Lessons in Chemistry

Bonnie Garmus

This book had been on my list since its publication, but the waiting list at the library was many months long. Finally, it was my turn to read this book that nearly everyone around me had recommended.

The novel follows Elizabeth Zott, a chemist working in the male-dominated field during the 1960s. It chronicles her struggle with inequality and harassment in the workplace and her surprise career as a television star where she experiences many of the same biases and inequalities through humourous storytelling - even her dog is one of the main characters.

I see a lot of parallels to the currently male-dominated and unequal tech industry, and you certainly don't have to be a chemist or a television star to identify with the characters in the story and gain a new perspective.

“Chemistry is change and change is the core of your belief system. Which is good because that’s what we need more of—people who refuse to accept the status quo, who aren’t afraid to take on the unacceptable."

Courage is the root of change—and change is what we’re chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others’ opinions of what you can and cannot achieve. And no more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion. Do not allow your talents to lie dormant, ladies. Design your own future. When you go home today, ask yourself what you will change. And then get started.”