Female Firebrands: Stories and Techniques to Ignite Change, Take Control, and Succeed in the Workplace

Mikaela Kiner. Greenleaf, $24.95 (242p) ISBN 978-1-62634-673-4
A skimpy roundup of female “firebrands” fizzles in this scant offering from consultant and first-time author Kiner. A Microsoft and Amazon veteran, she was called out by her young daughter about the long hours she worked, sending her into a tailspin of guilt—but, ultimately, she was inspired her to start her own consultancy focused on work-life balance. Here, she interviews 13 women from varied professional backgrounds—nonprofit, education, corporate—about handling professional challenges, from salary negotiation to avoiding burnout, and overcoming can’t-win criticisms typically levied on working women—too quiet, too loud, too arrogant, too tenacious. Kiner’s expressed hope is that her interviewees’ stories will help readers feel empowered and ready to advocate for themselves and for other women. Unfortunately, the subjects touched on, including oft-covered fare such as male privilege, imposter syndrome, #MeToo, mentorship, and the challenges faced by working mothers, receive only superficial treatment. One chapter, titled “Privilege in the Workplace,” is written in collaboration with a friend of Kiner’s, the head of diversity issues at a cancer research center, adding to the impression that Kiner herself struggled to find things to say about the book’s subjects. Between the fresh-from-transcription interviews and scant advice, Kiner brings little new to well-covered ground. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/09/2019
Release date: 01/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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