“That’s What She Said” Book Review & Key Insights

In Joanne Lipman’s new book, That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together, she share this quote from Dr. Brian Welle, Director of People Analytics at Google:

If people believe that everyone around them is fighting against their biases, stereotypes and prejudices, they will do the same.


Let that sink in for a minute…

Our biases are reduced when we believe the people around us working to interrupt their own biases, and when we see it firsthand.

Another study relayed by Lipman sheds a light on what happens when the opposite approach is taken: If people are only told that everyone is biased (which we are), it allows them to feel justified in continuing to have their own biases.

Frank Dobbin, professor of sociology at Harvard University found when looking at diversity programs across 829 companies over 30 years, that “in general, training doesn’t do much if anything.”

Further, these types of programs actually made things worse for white women and for black men and women!

Joanne Lipman That's What She Said book review The Way WoMen Work Rania Anderson

Until this past December, Lipman was the Editor-in-Chief of USA Today and Chief Content Officer of its parent company, Gannett. Previously,  she was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Conde Nast Portfolio magazine and a Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal. With a writing style you’d expect from a thorough, engaging world-class journalist, her timely book brings together numerous studies and examples to provide the reader with a comprehensive primer of the current workplace landscape.

That’s What She Said will heighten your awareness and understanding. To effect change, go back to Dr, Welle’s insights. Everyday all over the world, I see people and companies doing their utmost to overcome bias and create work environments that lead to greater gender equality. They do so by taking action. So can you.

For an additional review of That’s What She Said check out Robbie Myers, January 30, 2018, The New York Times article.