That's What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together
February 12, 2018
Joanne Lipman's new book discusses the hidden lives of women at work, and why we're all better off if we put an end to the gender gap.
The year in publishing has gotten off to an incredibly strong start, with books by veteran authors Dan Pink and Todd Henry dropping in the first month. But it is Joanne Lipman's That's What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) about Working Together, which hit shelves on January 30th, that feels like will have the largest and most long-lasting impact.
The way I concluded my review of the book earlier this month helps explain the book's title:
“Science and research are helping clarify the gender gap,” Joanne Lipman insists, “which ultimately will help close it.” But it is only by raising awareness and changing behavior that we can change the culture. There are some very simple and easy ways to do so every day. Rather than pretend we are gender blind, which “in practice [has] meant treating women as if they were men,” leaders must use their position to deliberately understand and advance the position of women. Attempting to be “gender blind,” Lipman insists, is just to be blind.
Hopefully, the day will come when “That’s what she said” is known less as sexual innuendo tossed around the workplace, and becomes more common as the proper and immediate response of everyone when a man attempts to rephrase and take credit for a women’s idea in a meeting. Lipman sets the scene:
Olivia makes a smart comment, and no one seems to hear it. Then Bill paraphrases it, and suddenly he’s a genius: “That Bill! What a sharp thinker he is.” The women in the room, meanwhile, are all thinking the same thing: “WTF?? That’s what she said.”
The sooner we change, the better it will be for women and men. Rather than fear and anxiety that our differences will lead to a misunderstanding and conflict, we must learn to understand our differences and then use that diversity of perspective to make progress for everyone. The first step is awareness, which Joanne Lipman raises on a whole range of issues that I’ve only been able to scratch the surface of here. It’s a truly important book that I hope all of you will read.
We have 20 copies available.