Greetings Big Readers-
For Q2, we will continue our 2017 theme of reading books that expand our understanding of others in order to be inclusive leaders. The book selections for Q2 are:
All the Single Ladies, by Rebecca Traister
"In 2009, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven. But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more."
You Can't Touch My Hair, and Other Things I Still Have to Explain, by Phoebe Robinson
"Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of "the black friend," as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel ("isn’t that . . . white people music?"); she's been called "uppity" for having an opinion in the workplace; she's been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she's ready to take these topics to the page—and she’s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it."
As I wrote earlier, every one of us brings our personal histories and experiences to work each day, but we often don't realize how different our perception of the world may be from that of our co-workers, our bosses, or our employees. We paper over these differences in ways that are big and small, but this behavior often comes at a cost to our authenticity, our ability to bring our best selves to every situation, and our ability to help other women.
I hope you'll join us on June 14th in Palo Alto for our next discussion.