Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Grace and Grit - Lilly Ledbetter

Grace and Grit
Title: Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond
Author: Lilly Ledbetter
Publication Date: 2/28/2012
Pages: 288
Genre: Memoir / Political / Nonfiction
How I Found It: I can't remember
Date Completed: 6/23/18

Summary: Ledbetter became a symbol for equal pay when she sued her long time employer, Goodyear. In this memoir, she shares her life story, including the epic legal battle that led to the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

What I Thought: I honestly did not know much about Lilly Ledbetter before reading this book. I knew she had something to do with equal pay in this country and that's about it. It was so fun to read her whole story and see how she became an unlikely activist.

Ledbetter spends a lot of time talking about her early life and marriage which, while reading, feels more like a novel than a political memoir. However, I'm so glad she spent that time there; you really need the context of those years to understand just how incredible it was that Ledbetter became the symbol she is today. You would never have predicted her path when she was a poor child in rural Alabama. 

When I think about the women of history upon whose shoulders I stand, Ledbetter is certainly one of them. The treatment she endured during her years in the Goodyear plant and other workplaces is astonishing to read about. My age, education, and professional field all make her story nearly unfathomable to me. Yet, other women are still having very similar experiences today. We need to hear their stories, as Ledbetter shared hers, if we ever hope to see true workplace equality. 

You can tell from her story that Ledbetter was never someone to back down from a fight. She recognizes that this came at her family's expense over the years. Her reflections on her marriage are particularly touching, since she's transparent that it was not always a model one. 
This book is part of my 2018 TBR Challenge!

While it's not the best written book ever (Ledbetter's talents clearly lie elsewhere and her publisher probably should have gotten her a better ghostwriter), it's a great memoir and, I believe, an important one for working professionals to read. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Probably not

A Reduced Review: Though Ledbetter's skills are not particularly literary, her tenacity and talent shine through in her memoir. 

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