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.
Michelle King is a leading global expert in gender and organizations and head of the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change. In addition, King is an advisory board member for Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign. Michelle writes for Forbes, Thrive, Harvard Business Review, and is also the host of the weekly podcast, The Fix, which shares practical ways men and women can advance equality at work. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two children.
“So much about the world of work—from workplace culture to our definition of success—was created by men, and it's not working for women or indeed for men. And it’s no surprise that women pay a disproportionately high price for their participation. That’s why The Fix, is so important. It’s a passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women.”
– Arianna Huffington, founder of Thrive Global
“Michelle King has written a book that is more than necessary today. With its clarity and common sense, its passion and practicality, it is a vital piece calling for a workplace that actually works for women. Michelle provides actions to take that do not succumb to the notion of 'fixing' women. Calling for accountability in what too often is a toxic environment is only as important as offering ways to bring about real change in that environment. Michelle writes with elegance and precision, inviting us all in to be better informed and better understood.”
– Meredith Walker, founder of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
“The structures in the workplace that prevent women from succeeding are the same structures that make it nearly impossible for men to become the emotionally aware, sensitive, and compassionate people—and colleagues—that we are capable of being. The Fix offers men the chance to unlearn some of the behaviors that harm us, and those around us, and invites us to shed the notion of who we are ‘supposed’ to be so we can do the meaningful work of learning who we truly are. Work that, when done right, allows us to become true allies in the fight to make the workplace, and the world, a more equitable place. King’s book is a compelling read for all men and organizations who want to do better and are unsure of where to start.”