Unfinished Business Book Summary - Unfinished Business Book explained in key points
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Unfinished Business summary

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Women, Men, Work, Family

3.6 (13 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter is a manifesto for achieving gender equality in the workplace and beyond. It offers actionable steps for improving work-life balance and challenging outdated norms.

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    Unfinished Business
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    Even today, it’s usually the woman who ends up sacrificing her career plans for the family.

    Men can have it all – a thriving career and a happy family. But if you’re a woman, these two goals might seem completely incompatible.

    To thrive in any highly competitive field, you have to commit the lion’s share of your time and energy to your work. And if a couple has children, it’s much easier for the man to do this.

    That’s because most people still adhere to traditional gender roles: the man is supposed to provide for the family financially and the woman is expected to raise the children and be warm and nurturing.

    Consequently, most women are willing to support their husband’s decision to substitute time with the family for time at work.

    But even if they make a concerted effort to commit to their job and meticulously plan every move of their life, women still can’t control the fate of their career and family.

    Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, thinks that anything is possible if you just lean in to your career. But it doesn’t matter how much you’re leaning in when you have two kids back home and an inflexible work schedule; the unpredictability of life will eventually force you to shift your focus away from work.

    Some women hope that marrying a progressive partner will result in a fairer distribution of domestic responsibility – thus enabling them to pursue their career. However, this rarely works out.

    In reality, most men are reluctant to set aside their career goals. For instance, a woman whom the author met at a conference shared that just a fraction of her intelligent and driven female friends, all graduates of Harvard Business School, had met their career goals, despite marrying peers who had pledged they’d be equal partners once married. Once they started a family, the men were unwilling to scale back on their own career, so the women had to sacrifice their goals and assume primary responsibility for childcare.

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    What is Unfinished Business about?

    Unfinished Business (2015) offers a frank analysis of a pressing question. Is it really possible for men and women to “have it all” in our modern society? Can we hope to have a great family life and great career? As these blinks reveal, striking a balance between the personal and the professional isn’t only possible; it’s easier than you might think.

    Unfinished Business Review

    Unfinished Business (2015) explores the challenges faced by modern working families and offers solutions for achieving a more equitable work-life balance. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It delves into the complexity of work and family dynamics, providing a fresh perspective on the topic.
    • The book offers practical strategies for making workplaces and policies more family-friendly, creating a compelling case for change.
    • With its compelling insights and relatable anecdotes, it keeps readers engaged, challenging societal norms and inspiring a call to action.

    Best quote from Unfinished Business

    ...babies are a focus killer.

    —Anne-Marie Slaughter
    example alt text

    Who should read Unfinished Business?

    • Women who want to have a successful career and a happy family
    • CEOs who want to provide a mother-friendly workplace
    • Men hoping to learn more about what equal romantic partnership means

    About the Author

    Anne Marie Slaughter is the president and CEO of the nonpartisan think tank New America. Her stellar academic career in international law has landed her articles in numerous publications, and she was the first woman ever to be appointed Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department.

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    Unfinished Business FAQs 

    What is the main message of Unfinished Business?

    The main message of Unfinished Business is the importance of achieving work-life balance and gender equality.

    How long does it take to read Unfinished Business?

    The reading time for Unfinished Business varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Unfinished Business a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Unfinished Business is a thought-provoking book worth reading. It provides valuable insights and practical solutions for addressing work-life balance and gender issues.

    Who is the author of Unfinished Business?

    Anne-Marie Slaughter is the author of Unfinished Business.

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