A Book Review – Be Fearless by Jane Egerton-Idehen

Chapter 1: The Caged Bird

Explores: The cultural expectations and gender roles, overt and covert, thrust on women that sets them up for failure in their careers or causes them to give up on their aspirations. This will be done by examining the author’s first romantic relationship, her failed attempts to live up to expectations that didn’t fit with her ideas of who she was and her passive-aggressive reaction. It will be like an introduction, a statement of the general problem, that women can identify with. 

Chapter 2 and 3: I Have a Dream 

Explores The author’s penchant for dreaming even as a child and how those dreams kept her afloat amidst impossible odds. This is an inspirational grass to grace story of her humble beginnings in the slums of Ajegunle to her completing her tertiary education and bagging her first job. It is a message of hope for every dream born in uncontrollable circumstances. This will be done by examining the author’s pivotal experiences in her early years, including living conditions, environmental situation, schooling, and family dynamics. Taking off from chapter 1, it will be probably like a flashback to the past. 

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Chapter 4: The Corporate Escalator  

Explores The author’s career journey, rising through the ranks to become a telecoms head. Another inspirational ‘grass’ to grace story that lets readers know they are not alone, and it is possible to have a lasting career in a male-dominated field. Depending on the content, this chapter may be split in two; it should be the ‘meat’ of the book. This will be done by examining the traditional corporate structures and how they are configured to favour males, why it is important that women get a seat at the table, and what women can do to make it happen, amongst others. Anecdotes from the author’s career, research, and statistics will buttress points being made. 

Chapter 5: Egerton and I  

Explores: The intersection between career and marriage. What does marriage mean for a woman’s career and how it can make or mar her progress? Aspects of this 

the chapter will contrast with the “caged bird” relationship described in chapter 1 and how she evolved to enable her to choose the right partner. This will be done by looking at the author’s relationship with her husband and how the partnership works to enable her to succeed and fulfil her dreams.  

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Chapter 6: Motherhood and Birth Stories  

Explores: How having children impacts the career woman and the structures and support systems needed to make her successful after childbearing. The guilt that plagues working mothers will also be examined. This will be done by looking at pivotal moments in the author’s career and examples from other women’s stories.  

Chapter 7: Is it Lonely at the Top?  

Explores: (once again) The dearth of women leaders in top management; why this is so and what can be done about it. The myth or truth of having it all. This will be done by looking at statistics and building a case through the author’s experiences.  

Chapter 8: Women and Career

Explores The author’s philosophies about mentoring women. The factors that led her to develop a forum in her organization for emerging and established female leaders to connect and support each other’s careers. Her work with the Diversity and Inclusion Board; founding Women n Career. This will be done by tracing the author’s work with women, examining the reasons she believes they are vital, and backing her findings with research. The author’s philosophies about mentoring girls, especially those in STEM. This will be done by tracing the author’s work with girls, examining the reasons she believes mentoring girls is vital, and supporting her findings with research 

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Chapter 9: Friends Incorporated  

Explores Relationships, friendships, and developing a tribe because no man is an island, and the saying that women are their worst enemies. This will be done by looking at the author’s friendships that have stood the test of time. 

Chapter 10: Giving Yourself Permission  

Explores The internal obstacles that hold women back from reaching their potential and how to break out from them. Discovering yourself and enjoying and embracing who you are. This will be done by looking at the author’s evolution journey, and statistical data. 

Chapter 12 & 13: The Men’s Roundtable and Closing Thoughts 

Explores The author’s final thoughts as she summarizes the essence of the book. Gets her husband to share some thoughts from a male’s perspective. Paints her future hopes for this generation from the perspective of her daughter.

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