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Book Review - Women In Tech

January 5, 2017

I finished reading Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack’s book, Women In Tech, which came out in mid 2016. I was excited to get my hands on a book for women, by women, about modern tech culture and especially finding employment. It was a light read, and took me two days to finish.

Tarah has a wealth of experience in web development and security, and is a successful consultant and entrepreneur. I could easily relate to her early experiences, and those of the other women who contributed their stories. It was relieving to know that women across the world share the same struggles. The book had great pacing to it, and was definitely engaging. However, the book left me feeling saddened.

Why? Though the book offered advice, “hacks”, it didn’t offer the wholesome solutions that I wanted deep down inside. That’s not Tarah’s fault – the solutions to the problems she brings to light are societal, and definitely not easily fixed by any one individual. It’s ingrained in both men and women’s minds that women can’t be in leadership or STEM positions. Tarah starts off treating this as a system to hack, but eventually it sounds like a Cosmopolitan article: wear shoes with high heels to increase your height, straighten your hair and keep it tied up, wear a little makeup but not too much, shake hands firm but not too firm.