As 2016 draws to end we decided to share our thoughts on a book we’ve each read this year.  I’ve chosen, ‘What Works: Gender Equality by Design’ by Iris Bohnet.

In a year full of bad news and examples of what doesn’t work, I’ve tried hard to pay attention to the good news, to what is working and to the strengths we can build on.  This book therefore jumped off the shelf at me earlier this year!  

As a dreamer, I long dream of the day when all inequality is eradicated: When earth’s peoples value their individual characteristics and contributions equally.  To achieve that dream I think we need to work smartly, collaboratively and lightly to redesign the way we think and behave, and to redesign the systems and environments in which we operate. both individually and collectively.

In her book, Iris Bohnet neatly pulls together various studies and research from around the world to help guide further action. She draws upon varied examples of what works (and what doesn’t) and the use of Data, Experimentation and SIGNposting in redesigning the environments in which we work, learn, live and care.  I’ve attempted a summary in the accompanying mind map.

The book has encouraged me to make changes in both my life and work to include:

  • To learn more about unconscious bias.
  • To regularly check my own privilege and bias.
  • To seek out, collect and analyse more gendered data.
  • To actively champion other women and their work and make them more visible.
  • To help drive a collaborative campaign for greater equality as part of devotion in Greater Manchester.
  • To look for more examples of what works for gender equality in other contexts.
  • To further develop my own facilitation and coaching skills so I can help create conditions for collective intelligence.  In particular through clean language and systemic modelling.
  • To establish and facilitate more ‘circles of collaboration’ and ‘working out loud circles’ specifically for women.
  • To peer coach and mentor other women.
  • To be quicker to share my own thinking, work and achievements.
  • To spend more time with women and actively build peer group and network particularly within Greater Manchester and North.
  • To be quicker to call out and challenge everyday sexism and discrimination.
  • equality

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