From the award-winning advertising team, a creative, fresh and brutally honest guide to taking on the working world on your own terms
Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk have built their careers on unconventional creative thinking. As two of the leaders behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, they famously championed stripping away photoshopping, lighting and makeup to sell real beauty. After years of rethinking brands, they decided that they wanted to focus on rethinking the way we work—or, in many cases and places, the way our work doesn’t work for us—especially for women. They’ve tackled the problem in their hallmark style: by turning expectations upside down and shaking them. Soundly.
Darling, You Can’t Do Both is a smart, relatable guide for all of the women who embraced the spirit of Lean In but were left wondering where to start—how could they, in all industries and at all levels, really begin to change their realities and maybe even their companies, from the ground up? Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk’s answer is that women need to start breaking the largely unspoken rules of business they’ve always tacitly accepted. Darling will spark a new thread of conversation about women in the workplace—one that’s about new strategies for every woman with ambition who is moving (and looking) forward—with motherhood not a roadblock but an unfair advantage.
Drawing on their experience as leaders in a "notoriously sexist industry," Kestin and Vonk, coauthors of Pick Me Up and former cochief creative officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, leap into the debate about women in the workplace. Much of what they say will be familiar; for example, they argue that women must eliminate "self-sabotaging behaviors," such as not expressing opinions, or cleaning up, literally and metaphorically, while the men get on with networking. Is it news that there's no perfect way to combine motherhood and career? Some of their advice is bafflingly banal: it's hard, but important to figure out "how to have the life we want," the authors write. The conceit of the book it's organized around "rules to be broken" is confusing. However, some insights are bracing: the authors suggest that women are so busy that they fail to take care of themselves, down to neglecting doctors' appointments. The most urgent sections deal with women's refusal to support other women and the importance of talking concretely with colleagues about salary (do it, even if it feels clumsy), but, overall, the book is uneven.