The fact that I deliberated with myself about whether I ought to make this book the Editor’s Choice this month gave me pause for thought. And in the end, it was that uncertainty about whether I was doing the right thing that was the deciding factor in recommending Ellen Pao’s Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change (Spiegel & Grau, 2017).
I was initially motivated to read this book because in a past life I have worked very closely with a number of Venture Capital firms. I was curious to see the inner workings of Kleiner Perkins. And the fact that Ellen Pao gave up millions in order to write this book (she refused to agree to a settlement for anti-disparagement…or something like that – forgive me if I’ve got the legal terms wrong) suggested it was going to be good!
Initially, I found myself surprised not to find some big, juicy allegation in here. But that is precisely Pao’s point: it is the thousand little things she and others are exposed to every day that add up to a world that is deeply unjust. I’ve decided not to weigh-in further on the topic of the book because the subject is still too raw. Hot on the heels of the #Metoo trend across social media, highlighting the extent of sexual assault and harrassment, I feel strongly that now is the time to listen. To reflect. To learn.
I think this is an important book for everyone to read. Not just women and not just people who are marginalized because of the colour of their skin, their faith or sexual orientation. Infact, it is perhaps more important that those who have never felt marginalized to read it. It is only when we learn to view the world through a completely different lens that we can start to have more meaningful (albeit uncomortable) conversations. Thank you, Ellen, for setting that ball in motion.