What The Word On The Street is Reading: Darling, You Can’t Do Both

This week our Event Coordinator, Catherine, read Darling, You Can’t Do Both: And Other Noise to Ignore on Your Way Up, by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk. Kestin and Vonk spent thirteen years as co-chief creative officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, and delivered Cannes Grand Prix-winning work for Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.  In 2012, they were named among Ad Age‘s ‘100 Most Influential Women in Advertising,’ and as a huge Mad Men fan, Catherine couldn’t resist picking up this book.

Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk will be appearing at this year’s festival on September 21st, reading at the Nothing But The Truth Tent.

About the book
Having built their careers on unconventional creative thinking, Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk focus on rethinking the way we work or, in many cases, the way our work doesn’t work for us as women. In Darling, You Can’t Do Both: And Other Noise to Ignore on Your Way Up, they tackle the invisible rules that are really in our way as women—from “Nice Girls Don’t Get in Your Face” to motherhood is a roadblock—and provide practical strategies to break through those barriers, all in their hallmark style: by turning expectations upside down and shaking them. Soundly.

Q&A with Catherine


What drew you to the book?

“This book is a testament to what a good title can do. I was drawn in instantly.

  1. “Darling” a-la-Gatsby caught my attention. SPOILER ALERT! It’s actually condescending.
  2.  The title also informed me of what I cannot do. (Hold up. Ain’t nobody tellin’ me what I can and cannot do.)
  3. “Both”. What does that include? Why can’t I do both? Why can’t I have it all?”

Did you enjoy the book?

“Admittedly I am not the target audience of this book. In Mad Men terms, I am still first-season Peggy Olson, meaning I’m starting out and I’m certainly not planning a family. However, I have many friends who have been told they can’t have a career and a life or a career and a family. Worse, I have friends who have believed this lie. While I don’t normally read Business Motivation books, I enjoyed that Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk talk about their experience in an authentic and relatable way. They give you advice without the formulaic 10 steps to success. They tell you what rules to break and why. As a Mad Men addict I also enjoyed the real advertising examples.”

Would you recommend the book?

“Put on some Beyoncé (who I personally find empowering and awesome), grab a glass of wine, and read this book!”

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