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Five (Short!) Reads To Inspire and Challenge You Before 2022 Ends

I know I’ve spent much of the past few newsletters sharing my achievements (Audiobook! LinkedIn learning! Events!)

But, the vast majority of my time is spent learning from others about current trends in Inclusion and Leadership and to improve my skills as a writer.

I love words that inspire me, challenge and make me reflect on positions I’ve long held. Bonus points if what I read gets me to change my mind or approach.

Also, as a working mum of a 6-year-old, believe you me that I NEVER read even half as much as I intend to.

Hands up if you’re with me!

So, as we enter the 4th and final quarter of the year (!!!), I want to share my love of reading with you by giving you a curated list of my top five “short” reads of 2022:

I was at home in Singapore when I read this mind-blowing essay from tennis’ GOAT. Serena and I became mothers around the same time (likely the only time I can say we achieved something similar!) and so it really hit home — I even cried — when I saw in writing, her honesty about how difficult it is to be a working mother.

You can love your career (and literally be the best in the world at it) and still recognize when “something’s gotta give.” I hope more leaders who haven’t had to make this choice realize what an impossibly painful one it is.

By Rael Ombuor, Rachel Chason and Meena Venkataramanan

I grew up on Mountbatten Road in Singapore, named for Louis Mountbatten, the man who masterminded the bloody partition of India and displaced millions, including some of my ancestors. I can confirm that in ALL formerly-colonized nations, colonialism is very much part of the here and now and not the distant past as Westerners would have you believe. This article reminds us of the radically different experiences and perspectives on colonialism for those living in formerly colonized countries vs in the West.

By Ragini Saxena

India has more female pilots than any other country in the world, including the U.S.! I found amazing takeaways on how India has proactively worked to recruit and retain female pilots using programs that began back in the 1940s! I love reading and celebrating news like this because I’m often asked about how “those poor women in those countries over there feel,” when the facts are quite different – in this matter, especially, the U.S. and U.K. have much to do to up the percentage of female pilots, compared with India.

Here’s a very important read from someone who humbly acknowledges his privilege. I really respect this author’s humility. He openly shares the time he was publicly checked for making (unintentionally) insensitive comments to one of his staff lawyers who happened to be a man of color. I appreciate that he acknowledged the discomfort and embarrassment he felt in the moment, but simultaneously understood that he needed to hear the correction.

This read is a great reminder of how our realities and experiences do differ based on our race. And good leadership is knowing that what worked for you will not work for others who don’t enjoy your same privilege. And that true leadership means stepping back and letting others lead.

Pardon my Seattle focus here, but I couldn’t not share this article on Melissa Miranda (one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs) sharing her curated Seattle City Guide.

Here’s the truth: it can be hard to be out and about for a fun evening out as a person of color in Seattle. Sometimes, my friends and I will head out for a wonderful meal at some award-winning Seattle restaurant, only to be the only people of color around. Trust us, we always notice. Now that we’re beginning to travel again, I’m hopeful we’ll be thoughtful about the businesses we frequent, look for amazing ways to support underestimated communities, and overall, celebrate that any city is more beautiful and memorable when it has an opportunity to let its full diversity shine through. Especially the one I call home right now, Seattle.

Each piece on this list has moved me in some way: Stirred emotions, made me think, and taught me something valuable, which is why I wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy the articles as much as I did. Happy Reading!


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