A lot of the literature about the problems women face at work is aimed at women themselves. This makes sense — it’s easier to address yourself, individually, than to change the world. And so there’s plenty of advice on negotiating, on projecting confidence, on raising one’s ambitions. But according to Michelle P. King, author of The Fix (which came out at the beginning of March), all this “women-fixing” doesn’t dismantle the barriers that make for inequitable workplaces. Instead, men and women need to address those barriers directly.
King is the director of inclusion at Netflix. In this episode of Best of Both Worlds, she shared some of the strategies people can use to point out and help fix these invisible obstacles. Some of the practical suggestions in the book involve having “entrance” interviews, rather than just exit interviews — and continue to have regular check-ins about work conditions and how everything is going. Many organizations only find out people are unhappy when they’re leaving! King also touts the power of subversive questions. It can be hard to directly call out discriminatory behavior. Instead, just asking people for clarification or for their reasoning can keep things from being assumptions.
Since King works at Netflix, we had to talk about that! We just became a Netflix household over Christmas and my family members are really enjoying some of the shows during our confinement (now at T+ 3 weeks since our first school closure…). In the Q&A section, I address a listener question on how to figure out whether opportunities requiring travel are worth it. (Not a question I’m really facing at the moment…my maternity leave from speaking has gotten quite a bit longer with most Q2 conferences canceled…)
Please give the episode a listen and let us know what you think! We’ll have another COVID-19 bonus episode soon.