Nevertheless, She Persisted: True Stories of Women Leaders in Tech
It is no secret that the technical world is a male-dominated space. From the cultural belief that Computer Science is a “subject for boys”, to the assumptions and discrimination women experience in the field, it can be challenging for women at every stage to thrive in tech careers.
Nevertheless, some high-performing women persist and succeed as leaders in tech despite the gender biases pitted against them. Pratima Rao Gluckman—a female leader in tech herself—embarked on a project to collect stories of the leadership journeys of such women. She wanted to know the details of these women’s stories, and how they accomplished their achievements. What influenced them during their childhoods? Who were their mentors? What successes and failures did they experience? What magical ingredients helped them thrive in a male‑dominated industry?
These questions and more inspired Gluckman to interview nineteen women leaders in several levels of technology industry, including VPs, CEOs and directors, all of which are collected in this groundbreaking book, Nevertheless, She Persisted. Whether you are a young woman thinking of a career in software, a middle-career or executive woman, a parent, or a man curious about the role gender plays in tech, this book reveals the secrets, successes, and hidden struggles that women have endured to become both highly accomplished in their technical skills and effective senior leaders in their organizations. Their stories are illuminating, intended to inspire generations of women and help free our society from the limiting belief that ability is somehow linked to gender.
Author: Pratima Rao Gluckman
Thank you to the author and publishers for providing me a free copy of this book so that I may have the opportunity to review it!
This was a really interesting book with a great concept. Gluckman, who works in the tech industry herself and found herself really waking up to the gender issues within it, set out on a mission to interview some tech powerwomen. She was looking to tell them world about their experiences, including both how they got to where they are today and how they feel about gender issues in the tech industry.
It took me a little while to settle into this book and allow it to claim my attention, but once I did, I found myself intrigued by these women. Each chapter features a different interviewee (19 in total) and follows roughly the same format. This got a little tedious after a while—I wish Gluckman had varied the structure a bit from chapter to chapter—but not enough to make me put the book down. I also liked how Gluckman provided these women in a story style rather than a question-and-answer style, and I liked that she inserted her own thoughts, opinions, and reactions along the way.
One of my biggest pieces of discontent about this book has to do with intersectionality. There were white women, Asian women, Indian women, and even Israeli women, but no black women. There were also no LGBTQIA+ women/individuals. There was plenty of talk about husbands and finding a supportive partner, but nothing inclusive there. Not even an throwaway admission that heterosexual couples aren't the only type. I understand that Gluckman chose these women largely out of her own network, but a little effort here would have gone a long way.
All in all, I liked the book and found myself interested and motivated by it. I'm not sure whether it will reach or engage it's target audience, but I would encourage young women interested in or just beginning a career in tech to give it a shot.