Review of The Likeability Trap

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Likeability Trap book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Journalist Alicia Menendez dissects the challenges facing women in the workplace and the public sphere as they try to navigate the passage between the rock of “likeability” and the hard place of leadership qualities. Using research and anecdotes, she discusses why people see women who exhibit strength and achievement as cold and underhanded, and why they perceive warm, generous women as weak and incompetent. Menendez underscores the personal and economic cost of these biases and outlines how businesses and society must change the way they evaluate and treat women.

About the Author

Alicia Menendez anchors a weekend news program on MSNBC and hosts the podcast Latina to Latina.


Likeability is a widespread cultural measure of a woman’s value, but it’s also a quality people perceive as diminishing her ability to lead.

Menendez warns that warmth, the primary attribute of likeability in women, reads as weakness in the male-dominated business world. Yet, the more a woman demonstrates strength, the more that world perceives her as unlikeable. “Even the most capable woman,” the author writes – summarizing her book’s theme – “will have her leadership capabilities questioned if her warmth overshadows her strength.”

Authenticity is essential to likeability and effective leadership, but these demands compete. Menendez makes it clear that juggling them puts women in a bind – making them feel that if they act as they really are, they will be either inadequate or over the top. The requirement to present yourself authentically is even more challenging for those whose identities don’t align with the majority culture.

More on this topic

Customers who read this also read

No Visible Bruises
Good and Mad
The Book of Gutsy Women
That’s What She Said
No Stopping Us Now

Related Channels

Comment on this recommendation