Review: Women Kind by Kirstin Ferguson & Catherine Fox

Women are rallying together in a massive and unstoppable force to make their voices heard around the world in ways we have never seen before.

When Dr Kirstin Ferguson, an Australian company director, decided she was fed up with the vicious online abuse of women, she turned the tables and used social media to create the #CelebratingWomen campaign, profiling two women from anywhere in the world and every walk of life, every day for a year. The response was overwhelming.

In Women Kind, Ferguson joins Walkley award-winning journalist and leading commentator on women in the workplace Catherine Fox to examine how women’s shared clout is transforming communities, workplaces and leadership; show that every woman is a role model; and challenge the idea that women regularly turn on each other for scarce seats at the top table.

Ferguson and Fox urge us to get on board and forget the old saying that when a woman climbs the corporate ladder, she needs to send it back down to help one other woman. What’s needed is a fishing net to bring up many women together, all supporting each other.

There has never been a better moment to join our voices, share experiences and celebrate the power of women supporting women.

Women Kind is a highly topical book inspired by a Social Media movement that of #CelebratingWomen which began ten months before the #MeToo movement took over the world and a year to the day before #TimesUp was founded. Run by Kirstin Ferguson it aimed to celebrating two women a day for the entire year. By the end of the year there was up to ten women a day being celebrated to ensure all women who submitted their profiles were heard. I was one of them. Am I slightly biased to this book and the #CelebratingWomen campaign? Yes. Will this review be biased? I hope not.

I finished this book a few days ago but have left it to know to review so I could attend the official Melbourne Book Launch at the State Library, which took place last night.

Women Kind, while inspired by the #CelebratingWomen campaign isn’t sorely about that.  The book looks at how women interact with one another mostly within their workplaces, of how they both support one another and the few that factor the Queen Bee myth which is perhaps not quite as relevant as people think it might be, especially portrayed in media.

Not only does it look at what we as a gender are doing to support one another using both research and anecdotes of women from around the world in various positions and companies but what we can do as well to further promote each other.

I enjoyed the book quite a lot, despite having a few problems with it. The book itself felt rushed in places, that it could have been padded out and made into a longer book. At the same time, if that was the case it could have become too complicated and dry, like many other non-fiction books. It also tends to look sorely at women in companies and women networking groups that focus on corporate women and very little on women who aren’t in those fields.

The main problem with the book though is that it is highly topical to today’s event and world environment. In five years, ten years – how ever long it might be – when things have changed and women have the equality that we are fighting for, for when the #TimesUp #MeToo #WhyIDidntReport campaigns are no longer needed, the book will be dated and no longer applicable outside of a historical evaluation of how things used to be.

Despite that, I do think the book is worth reading especially if you are interested in gender equality and where things are currently going and how you can help support other women in your life.


★★★★ / 5