89. Dr. Beth Livingston: Building Bridges

Today we are excited to interview Dr. Beth Livingston, co-author of one of Forbes Top 10 Business Books of 2022, Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collective Action for Racial and Gender Equity at Work (co-authored with Tina Opie).  
Today we discuss:
  • The connection made through Betsy and Beth’s daughters (both previously on the Barbie episode).
  • Beth’s upbringing as the only girl and youngest of three children in Louisville, Kentucky. 
  • How the impact of “bussing” children to different schools to help balance racial inequality, meant a diverse group of friends and strong realtyonships with her brothers’ older friends.  
  • How with all of the male influence and sports talk at home Beth found herself seeing race and gender in different ways than the mainstream stereotypes.
  • The way generational racial trauma caused confusion as Beth navigated friendships through high school and into college.
  • How a lack of availability to women and positive interactions with men led to her dissociating from the feminine.
  • Her realization that because of gender inequality and gender stereotypes she needed to reclaim her feminine. 
  • Meeting friend and co-writer of Shared Sisterhood, Tina Opie, a strong black woman in academia.  How they found similarities and built a relationship that led to not only a deep friendship, but also deep personal growth.
  • Beth shares how building friendship through shared experience, finding understanding, shared values and being open to learning can reveal new truths in gender and racial equity.
  • How Tina and Beth eventually co-wrote Shared Sisterhood, a guide to white and black women navigating friendship and their shared sisterhood.
  • The importance of overcoming fear, individual work and racial work that needs to be done before building bridges with our sisters. 
Dr. Beth A. Livingston is the Ralph L. Sheets Associate Professor in Industrial Relations at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Florida, she spent 8 years at Cornell University in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations before moving to the Midwest. She is passionate about studying gender, stereotyping, discrimination, and the management of work and family. Her research has been highlighted in the New York Times, NPR, and the Harvard Business Review, and has been published in top academic journals. She has also done executive education, speaking engagements, and consulting for companies such as Accenture, John Deere, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty and Allsteel. She is the co-author of Shared Sisterhood (with Dr. Tina Opie), one of Forbes Top 10 Business Books of 2022.

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