Empathy is one of my superpowers and this book showed me how empathy really can be applied to every aspect of business and how empathy can transform mammograms and running shoes.⁠

GE reached out to Sub Rosa (the author's company) to discuss how to transform the mammogram experience and through a series of interviews they found out that the room was too cold and uncomfortable. First I should say in order for them to have women share their experience they needed to create a welcoming space for the interviews. One of the things they discovered was that the room was too cold. Sub Rosa asked if they could make the room warmer and by increasing the temperature by 10 degrees not only did this create a better experience for the women but the machine was able to detect breast abnormalities with more clarity. This example was in the first 30 pages and I was hooked.⁠

The next cool example was with Nike and how they used Sub Rosa to transform the shoe experience. In downtown New York they created a 4000 square foot labyrinth experience where influencers and athletes took off their shoes and went through a maze feeling different textures on their feet such as wet grass and rubber. It was through this experience that they created a buzz around Nike Hyperfeel. ⁠

There are many examples like this in the book that had me thinking how I can incorporate empathy more into my work.⁠

The author also shares a framework around the seven faces of empathy which is another interesting tool to use in workshops. I really loved this book and I hope you will as well. ⁠

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Why this book? I have a really great book called "Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives" by Minal Bopaiah & THESE SUPER DELICIOUS 3 INGREDIENT SHORTBREAD COOKIES!⁠

I heard Minal speak at a virtual Belonging at Work Conference hosted by Rhodes Perry Consulting⁠

This book was personal and practical which I really like in a book. Personal stories catch my attention which allow me to remember them easier. The practical every day tips allow me to incorporate them into my work. I sometimes struggle with academic research as it is harder to incorporate into equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). I have been trying to solve a problem lately around how do I show all the EDI progress that has been done in 2 years in an easy and succinct manner. This book gave me the inspiration I needed to and provided me with some ideas. In her book she provides diagrams to use right away like the Group identity wheel to show how you can be marginalized and privileged at the same time. ⁠

Here are a couple of did you knows?⁠

1. Text messaging was invented for people who are hard of hearing and now is used by everyone⁠

2. When leaders value differences they are no longer threatened by employees who think differently or disagree with them.⁠

My favourite chapter was Bridging the Gap which talked about how to define equitable outcomes and ways to bake behaviours into the systems. EDI cannot sit on the side and it cant be something we do separately on a Friday (said sarcastically). I need to find ways to incorporate EDI into everyone's work so that we create more inclusive workspaces. She gives various examples and discusses the famous orchestra example. If you don’t know about this take a read here: Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of “Blind” Auditions on Female Musicians | Gender Action Portal (harvard.edu)⁠

This book was an easy read and I read it in one day. I will be referring back to this book again and again.⁠

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Why this book?

This was a really interesting book and had me thinking about my childhood. I loved barbies AND hot wheels. I had over 50 hot wheels and loved my Tonka truck. I played with boys and believed I could do anything. When my Nono died of cancer when I was nine it was obvious to me that I would need to become a doctor to solve cancer. In case anyone is curious I ended up choosing Psychology and Sociology, so no I did not become a doctor. ⁠

Here are some interesting facts that I learned about this book:⁠

Did you know up until the late 1920’s pink was associated with boys and blue was associated with girls? Surprise surprise big corporations realized they could make more money if they separated out the gender clothing.⁠

In one study of over 1000 pieces of boys and girls clothing 66% of girls clothing had flowers, rainbows and hearts and only 3.9% of boys clothes had these. ⁠

In Sweden they have the most gender-neutral school where differences between boys and girls are de-emphasized.⁠

Sweden in 2009 introduced a gender-neutral pronoun “hen”.⁠

I learned a lot from the chapter “breaking the binary '' and did you know it wasn't until 1990 that the term “two-spirited” was used. ⁠

In the chapter “What Happens To Tomboys When Puberty Hits”, the author says that most women who identified as tomboys went on to male-dominated industries like tech and finance. Which is interesting because my first real job was a software developer. Yes I coded for a good year and it was not fun. And now that I think about it I am pretty sure I was the only female developer. ⁠

Curious who has read it and what are your thoughts on it?⁠

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