If the revolution will not be televised, might it take place over a conference call? New books propose ways to amplify marginalized voices in the workplace, at client meetings, and with investor dollars, and offer advice that incorporates a more complete picture of the American workforce.
Minda Harts founded career development platform the Memo, which helps women of color advance in the workplace. In her forthcoming book The Memo (Seal, Aug.), she writes of the issues women of color, specifically, face—such as microaggressions, systemic racism, and white privilege. “The media is just waking up to the fact that women are not a single bloc,” says Stephanie Knapp, senior editor at Seal. “It’s important that we not conflate all women as having the same challenges and obstacles.”
And it’s essential, editors say, that working women with privilege, status, and/or money use those resources for good. “There was Lean In, and then there was the Lean In backlash,” says Anna Leinberger, editorial manager and acquisitions editor at Berrett-Koehler, of her interest in From Sabotage to Support (May) by Joy L. Wiggins, an equity and diversity consultant, and Kami J. Anderson, a specialist in intercultural communication and culture. Anderson, who is black, and Wiggins, who is white, take care not to scold anyone, Leinberger says, but instead “get really specific on how white feminists can support their black female coworkers.”
Women of all races have had the experience of being talked over, shouted down, and interrupted, says Stephanie Hitchcock, an editor at HarperBusiness; that reality is addressed in Outspoken (July) by Veronica Rueckert, a trained opera singer and former Wisconsin Public Radio host. Rueckert teaches women to raise their voices—literally and figuratively—and her lessons are about more than just being heard, Hitchcock says: “The message is ‘You can do so much more with your life than you thought you could.’ ”
Other forthcoming books guide readers in using their dollars to effect change. For financial advisor Mark A. Pinsky, coauthor, with Amalgamated Bank CEO Keith Mestrich, of Organized Money: How Progressives Can Leverage the Financial System to Work for Them, Not Against Them (New Press, Oct.), this is a pragmatic strategy. “The most powerful force in the world is the U.S. financial system,” he says. “The government doesn’t function without it. Progressives cede control of their money to the conservatives who run, and end up financing, the opposition. If progressives got ownership of 5%–10% of the financial sector, it would bring about transformational change.”
Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler proposes a more values-based, sustainability-focused society in This Could Be Our Future (Viking, Oct.). “He’s not saying we need to get rid of capitalism, burn down the world, and start over,” says Emily Wunderlich, Stickler’s editor. “He ran a public benefit corporation and changed the way crowdfunding worked. He showed how people can act outside of their self-interest in support of their values.”
Those concerned that their retirement security rests on funds that don’t further—or go against—their ecological and social principles will find advice in Invest for Good (Bloomsbury Business, July). Emerging markets funds manager Mark Mobius, with coauthors and business partners Carlos von Hardenberg and Greg Konieczny, helps readers strategize to invest in companies that align with their values. “People will always want to invest in their future,” says Ian Hallsworth, publisher at Bloomsbury Business. “But they’re starting to be more mindful of what that money is being made to do, and the social impact their investments may be having.”