By Simon Cocking, review of Yes, You Can Do This! How Women Start Up, Scale Up, and Build the Life They Want by Claudia Reuter, published by Wiley.
Published by Wiley, March 2020, Priced £18.99Hardcover and e-book, ISBN: 9781119625605
After the birth of her first child, Claudia Reuter did what many other mothers do – she stepped away from the workforce with the idea that she could get back in later. But when her children were older that idea became challenging. Leaning-in to the existing corporate structures seemed impossible but leaning-out (to continue to stay at home) seemed unsustainable.
In Yes, You Can Do This! Claudia provides a third option: lean-in by starting up and create the rules, structures, and culture that you want. Claudia shares why she started a business, and how that led to success despite a bumpy road.
Legacy corporate structures are a big part of the challenge that many people face. Claudia’s advice? Harness your creativity to create the business you want, with the rules that fit your life, and change the playing field for others in the process.
Yes, You Can Do This, reviewed
Claudia Reuter, the author of this book, has been through the whole process that she describes in this book. From talented member of a rising company, to a woman marginalised by the ridiculously short period of maternity leave that is granted to females in the US. It is crazy how anyone manages to have a career, have a baby, and then be faced with the Hobsonian choice at only six weeks old of leaving your baby in childcare to go back to work, or suffer from being marginalised at work.
Reuter rightly critiques the whole Lean In, and the subsequent Lean Out concepts, both incomplete in the solutions they offer for women looking to manage a career and being a parent. Of course it is a false paradigm to make this a decision that only women in the US should face, as there is invariably at least two people involved in creating new life, and one of which is often, but not always, of the other sex too. Not everyone has access to a nanny or a fantastically wealthy partner, so Reuter’s experiences have more in common with many readers than some of the Leaning advocates.
Reuter offers a lot of good advice, common sense and smart observations, though time and time again you do want to question the whole crazy set up in the US with such short maternity leave. You could say that in many ways maternity leave is simply indicative of a society that is failing it’s citizens in many ways – open up society, to save the economy while you die of a virus that has not been checked or adequately dealt with?
We liked the book, it is well written, accessible and definitely helpful.
More about the book below
In Yes, You Can Do This! she takes the daunting task of starting a company and distils it down to three sections: 1) Starting Up, 2) Scaling Up, and 3) Operationalising. Each section is loaded with personal stories, clear examples, and practical resources enabling readers to gain access to a variety of techniques and resources and learn…
How to develop and share your vision
How to deal with stereotypes and unconscious bias
How to leverage perceived weaknesses and turn them into strengths
How to balance life at high speed and avoid burnout
How to cultivate confidence to move from idea to leading others
Described as a “manifesto for the next generation of female founders,” by Jennifer McFadden, the Associate Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at the Yale School of Management,
Yes, You Can Do This! invites women to explore and to consider entrepreneurship by weaving a fictional narrative with practical take-away resources, so they too can create businesses with the rules they want, combat many of the challenges that women face along much more nuanced career journeys, and step into leadership positions of their choosing.
About the Author:
Claudia Reuter is an experienced entrepreneur, executive, podcast host, and board director. Recognised by the Boston Business Journal as a 2016 “Women to Watch in Science and Technology,” Claudia is currently a General Manager for Techstars and a member of the Board of Directors for Lessonly. She created and hosts The 43 Percent podcast, featuring notable guests such as Lisa Oz, Nataly Kogan, Sarah Lacy, Laura Vanderkam, and more. You can follow her at @reuter_claudia.
We're going live with Season 3 of The43Percent! In this new world where everyone is working from home, I'm excited to share more stories of how #women are navigating #family & #career. https://t.co/ZEgKbVdvxs
— Claudia Reuter (@reuter_claudia) April 8, 2020
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