Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,
Spacefem
spacefem

Book: She Wins, You Win (Evans)

I finished "She Wins, You Win" by Gail Evans. We read it for my women's group book club at work. It's a great book for a woman's network to read because it makes a fantastic case for women's networks! Not just formal ones though, informal ones too.

Evan's main point is that women are a team, and need to play like a team. Help each other out. Men help each other out, it's no big deal for them to hire someone who shares the same fraternity letters or golf club membership. In fact, men are a LOT better, in general, at mixing business and personal life. They talk about business. Women talk about kids, hairstylists, celeb news, you name it... we feel like declaring our jobs is an invasion. "I'm a lawyer, if you need a lawyer call me!"

Now, I realize that this is all "women tend to..." stuff that could be up to debate. But one thing is obvious: we all relate better to folks we have things in common with. Women have a huge advantage when it comes to recognizing talent in other women. For the good of the world, we owe it to each other to use it. As Evans says, if we aren't helping each other out, who will?

As a woman engineer I've seen too many in my profession who say, "Feminism got me no where. I am all me. I'm not a woman engineer, I'm just an engineer. Why aren't there more of us? I don't know. Most women just don't have what I do. I'm the one. That's all we need."

Personally, I feel like there aren't women in science because we don't see examples that help us picture ourselves in the roll. And we don't know if we'll feel like "part of the family" if we do go into it. As women, we can really step up and encourage girls and women to do what we do. But it means making a declaration: "I am going to help women".

That declaration doesn't imply that you're kicking the men, and we need to stop being afraid of coming off like that. It's been a stone thrown at feminists for years... "you can't help women, there won't be enough help to go around!" Bullshit! My SWE section invites both boys and girls to our annual engineering expo, where we demonstrate science activities to kids. But we, together, are women. We know that the event can expose boys and girls alike to new ideas, but since girls are less likely to recognize their interests in STEM fields, any open event like this is a huge opportunity for them. We're just opening the dialog.

But that's all my personal take, the book isn't about women in science, it's more about women in leadership... another underrepresented slice of the world. Gail Evans was an Executive Vice President of CNN. She talks about how women feel the need to compete with each other sometimes for coveted leadership positions, not recognizing that if even one of them gets the spot, she can help get more women up to her level. And that, among other reasons, is why we've got to drop the "it's all me on my own" mantra and help each other out.
Tags: books, books - business, books - feminism, feminism
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