The book begins with her early career as a window dresser at Harrod’s and chronicles her varied professional life. There are plenty of infuriating anecdotes mixed in with observations about the plight of working women and mothers. It was interesting to note that the US and the UK are almost identical in our issues around women and their representation in the workforce and government. Perhaps if we could figure out gender and racial equality, we could dig ourselves out of the tragic political holes each of our countries find ourselves in.
Like many women, Mary Portas experienced a profound shift in her working life when she became a mother. Her transition away from what she describes as “alpha culture” toward a professional life that values the things that she values is fascinating and insightful.
I came away from this book feeling angry and inspired, but mostly inspired. Portas touched on many of the issues that we’ve been grappling with at Persistiny, like the importance of caregiving in the lives of many women and the necessity of changing culture to create a more equitable workforce.
Give Work Like a Woman a read if you’re ready to be angry/inspired yourself.