cover image Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (And Why It’s Different Than You Think)

Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (And Why It’s Different Than You Think)

Reshma Saujani. Atria, $27 (224p) ISBN 978-1-9821-9157-3

Girls Who Code founder Saujani (Brave, Not Perfect) calls for “a full-scale reenvisioning of how we as a society... define ‘work’ ” in this impassioned if familiar manifesto. She makes a case that women “need the system to change” and that equality won’t be found via hard work or through more “girlbosses.” Rather, it can only be the result of big changes in “workplaces, homelife, culture, and governmental support.” She calls for for flexible work, paid leave, and subsidized childcare, bringing political and professional experience to her argument as “the first Indian American woman to run for Congress in New York City.” But her claims about “women and work”narrow to focus on heterosexual mothers in traditional homes and jobs, the section that asks “How Did We Get Here?” is a Wikipedia-shallow dive into the history of women in the American workplace, and her “radical reinvention of the workplace” involves pretty standard policy updates regarding time-off boundaries and national paid leave. Even if the manifesto is not as revolutionary as it’s purported to be, progressive readers will nevertheless find it worthwhile as a forceful, focused, and cogent articulation of these goals. It’s a fine lay of the land, but there’s not quite enough to set this one apart. (Mar.)