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Revolting Women: Why midlife women are walking out, and what to do about it

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thought-provoking book.  Firstly, turning formal academic research into a book that is both engaging and accessible is no easy task, and for that alone the author should be commended. The book focuses on the experience of women in middle age in the workplace, highlighting the very specific challenges experienced by this group.  The book details real life experiences from Dr Ryan’s interviews, providing rich insight into the working lives of this cohort.

Whilst in recent years the subject of menopause in the workplace has seen increasing coverage and understanding, this book goes way beyond that single issue, tackling the broader problems of discrimination, stigma and stereotyping experienced by working women in middle age. The book unpicks what sits beneath these prejudices and attitudes, as well as what women in mid-life really want and need from work.

Ryan highlights that this demographic, save for the aforementioned references to menopause support, is often left out from traditional diversity and inclusion initiatives.

In response to the attitudes and discrimination that they face too many women opt to leave their corporate jobs altogether.   Together, these issues represent a massive loss of talent, failing to maximise the significant skills of older women in the workplace.

As well as a range of research, this book contains provocations for change – practical advice for leaders and organisations who want to tackle this challenge. If you are interested in diversity and inclusion, gender at work, or frankly, just work – add this to your reading list.

Published by Practical Inspiration Publishing

Gemma Dale, Founder, The Work Consultancy & Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University

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