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Bader’s story of working deep inside the belly of the beast is unique in its details, but not in its themes: of feeling like an outsider both inside the company (accused of being a closet activist) and out (assumed to be a corporate shill); of getting mixed messages from senior management; of being frustrated with corporate life but committed to pushing for change from within. The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: Girl Meets Oil is based on Bader’s experience with BP and then with a United Nations effort to prevent and address human rights abuses linked to business. Using her story as its skeleton, Bader weaves in the stories of other “Corporate Idealists” working inside some of the world's biggest and best-known companies.
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By William Nee on 05-26-18
Excellent firsthand take on business and human rights
In this fascinating book, Christine Bader discusses her nine years as a “corporate idealist” at BP, as well as her experience working with John Ruggie at the UN to create the historic UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Through her personal struggles in Indonesia, China, London, and NYC, Bader brings up the issues common in the field, which is supplemented by copious amounts of interviews with NGO leaders and fellow corporate idealists.
In an industry plagued by jargon and euphemism, this book shines in its captivating storytelling, fluid prose, and entertaining and honest style. It also spends a lot of time interrogating the tension inherent in the industry: whether it’s possible to do good within companies that are often responsible for human rights abuses, whether corporate idealists are self-delusional, or whether incremental progress, and working with the world’s power players is actually more realistic way to achieve change.
One other thing worth noting: some said the audio performance wasn’t good, but I felt it was fine (listening at 1.5 speed)