The Whisper of Change

The Whisper Network book review
“It’s hard to register differences in the status quo. Like trying to measure slight drops in temperature without a thermometer. But Ms. Sandberg was right about something. We had to lean in. It was the only way to hear the whispers.”

What whispers would we hear if only we leaned in? What do the roles of women, our interactions in the workplace and the steps we take each day for our careers say about us as a gender, a society and a culture? 

The Whisper Network book review
Author and book images via 
With the whispers of female empowerment and equality growing louder each day, author Chandler Baker took on the subject of women in the workplace in her book, “The Whisper Network.” The story is a combination of suspenseful murder mystery and a modern telling of women in corporate America against the backdrop of the Me Too movement.  

Each leading character is a strong female that represents America’s working women. These characters explore the balancing act of climbing the career ladder with other demands and priorities like relationships, families and personal struggles. With friendships, acquaintances and frenemies in the mix, the characters offer insight into how women interact and either build up or bring down other women. Rather than remain confined to the story of what is taking place within the 9 to 5 timeframe, Chandler also intertwines the realities of life and love beyond the office into the narrative. 

Chandler does not shy away from taking on the labels and stereotypes women face each day in the corporate world, or society in general. Who are we as women? When presented with “lamb versus femme fatale,” which one are we? Or what about “talented versus overcompensating” or “work friend versus real friend?” Which label applies to you and the women in your life? Chandler explores these labels and how they play out in the workplace through the characters so that the reader can easily begin to apply the questions to her own reality.  

“We fantasized about our careers, we attended women’s networking events, we looked for career risks we could take. We followed the recipe and set the timer for eighteen months and figured by then, the glass ceiling would have shattered under the weight of all the world’s leaning women.”

Within the story of workplace struggles, the message of finding your voice against the boss, system obstacles and glass ceiling is ever present. Not only is there a glass ceiling that women continue to fight against for gender and pay equality, but the corporate world itself is presented as a glass cage. 

“But no one had told us anything about how to conduct ourselves within the display cases of crystal conference rooms and buildings constructed out of thousands of soulless glass eyes. Poised between our fingertips, not rocks, but the sleek weight of a brick-shaped smartphone. See and be seen. That was the nature of our particular glass house.” 

“The Whisper Network” is a fascinating look at the working lives of women and the current state of culture in light of the Me Too movement. Women’s voices are growing louder with the collective strength of a sisterhood, but work remains to be done. There are still ceilings to shatter and the secrets that can only be heard when we lean in. 
Whisper Network Book Quote Collage