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Just Not That Likable: The Price All Women Pay for Gender Bias
Senator Romero provides the first comprehensive accounting of why we like “Howard” but dislike “Heidi” in leadership roles—and what we can do to overcome this gender bias.
Gloria Romero—former California Senate Majority Leader and Professor Emeritus of Psychology—shatters the glass ceiling in a sweeping takedown of gender bias at the workplace and the price women and society pay for the virulent, double standard of “the likability factor” that persists in the workplace. She exposes the link between success and likability that 21st-century women leaders face in politics and the workplace.
In a book both accessible and enlightening, Senator Romero stands as a woman unafraid to break down barriers for women. As the first female Majority Leader of the upper house in California’s State Legislature, she authored major reform laws in public education, criminal justice, governmental ethics, and transparency.
Just Not That Likable is the story of a trailblazer who understood that while the 20th-century sexism of unequal pay for equal work had been outlawed and anti-discrimination laws had become common, there was still a hidden likability penalty and the so-called “double bind” applied to successful women. The book features the most comprehensive review to date of what is known about the “double bind” faced by women executives and leaders: they are expected to exhibit strength and lead, but are penalized as being “abrasive” or exhibiting characteristics stereotyped as being masculine. Drawing on her own life as well, Senator Romero’s journey leads her to the realization that when women smash through the persisting ceiling—still with us in the 21st century—the shards cut. Too deep and too often, these practices and behaviors shut down opportunity for our daughters, sisters, and each other. Just Not That Likable recognizes that our workplaces must promote practices, policies, and cultures which confront and disassemble this double bind for women.