Hi! My name is a Wren and I’m an MBA student at UCL School of Management. I am also a member of the UCL School of Management Women’s Book Club. We meet to discuss books related to the female career path and gender in the workplace, sharing our own experiences and supporting each other to drive change in our own workplaces.
We recently read Thrive by Arianna Huffington, which discusses her concept of the wellbeing as the third metric of success. I listened to Thrive as an audio book, during my daily walks in quarantine. As I meandered around my local park, Huffington’s passionate calls to slow down, sleep more and spend more meaningful time with friends and family seemed to fall into alignment in some ways with the way my own life was reshuffling. For me, it was most certainly a timely read.
The UCL School of Management Women’s Book Club was started by Nina Seppala, the Deputy Director of the School of Management. I spoke to Nina about why she started the club and her reading habits.
Why did you start the book club?
I started the book club earlier this year because more and more of my students seemed to be interested in gender and feminism. The literature in feminism is very rich and diverse and I wanted to explore it with others. I don’t always agree with feminist writing, but it often offers genuinely novel perspectives and I enjoy this.
What do you like to read? Do you have any favourite books, authors or genres?
I read a lot and many different genres! I especially like Siri Hustvedt, Peter Hoeg and Louise Penny for novels, but I am currently reading more non-fiction books about AI including The Age of Surveillance Capitalism because I will be teaching a new module in The Ethics of AI next year.
Do you have a lot of books at home, a home library or dreams of a home library?
I have very few books at home because I am a Scandinavian minimalist at heart. I do have a collection of feminist books which are in a pile in the kitchen to remind me to read them.
Has being in quarantine changed your reading habits at all?
I used to read on the tube, but I now read in the garden just before the sun starts going down. I have also listened to a lot of podcasts during the lockdown. Women’s Hour is my favourite - they interview a lot of interesting young (and older) women who have new, radical and inspiring ideas.
Since writing this blog, the book club has met to discuss our latest read, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies, by Scarlet Curtis. Stay tuned to hear what we thought and to read my review.