Women Who Don’t Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way

Reshma Saujani, Author
Reshma Saujani. New Harvest, $23 (176p) ISBN 978-0-544-02778-7
Reviewed on: 08/12/2013
Release date: 10/08/2013
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Through word and deed, activist Saujani, former N.Y.C. Deputy Public Advocate, hopes to inspire the next generation of female leaders. Advised to “wait her turn” by the New York Democratic political establishment and branded as an upstart by the media, 34-year-old Saujani raised $1.6 million to run for Congress against popular incumbent Carolyn Mahoney in 2010. She received just 19% of the vote, but calls the experience the best thing that ever happened to her. Talk about resilience! It’s one of the key indicators of success, unlike risk aversion, fear of failure, or self-defeating behavior in the effort to be likeable. “Too often, the things we do to be liked make us seem weak instead of strong,” she writes. Like Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In), Saujani attributes the dearth of women in leadership positions, in part, to self-imposed obstacles and calls for change from within. Her advice? Fake it till you make it, get comfortable with being your own press agent, don’t worry if they don’t like you, and find your mission in life. A beguiling blend of audacity and humility, the book proves most engaging when Saujani shares her experiences and accomplishments (such as founding Girls Who Code, which prepares underserved girls for careers in technology), less so when she channels her inner cheerleading coach. Agent: Andrea Barzvi, ICM. (Oct.)
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