Shevinsky admits to being “a compulsive writer” who scribbles notes continuously, but the fully formed essays she contributes to “Lean Out” required drastic measures. “I had to lock myself away. I booked a hotel room. I slept, wrote, didn’t talk to anyone. It’s a solitary thing.”

But her debut book is exactly the opposite of solitary. “I did a big people search. The world needed this book. It isn’t ‘the Elissa book.’ We really want to hear unheard stories. I felt even well-intentioned journalists were putting their story in my story. We needed women’s stories to be unedited. I respect their voices.”

The voices are as varied as the visible light’s color spectrum. Twilio software engineer Dom DeGuzman’s perspective and can-do “rock climbing” steps to success are calm and encouraging; Google engineer Erica Joy writes poignantly and vulnerably of “losing herself” as a woman of color for the sake of being included with co-workers whose behavior ranged from covert discrimination (pay inequities) to blatant sexist and racist behavior; Lesbians Who Tech founder Leanne Pittsford boldly reflects a recurring theme that instead of building complaint lists or deepening their voices at the corporate board table, women (and men) in tech must be architects of actual infrastructures that support diversity.

To read the rest of the review, visit San Jose Mercury News.

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