"I'm not like other girls"
Reviewed in Germany on February 6, 2021
+ Good intentions behind the main message of the book
+ Generally supports women
+ Pretty Design
- Excludes girly women a lot; constantly mentions how "different" the author is
- Many stereotypes
- Personal stories = somewhat interesting, not super helpful, a lot of bragging
- Some of the advice is weird (make your resume as long as possible at all cost!!)
I really wanted to like this book and I thought that it could really help me in my career, but to be honest, I couldn't bring myself to finish reading it. As a relatively "girly" woman, I was hoping that this book could give me useful advice on how to succeed in the tech industry while staying true to myself, but the author of this book constantly makes a point about how she was always "one of the guys" anyway and didn't have many female friends anyway and about how companies shouldn't hire women into their tech teams just to have them calm down the male developers, because not all women are soft spoken and friendly. SHE's different! She's sarcastic and doesn't want to be a soft, friendly, girly woman. (And while it is completely okay, to not feel that way, I don't like how she writes it as if no woman in tech is ever like that. As if only non-girly women want to work in tech... To be honest, with a book title like this, I was hoping that the book would adress relatively feminine women, too, and that it would not just be directed at people who see themselves as tomboy-ish anyway.)
Also, I appreciate the small stories of different women in the industry that could give readers a wider perspective about the field, but some of them just felt like small biographies that I was not particulary interested in. Although they were nice to read, I didn't learn a lot from them. Also, how useful is a story supposed to be if the person writing it grew up male and got a job in tech while identifying as male, and then after they start their job (at the end of the super long text) they start their transistion to become a trans-woman? I get that she identifies as a woman NOW, but she didn't grow up with the same mindset as many girls/young women that keep them away from tech jobs or that make them feel inadequate in tech companies (i.e. "STEM is for guys"/"girls are not good with math/computers" etc.) Plus, this person already got the job before her transition, so this story doesn't really help women who are facing sexism or stereotypes while applying for jobs, either. I respect transwomen, really, I do, but when I look for a book about starting to work in the tech industry as a woman, I would prefer to hear about this from someone who already identified as a woman when they were in the same entry-level position as I am, if you know what I mean. She clearly had a very different experience in the industry than most people who would read this book.
I'm sure that the intentions behind this book were really great and, in general, I'm glad that books like this one exist to bring attention to the fact that women should start careers in tech if they want to. But this book in particular kind of missed the point for me. I wish it A) wouldn't focus so much on people bragging about their accomplishments (and mention more actionable tips instead) and B) it wouldn't emphasize so much how "not all women are feminine and soft!!" because some actually are and I see no reason why those shouldn't be able to work in tech, too. So why are women like this never mentioned in this book? There's no need to exclude feminine women. Actually, I think it's kind of the opposite of what this book should be doing, isn't it?
PS: For the love of god, please don't make your resume "6 to 8 pages long"?? She recommends writing every single detail of every project you've ever done, but I don't think any recruiter ever would want to read all that haha. (Sure, the first screening of your resume might be done digitally by a software, but if you move further along in your application process, I assume that sooner or later a real person would have to read all that.) Don't do that. Even if this woman says she makes her resume longer every single month, despite being the CEO of a start-up and although she doesn't even apply anywhere ever anymore. That's so weird haha, what kind of advice is that?