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The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out Is Good Business (2014)

by John Browne(Favorite Author)
3.95 of 5 Votes: 1
review 1: I was not impressed by this book. While I did not dislike it, I don't think it added much new or important information to the discussion. I feel that Browne simply glossed over or ignored many important issues, and did not do as in depth of an analysis of his data, both numbers and interviews, as he could have. At many points this book felt aimless to me, or like it was Browne's way of dealing with his own history... not of promoting change in society, which I think is part of his goal. Throughout this book, I found myself wondering who his targeted audience was, and what was his central argument/purpose, beyond the very simplistic level, that coming out is good for business. On the plus side, he did have some interesting data and anecdotes from interviews. Would I r... moreecommend this book? Not really, maybe to skim it, or if you are someone who is not very familiar with this topic and you are looking for an introduction. It just did not have enough meat for me.FOR A MORE DETAILED REVIEW, SEE BELOW (please skip this if you've heard enough!!!) Allow me to explain my point of view in more detail:1. Coming out is good for business in general- Browne does do a good job of showing this point. However, my personal reaction to this is DUH!!! In this sense I felt it was a waste of time to read much of this writing if you already agree with this point, as he did not add any level of depth to it beyond this... just a few interesting data points, but nothing groundbreaking. On the other hand, if you have a problem with LGBT people, I doubt this book will convince you. So, on this point, not bad, but what are you really adding to the discussion? Who are you really reaching with this point? I just felt like the author could have done so much more in this area, or with the data that he did gather.2. LGBT people should come out at work- I am an LGBT person who is out to a selected number of people at work, but definitely not out to 100% of everyone in my workplace. I am out in my outside-of-work life and live in a very accepting area, I frequently hold hands with my girlfriend in public. If this book was trying to speak to people like me in increasing how out we are at work, I feel it was a total fail. Sorry Mr. Browne. It really glossed over a lot of issues, such as the very real potential consequences of being out to everyone and anyone at work for many, many workers in the US... including a large segment of the population who has middle class or working class jobs... even if you live in a relatively tolerant area or work for a relatively tolerant company. He simply did not address this point with any level of depth or convincing... the message I got was "coming out is good for business, if you come out probably nothing bad will happen, although it might, you don't really know, so you should come out"... yeah... thanks for that insightful comment (sarcasm). That's it. Also, coming out was treated as a very binary issue in this book- either you're all out or you're not at all out- and I do not feel that this is representative of many LGBT people. For example, if I look at my own life and that of many of my LGBT friends, I would say for most of us, we are out in many settings and to many people, but not 100% to everyone everywhere. I did not feel that this book addressed this issue of coming out or what coming out means in a very nuanced way at all, which is sad, given the title of the book. I really would have expected way more in this area.3. While Browne does make a concerted effort to talk about L, G, B, and T people, I felt like the gay men were central and came first in most of the discussions in this book. Annoying, but sadly, not surprising.4. At the end of the book, Browne does have a chapter on steps to foster a more LGBT inclusive workplace. While I agree with the points he makes, once again, I feel that his comments are on a very superficial level and there is not enough evidence or analysis to really add anything substantial to the discussion, or help people make a positive change in society.Not trying to be a hater... I just was hoping for a lot more, as this book really has the potential to have a greater impact.
review 2: A quick, easy read in a field where there aren't (to my admittedly slim knowledge in the area) currently many books. I thought there were many nice anecdotes throughout the book, but in general, I didn't feel like any breakthroughs were made, nor do I think it will have a significant influence on companies' diversity policies or employees' decisions to be open in the workplace. The author even admits that companies don't change because they're inherently good-- it's all about their interests. Furthermore, at times I felt like Browne wasn't an appropriate authority to speak on such matters, as he often encourages people to do something that he wasn't capable of doing (and who knows if he ever would have done it, had he not been outed by the media). Still, an easy book that I didn't mind spending a day or two reading. less
Reviews (see all)
Insightful and hands on making this clear case but also a call for action of each of us!
I think the premise is good and the ideas are solid, but the writing is not good.
331.53 B8828 2014
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