Staff Picks

Becoming Heroines: Unleashing Our Power for Revolution and Rebirth

Gabbi Cisneros

July 12, 2021

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Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin has effectively compiled her experience as CEO of Gaia Project Consulting, LLC, with personal traumas and accomplishments throughout her life, crafting a book that perfectly balances vulnerability and instruction.

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Becoming Heroines: Unleashing Our Power for Revolution and Rebirth by Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin, Portfolio 

The Gaia Project for Women's Leadership acknowledges that business is personal, as their programs and corporate consulting help women and their allies embrace new models of leadership in order to expand what leaders value beyond time and money, to also acknowledge and overcome unconscious bias and adverse corporate culture, and embrace diversity and inclusivity. Founder Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin shares her and her company's values in the empowering new book, Becoming Heroines. In the introduction, she quickly establishes her unique voice and perspective on women's latent power through a little-known Greek myth, a story about her friend and coworker who succumbed to cancer in early 2020, and the California wildfire from Silverado Canyon–Stories I never expected to see side by side, nor in a book on leadership. 

I was instantly engrossed in the book, intrigued by the variety of directions at which Cronise McLaughlin attacks the issues holding back women and then traces the cyclical path from Recognition to Reconciliation to Revolution to Rebirth, allowing readers to drop in anywhere they feel is most relevant to them. She shares her own experiences with stunning unprofessionalism and discrimination in professional spaces, as well as short examples of other women who have been hurt and are healing, often with the help of their community. Cronise McLaughlin shares her retrospective realizations in poetic, almost spiritual sentences:

We fail not because we aren’t good enough. 

We fail because our failure preserves the status quo. 

And perhaps even more importantly, we fail because we were meant for something better. 

Women have waded through advice about changing who we are to be taken seriously for long enough. Becoming Heroines defines the powers we fight against, the internal and external work we need to undertake to enact change, and a place to see how powerful this work can be for our independence, but more importantly, for women collectively. 

When we are able to burn the myths that got us here, and to confront the reality of the structures designed to give only a small group of us power, with strategies that will change the status quo forever, we become heroines for ourselves; for women we know, love, and work with; and for those coming up the ladder behind us and in the world at large. 

Cronise McLaughlin has effectively compiled her experience as CEO of Gaia Project Consulting, LLC, with personal traumas and accomplishments throughout her life, crafting a book that perfectly balances vulnerability and instruction. I'm very excited for others to read and re-read this book as they continue in their career journeys. 

A related new book in the women's issues space that I recommend this week is Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan’s #MeToo Movement by Shiori Ito. 

About The Author

Gabriella Cisneros is usually ‘Gabbi.’ She is a recent graduate of UW-Milwaukee, with degrees in Film and Spanish, and she’s a new addition to Porchlight Books. It’s kind of a dream job for someone who has a 55 page, indexed document of interesting words she’s found in books. Gabbi regularly makes time for taking photos, traveling, attending concerts, trying new restaurants, listening to the podcast "Ologies," blogging, filmmaking, fitness, and—of course—reading.

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