributions) is acknowledged and valued (e.g. you are not just an employee, you are an employee and also a parent) - Dominant groups set the standards for behaviour in organisations, which we are all encouraged to adopt - diversity and inclusion initiatives e.g. targets depersonalise the entire problem and do not create sustainable change as they give women leaders a token status - Awareness of inequality is a leader's job

  3. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    The Fix by Michelle P. King is a timely book that focuses on the invisible barriers that are holding women back in the workplace. King is a gender equality expert and has spent a lot of time researching this important and relevant issue. King discusses the current issues that women are facing in a readable and approachable manner. One highlight of this book was how she presented historical and root causes that have set up today's workplaces that ultimately were and still are designed for men. "T The Fix by Michelle P. King is a timely book that focuses on the invisible barriers that are holding women back in the workplace. King is a gender equality expert and has spent a lot of time researching this important and relevant issue. King discusses the current issues that women are facing in a readable and approachable manner. One highlight of this book was how she presented historical and root causes that have set up today's workplaces that ultimately were and still are designed for men. "This book is an introduction to the numerous invisible barriers all women face throughout their careers because organizations are not designed for different. And that a true problem, because our differences are not barriers to overcome, they are what make us remarkable. We deserve the freedom to be ourselves at work and to be appreciated for this. This is equality. It's also freedom. Gender inequality at work is a problem for all of us. This means that your fight is my fight. Equality is not about women, and itis not about women, it is about making workplaces work for everyone." These challenges are not things women just can "overcome" on their own which is a common misunderstanding. King proactively shares the steps we can take to make real change and find gender equality, This book has the perfect amount of research mixed with approachable and conversational text and I got so much out of it. Thank you to Atria Books for an advanced copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Poorly edited (could easily have been 100 pages shorter if you removed all the redundancies) and misses the mark at times. As just one example, King suggests joining an employee affinity group in which you have no demographic affiliation “to better understand the challenges that different employees have” (p. 83, hardcover). In a vacuum that isn’t a terrible idea. But in reality, it can be highly invasive of another group’s space and, in many instances, could be seen as a blind use of privilege. Poorly edited (could easily have been 100 pages shorter if you removed all the redundancies) and misses the mark at times. As just one example, King suggests joining an employee affinity group in which you have no demographic affiliation “to better understand the challenges that different employees have” (p. 83, hardcover). In a vacuum that isn’t a terrible idea. But in reality, it can be highly invasive of another group’s space and, in many instances, could be seen as a blind use of privilege. (Plus, the onus of learning should be on the individual, rather than relying on those who are “different” to teach them.) There are several other similar examples throughout the book that, in my view, undermined the overall message of the book as well as my confidence in the author’s viewpoint.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    King's book stands apart from other self-help books for working women as she sheds light on the biases that are keeping women from achieving leadership roles instead of what women can do to fit the workplace ideal worker, think Don Draper according to King. She also notes that "workplaces want men and women to work as though they don't have children. However, society requires that working mothers raise children as though they never work" (175). No wonder it feels so hard to do both well! Working King's book stands apart from other self-help books for working women as she sheds light on the biases that are keeping women from achieving leadership roles instead of what women can do to fit the workplace ideal worker, think Don Draper according to King. She also notes that "workplaces want men and women to work as though they don't have children. However, society requires that working mothers raise children as though they never work" (175). No wonder it feels so hard to do both well! Working mother are also paid 71 cents for every dollar working father make, and King says that statistic hasn't changed in over 30 years (177). King also sheds light on the increased issues women of color face in the workplace, as they have to overcome gender and racial bias. King stresses that, "gender equality is not about raising women up at the expense of men. . . It is about creating a workplace that values men and women equally and gives everyone the freedom to be themselves" (39). Though when King did a study in 2018 she found that, "overwhelmingly, when asked what the number-one barrier was to their success, men blamed gender and diversity initiatives" (54). King writes about both the problems and the solutions to these issues, dividing the book into three sections: awareness, understanding, and action. This is thought provoking and much needed for today's working women. While I was reading the book King did an interview on a podcast I listen to, which I really enjoyed. https://lauravanderkam.com/2020/03/be...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mintaute

    Quite repetitive, but eyes-opening nonetheless. I would like it to be read by every boss, who is in charge of her/his team management. We all live in a denial phase, believing in meritocracy. I am sure that there are more women, who just like me, thinks that gender inequality happens to some people, but not to me and it will not happen to me in the future. Well - you are wrong. I was wrong. Inequality exists. It happens in everyday life, so let's start seeing it. Let's call it out and put our ow Quite repetitive, but eyes-opening nonetheless. I would like it to be read by every boss, who is in charge of her/his team management. We all live in a denial phase, believing in meritocracy. I am sure that there are more women, who just like me, thinks that gender inequality happens to some people, but not to me and it will not happen to me in the future. Well - you are wrong. I was wrong. Inequality exists. It happens in everyday life, so let's start seeing it. Let's call it out and put our own effort to fix it. Because it's not women, who needs to be fixed, it's a working place and working culture which needs a major repair. Do not fall under assumption, that you alone can overcome the inequality that happens to you. Please, do a favor for everyone to recognize it, call it out and dismantle it. And one more thing - take your time to understand how extremely privileged you are in your life and do something about it for others, who are not so lucky. It's your business to pay your privilege tax for a better society. All information how to do it step by step you will find in the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Little

    Four stars. Appreciated: the incredible interviews and perspectives King has been collecting and pouring herself into for many years. I also always appreciate a research-based book on women and the challenges they face, so it was pretty much an automatic win in my book. Small issues with: felt a big emphasis on men and women with children needing flexibility, yet that's not a stage of life I'm in, so it felt exclusive, which is somewhat ironic? That's just my perspective based on my current life Four stars. Appreciated: the incredible interviews and perspectives King has been collecting and pouring herself into for many years. I also always appreciate a research-based book on women and the challenges they face, so it was pretty much an automatic win in my book. Small issues with: felt a big emphasis on men and women with children needing flexibility, yet that's not a stage of life I'm in, so it felt exclusive, which is somewhat ironic? That's just my perspective based on my current life experience, but I know it's important for many. Also it felt a bit repetitive, which is saying something for one who needs repetition. I mostly appreciated it, but can see others disliking it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Winyen

    This book is moreso addressing the systemic/organizational actions that those who are managers/leaders in companies need to be aware of. Lots of research in here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nichole

    Boring and repetitive. Rehash of ideas already expressed elsewhere- in Ted Talks, etc.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kati

  11. 4 out of 5

    Morgen

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eliza Dizzaway

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emma Waldren

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ann Cushman

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex Nealon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beki Diamond

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Walker

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amina_

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Gestoso

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Peacock

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chrissi Ruby

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wassima Gamal

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mehmet Sevinc

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