Review: Samantha Parent Walravens – Geek Girl Rising (S)

Geek Girl Rising
Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech
Samantha Parent Walravens

“Meet the women who haven’t asked for permission from Silicon Valley to chase their dreams. They are going for it — building the next generation of tech start-ups, investing in each other’s ventures, crushing male hacker stereotypes and rallying the next generation of women in tech. Geek Girl Rising isn’t about the famous tech trailblazers you already know, like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer. Instead, veteran journalists Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens introduce readers to the fearless female entrepreneurs and technologists fighting at the grassroots level for an ownership stake in the revolution that’s changing the way we live, work and connect to each other.”

I had high expectations for this book, hoping to find compelling case studies and valuable insights about women in the tech industry. While it does touch on those aspects, I found the book to be disorganized and lacking a clear structure. It begins with a captivating short story about GoldieBlox, which instantly grabbed my attention. However, this story is only briefly explored and not revisited until the very end, which left me eagerly waiting for more throughout but left me disappointed.
The book presents numerous anecdotes about different companies but they are presented in a seemingly random order. It even jumps between companies within the same chapter or paragraph, using examples we’ve already encountered and expecting us to remember all the names. We never get a comprehensive understanding of any particular company or gain any valuable insights into their achievements or methods. There is an excessive reliance on statistics highlighting the under representation of women in the tech field.
The chapters fail to establish a clear argument or purpose, making the entire narrative feel disjointed and confusing. Many of the terms mentioned are specific to America, such as Trump and the Super Bowl. Come on, the rest of the world exists too.
I found the excessive focus on the appearance of the women mentioned in the book to be irrelevant and uninteresting. I had hoped to delve into the core content of the book and learn about their strategies for success and the challenges they faced, but unfortunately, the book falls short in delivering that. It felt more like a collection of disjointed magazine articles lacking an unifying theme.
The constant bouncing around made it difficult to extract any meaningful takeaways, to the point that I don’t feel I gained anything substantial from reading it. It could have gone a lot deeper. I don’t want to come across as anti-feminist, but I have to say that the book was poorly written. Despite my initial enthusiasm for the first 8 pages, I must admit that I couldn’t develop a genuine fondness for this book, leading me to rate it two stars.

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