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Women Who Don't Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way Hardcover – October 8, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Through word and deed, activist Saujani, former N.Y.C. Deputy Public Advocate, hopes to inspire the next generation of female leaders. Advised to wait her turn by the New York Democratic political establishment and branded as an upstart by the media, 34-year-old Saujani raised $1.6 million to run for Congress against popular incumbent Carolyn Mahoney in 2010. She received just 19% of the vote, but calls the experience the best thing that ever happened to her. Talk about resilience! It&'s one of the key indicators of success, unlike risk aversion, fear of failure, or self-defeating behavior in the effort to be likeable. Too often, the things we do to be liked make us seem weak instead of strong, she writes. Like Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In), Saujani attributes the dearth of women in leadership positions, in part, to self-imposed obstacles and calls for change from within. Her advice? Fake it till you make it, get comfortable with being your own press agent, don&'t worry if they don&'t like you, and find your mission in life. A beguiling blend of audacity and humility, the book proves most engaging when Saujani shares her experiences and accomplishments (such as founding Girls Who Code, which prepares underserved girls for careers in technology), less so when she channels her inner cheerleading coach. Agent: Andrea Barzvi, ICM. (Oct.)
Congressional candidate Saujani may not have gotten elected to represent New York’s 14th District, but she has a wealth of information to share about her experience of running for office. In this relatively nonconfrontational manifesto about increasing female political engagement, she stresses how fed up women are with the concept of “waiting your turn” when so many leadership positions are historically held by men. Saujani is still smarting from the misguided advice of those who told her it was too early to run for Congress. By following such guidance, women “risk perpetuating the notion that our progress must be single file; that there can only be room in the arena for one strong woman at a time.” Saujani addresses the challenges women politicians face in chapters titled “Fail Fast, Fail First, Fail Hard” to “Unapologetically Ambitious,” provides real-world examples of rule-breaking women, and tells stories about her work preparing girls for careers in technology through her nonprofit, Girls Who Code. Clearly committed to effecting positive change for women in the political arena, Saujani shares invaluable information and ideas. --Colleen Mondor