Book Review by Taylor Berrett
In Did That Just Happen?!, authors Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Dr. Lauren Wadsworth advocate for the benefits of productive discomfort by taking readers directly into the middle of real-life accounts of common workplace occurrences. Their goal? To help people identify and handle diversity landmines at work and recognize when they’ve made a mistake. The handbook breaks down the many ways that organizations and individuals can improve their cultural awareness and become more equitable in their work and personal relationships.
Doing Well and Doing Good
Like the other books in our round-up this month, Did That Just Happen?! is built around the fact that diverse teams are stronger, smarter, and more profitable, and while many companies are attempting to hire more diverse teams, they still struggle to create a culture of inclusivity where people from all backgrounds can truly feel comfortable.
A Guide for Everyone
Dr. Pinder-Amaker and Dr. Wadsworth are both clinical psychologists who have personally navigated the unique challenges of pursuing careers while having marginalized identities, and they’ve channeled both their experience and their experiences to show the profound emotional and physical impact of marginalization and how it leads to a decrease in employee engagement, an increase in job turnover, and an overall failure for organizations to reach their fullest potential.
So, who is best served by Did That Just Happen?!’s blend of true stories and research-backed insights? The answer is— everyone. From employees who are eager to improve their sensitivity and become advocates for fellow employees to HR leaders, team supervisors, and executives, this book is an invaluable resource that will help any reader feel more confident that they’re effectively navigating interactions and relationships with coworkers of different identities— and helping transform organizational systems for the better when it comes to inclusivity, as well.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Did That Just Happen?! is most effective when it’s showing the real, devastating toll that lack of inclusiveness can have on the individual and organizational level. By showing real people whose careers have been slowed or even derailed as a result of lack of inclusivity, the authors illustrate exactly why diversity must be more than just a vaunted ideal somewhere in the distance. It’s a goal that we can, and indeed must, begin striving for today.
Taylor Berrett is a Contributing Writer at Soundview. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and host of the podcast Alone in a Room. His other book reviews can be found here.