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For your knowledge advantage, we put together the most actionable insights from 4 getAbstract summaries (4 books with a total of 1059 pages) on this topic. If you did this work yourself, you would be busy for at least 1269 minutes (about 22 hours). Learn more.

Challenging Obstacles

A reminder that women continue to face obstacles they must challenge.

Challenging Obstacles

Women continue to face obstacles they must challenge. Let’s look at some of them.

Internal Obstacles

Cultural stereotypes and gender misperceptions often keep women from pursuing their ambitions.  Meanwhile, women can be unaware of the fact that this pesky inner voice telling them that they are not good enough or that they are failing as mothers is just repeating cultural falsehoods. In Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis, founder of the lifestyle website, offers a series of strategies for women to become the author of their own life story:

Image of: Girl, Wash Your Face
Book Summary

Girl, Wash Your Face

Best-selling Girl book series author Rachel Hollis wants women to take charge of their happiness.

Rachel Hollis Thomas Nelson
Read Summary

Invisible Barriers

Patriarchy supports the beliefs that women aren’t as good or as valuable as men. Patriarchy is so much a part of society that most people don’t realize they hold those beliefs. Gender expert Michelle P. King describes numerous “invisible barriers” that women and other minorities face. “Invisible barriers” impede women’s advancement. For instance, companies often value women’s collaborative leadership style less than a dominant, aggressive male style. Yet women are often excellent leaders – creative, collaborative and democratic. To promote genuine workplace equality, King explains, companies must encourage a variety of skills:

Image of: The Fix
Book Summary

The Fix

Stop trying to fix yourself. It’s not you that’s broken; it’s your workplace.

Michelle P. King Atria Books
Read Summary

The “Likability Trap”

Warmth, the primary attribute of likeability in women, reads as weakness in the male-dominated business world. Yet, the more a woman demonstrates strength, the more that world perceives her as unlikeable. Journalist Alicia Menendez dissects the challenges facing women in the workplace and the public sphere as they try to navigate passage between the rock of “likeability” and the hard place of leadership qualities. Menendez underscores the personal and economic cost of these biases and how businesses and society must change the way they evaluate and treat women:

Image of: The Likeability Trap
Book Summary

The Likeability Trap

Women face conflicting demands: to exhibit leadership qualities and to be likeable.

Alicia Menendez HarperBusiness
Read Summary

Unconscious Bias

Women of color face even greater systemic barriers to advancement than white women. As Minda Harts explains in The Memo, workplaces discourage women from pursuing professional opportunities, particularly if they want to discuss systemic racism and the gender and racial wage gap. To overcome these systemic obstacles, Harts argues, women of color must embrace the belief that they deserve to reach the pinnacle of their ambition. It takes intentional effort to replace self-doubt and insecurity with the confidence you need to get ahead:

Image of: The Memo
Book Summary

The Memo

Professor Minda Harts offers real-world career counseling for women of color.

Minda Harts Seal Press
Read Summary
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4 We have curated the most actionable insights from 4 summaries for this feature.
4 We read and summarized 4 books with 1059 pages for this article.
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