Member Spotlight
Book Reviews

Invisible Women | Featuring Hélène Guillaume, Archana Ganeshalingam, Kat Knocker + Laura Whateley | June 2020

February 16, 2023

June 2020: Gender Bias
Rebel Book: #62
Book: Invisible Womenby Caroline Criado Perez
Meetup: Hop In – Virtual Event Space
Fuel: Unbiased (Cocktails From Your Cupboard by Mix + Muddle)

A Gender Bias theme and Invisible Women have been on our radar for a little while. This book has done phenomenally well recently and many members have expressed a wish to explore it as a community. This set us on the path of searching for books through a scientific / data lens on gender bias. From there, we created the following shortlist of books:

Invisible Women and The Gendered Brain, covering data and neuroscience, came across as the strongest choices here in terms of reviews. And for our third book, we introduced more of a curve ball, pop culture angle: The Guilty Feminist kept surfacing in searches, as it had been a Sunday Times Bestseller and extremely successful in terms of critical acclaim and its approachable writing style.

Yet three was definitely not the magic number this month, it didn’t even scratch the surface! There are so many high quality books on this theme that we want to read. For now, we’ve provided a wider reading for members here.

Working through this book and process this month has had us questioning a lot of things… We are now examining the whole notion of book search, media and reviews, and the biases within the whole process – from human to algorithmic to AI. So much so, this month we launched a new project called: ‘How we Choose What We Read‘.

With a talented team of RBC members, we will be examining our own biases and understanding much more about the publishing industry as a whole. Check back for more on this soon!

Gender Bias Survey: How confident do RBC members feel confronting Gender Bias?

To begin our month of working through this topic, we sent out a survey to our members to understand a little more about how they felt about gender bias, what they needed from the month, what sorts of questions they have and how confident they felt confronting gender bias when they come across it. We put together these infographics to illustrate the results and used them to inform our meet-up design…

Results from members who identified as female (sample = 58)
Results from members who identified as male (sample = 28)

It was clear that many of our members are all too familiar with gender bias; at work, with family and friends and in everyday culture. Confidence in confronting it varied wildly, but one thing that crossed over was feeling a need for more facts and stats at hand to back up arguments and make a clear case.

Confidence through Facts + Stats

Seamlessly, this is exactly what Invisible Women does. It’s jam packed with facts and stats – always important but somewhat relentless, and at a magnitude that’s hard to comprehend (in a good way!).

We decided a toolkit was in order, something to have to hand that members could reach for in those moments when they needed something to bolster their confidence. To begin to build this, we asked RBCers to pick out the most surprising or useful facts they’d come across in the book and add them to a doc. Here are a few examples from that exercise…

Learning from Each Other

For our mid-month event this month, we decided to keep everything community focused. We created drop in spaces on a whole range of topics led by our lovely members and RBC hosts. Here’s what we discussed….

  • Where do biases begin? Childhood + parenting
  • Intersectionality
  • Everyday Examples
  • Cultural Differences
  • History + Education
  • Workplace Bias – How men can help women at work.
  • Bias in interviews + the Gender Pay Gap
  • Building a Toolkit to feel more confident

RBC member, Julia, led our discussions on intersectionality and put together this summary of the session and call to action…

Recommended reads from Julia’s session…

Thank you to everyone who came along to this meet. It was both inspiring and moving to hear everyone share their experiences of gender bias and ideas for driving change through community action.

As we moved towards our end of month event, we put the emphasis on action and invited guests who are already filling the data gaps identified throughout Invisible Women.

Invisible Women Meetup – 30th June 2020

Ben + Ben talk to Archana (Tableau) + Helene (Wild.Ai) at our end of month event

We had the great pleasure of welcoming Hélène Guillaume (Wild.AI), Archana Ganeshalingam (Tableau), Kat Knocker (Shared Parental Leave) and Laura Whateley (author of ‘Money: A User’s Guide‘) to talk about their work in closing the data gap.

Hélène and Archana talked us through their work in and around data, plugging gaps and innovating in AI and data viz. Whereas Kat and Laura invited us to join them in driving forward awareness of gender pay gaps, parenting responsibilities and workplace action.

Check out this awesome collab from Wild.Ai x Adidas x Refinery 29 on how they’re bridging the gender data gap in fitness tech by optimising it for female bodies and cycles…

Finally, Rich launched his new Rebel Book Club inspired home delivery cocktail service! Drop Rich a line if you’re interested in supporting his new venture this month

Another incredible, action-packed, inspiring, important month here at RBC! Thank you to everyone who got stuck in. We’ll be sure to revisit this theme again in the future, but focusing more specifically on personal memoirs, feminist manifestos, global differences and cultural observations. We know there are so many more voices that need to be heard!

July 2020 = Summer Staycays!

In place of the festival feels we might have had this summer, we are going in on the theme ICONS. Arguably topping his 2019 headline Glastonbury set as a career highlight, the vote was a landslide victory for Stormz with the story of #Merky

When thinking about this month’s theme, we were interested in more than a story of fame and celebrity. We also wanted to look at artists who have represented genres that reflected a shake up in culture and politics. We shortlisted books with their roots in punk, rave, rock, hip hop and grime. Stories of music meeting politics, movements and counter-culture…

You can never stop the music. So in a time when the global situation is forcing innovative gigging online, drive-through mosh pits (will that be a thing!?) and a resurgence in illegal raves funded by criminals finding new ways to push their product, has there been a better moment to swot up on the convergence of music and politics?

If you're new here, welcome!

If you’d like to be part of our community of Rebels, head over to RebelBook.Club to check out our membership options, or drop Membership Manager, Anca, a note at hello@rebelbookclub.co.uk

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