REVIEW: Anat Rapoport — Woman Up! (BOOK)

Colin Jordan
3 min readFeb 9, 2024

Anat Rapoport’s new book is Woman Up!: Your Guide to Success in Engineering and Tech. “Getting to this place in my mindset and career didn’t happen overnight,” Rapoport writes, alluding to the MLA paper-like conciseness of the titling. “For many years I simply worked as a software engineer. I gave no thought to where my career was heading, and even though I always had a strong work ethic and was a talented developer, I never expressed interest in moving up to manager. I considered becoming a professor in the future, or sticking around until I eventually became a software architect. I didn’t like the idea of starting over, so I ultimately stayed with the same company in the same position for seven years.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: https://il.linkedin.com/company/anat-rapoport-vp-r-d-on-demand

It’s this kind of affable tonality to the prose that humanizes something already intensely visceral. I appreciate the purity that can bring to a narrative and approach already much needed. Rapoport just tells it like it is. There’s no excess, there’s no grandstanding — simply put, the book is wall to wall straight truths, told matter-of-factly and concisely. Even the most inflammatory parts of the read are in service to a greater, statistically-backed incentive Woman Up! swears by. Take, for instance, the particularly affecting passage: “I talked to my manager, who promised that when a (team lead) position opened up, it was mine.

But that’s not what happened. He gave the team lead role to someone else…(He) never told me there was an issue with my performance, so I couldn’t understand his decision…(When asked)…(h)e hesitated a little and then said, ‘You are perceived as very aggressive. People are intimidated by you. That’s not a good fit for a team lead.’ Though his feedback was gendered — a man would be much less likely to hear the same message — it was also true: I was more aggressive than any man I met at work back then. Sharing that information was one of the nicest things anyone has done for me in my career, even though it was hard to hear at the time. Now I knew what I needed to work on if I wanted to be team lead. It wasn’t my technical skills; it was a personal blind spot.”

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Up-Guide-Success-Engineering/dp/1544542992

By finding a way to utilize every opportunity, every hiccup, every stumble, every triumph — Rapoport objectively and subjectively brings things full-circle back to the main crux of the read. Simply put, it is possible to achieve success, it just requires a stomach of steel, and a detailed roadmap to navigating the traditionally patriarchal realms of the engineering and tech sectors. “Perhaps you can relate to the early years of my career. Maybe you’ve been working at the same company, maybe even in the same position, for years, and until recently you’ve never really thought about what’s next,” Rapoport writes. “…I’ve been there…In the past three years I have mentored more than one hundred women in high tech, many of whom are now climbing up the ladder themselves.”

Colin Jordan

--

--

Colin Jordan

Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer