The Fix

Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work

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About The Book

In the vein of #Girlboss and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, discover how to thrive at work from the head of the Global Innovation Coalition for Change at UN Women with this “passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women” (Arianna Huffington).

For years, we’ve been telling women that in order to succeed at work, they have to change themselves first—lean in, negotiate like a man, don’t act too nice or you’ll never get the corner office. But after sixteen years working with major Fortune 500 companies as a gender equality expert, Michelle King has realized one simple truth—the tired advice of fixing women doesn’t fix anything.

The truth is that workplaces are gendered; they were designed by men for men. Because of this, most organizations unconsciously carry the idea of an “ideal worker,” typically a straight, white man who doesn’t have to juggle work and family commitments. Based on King’s research and exclusive interviews with major companies and thought leaders, The Fix reveals why denying the fact that women are held back just because they are women—what she calls gender denial—is the biggest obstacle holding women back at work and outlines the hidden sexism and invisible barriers women encounter at work every day. Women who speak up are seen as pushy. Women who ask for a raise are seen as difficult. Women who spend hours networking don’t get the same career benefits as men do. Because women don’t look like the ideal worker and can’t behave like the ideal worker, they are passed over for promotions, paid less, and pushed out of the workforce, not because they aren’t good enough, but because they aren’t men.

In this fascinating and empowering book, King outlines the invisible barriers that hold women back at all stages of their careers, and provides readers with a clear set of takeaways to thrive despite the sexist workplace, as they fight for change from within. Gender equality is not about women, and it is not about men—it is about making workplaces work for everyone. Together, we can fix work, not women.

About The Author

Michelle King is a leading global expert in gender and organizations and head of the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change. In addition, King is an advisory board member for Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign. Michelle writes for Forbes, Thrive, Harvard Business Review, and is also the host of the weekly podcast, The Fix, which shares practical ways men and women can advance equality at work. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two children.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (March 3, 2020)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982110925

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Raves and Reviews

“So much about the world of work—from workplace culture to our definition of success—was created by men, and it's not working for women or indeed for men. And it’s no surprise that women pay a disproportionately high price for their participation. That’s why The Fix, is so important. It’s a passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women.”

– Arianna Huffington, founder of Thrive Global

“Michelle King has written a book that is more than necessary today. With its clarity and common sense, its passion and practicality, it is a vital piece calling for a workplace that actually works for women. Michelle provides actions to take that do not succumb to the notion of 'fixing' women. Calling for accountability in what too often is a toxic environment is only as important as offering ways to bring about real change in that environment. Michelle writes with elegance and precision, inviting us all in to be better informed and better understood.”

– Meredith Walker, founder of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls

“The structures in the workplace that prevent women from succeeding are the same structures that make it nearly impossible for men to become the emotionally aware, sensitive, and compassionate people—and colleagues—that we are capable of being. The Fix offers men the chance to unlearn some of the behaviors that harm us, and those around us, and invites us to shed the notion of who we are ‘supposed’ to be so we can do the meaningful work of learning who we truly are. Work that, when done right, allows us to become true allies in the fight to make the workplace, and the world, a more equitable place. King’s book is a compelling read for all men and organizations who want to do better and are unsure of where to start.”

– Justin Baldoni, actor and founder of Wayfarer Entertainment

The Fix is a powerful and essential read which challenges the dominant mindset regarding women's capabilities and the high cost of false narratives which prevent them from succeeding at a level commensurate with their aptitude and skills. Insightful and thoroughly engaging, Michelle King provides practical solutions for bringing about tangible and lasting change, as well as an impassioned argument for equity that moves beyond the current discourse on women in the workplace.”

– Dr. Nina Ansary, author, scholar, and UN Women Global Champion for Innovation

“We grow up with our mothers nursing, feeding, nurturing, guiding, reading, teaching, mentoring, and protecting us. Yet, for some reason we seem to forget that we wouldn’t be the men we are today without the women in our lives. What are we afraid of? Are we worried that we can’t handle the competition, we can’t seriously think we are better, can we? One can only hope that books like this will be read by men and women alike and that we can stop living in fear that only one gender can win.”

– Nigel Barker, fashion photographer and TV personality

“Michelle King is a global ambassador on advancing women and girls in society. In this book, she explores the challenges women face today that impact their ability to succeed and lays out solutions organizations can apply to ensure a workplace where everyone thrives. Michelle understands that creating an inclusive and equitable workplace for everyone takes all of us. We are fortunate she is sharing her expertise and learnings, and is bringing us along this journey to implement real change.”

– Dr. Cindy Pace, Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at MetLife

“Daring, thoughtful, and challenging! For all who want a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace, read this book today.”

– Michael Kaufman, author of The Time Has Come

“Michelle King’s work is an insightful look into the ways we, as a society, have unwittingly bought in to the idea that women in the workplace are what’s broken. The idea that in order to be successful, women need to do more or be more is simply not true, and reveals how our idea of gender stereotypes seeps into work culture and how we define what success looks like. This book is a practical walk through the ways we’ve failed women in the workplace and enforced harmful behavior from men, inviting us to the conclusion that women never needed fixing—we need to fix the workplace itself. The Fix starts an important conversation about how we’ll win, together.”

– Anna Blue & Melissa Kilby, co-executive directors of Girl Up

The Fix is in! Michelle King offers a lively, practical guide to achieving equality in the workplace—and shows how that benefits both men and women. Her insightful book explains why so many well-intentioned diversity programs fail, and lays out proven steps that will help all of us succeed.”

– Joanne Lipman, CNBC contributor and bestselling author of That's What She Said

The Fix is critical to not only moving the conversation around equality at work forward but also providing practical solutions that can be applied in any workplace. Michelle King has taken years of data, interviews, and personal experiences and broken down the workplace to its foundation, a foundation previously built for one type of professional.  In this powerful book, King crafts the future of work and offers a roadmap for crafting a new type of workplace where there is equal opportunity for all to succeed.”

– Kristy Wallace, CEO of Ellevate Network

“Michelle King candidly shares her own personal experiences and decades of research to reveal the invisible barriers women face at work. Drawing on her exposure to companies that are structured to enable only men to succeed, she suggests that our denial towards gender inequality is hurting women, and challenges the idea that women can improve their way to success. Bravely, Michelle offers the essential message that women are extraordinary as they are, and don’t need fixing—workplaces do.”

– Tamara Mellon, OBE, cofounder of Jimmy Choo and founder of Tamara Mellon

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