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Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  477 ratings  ·  90 reviews
The courageous story of the woman at the center of the historic discrimination case that inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act--her fight for equal rights in the workplace, and how her determination became a victory for the nation.
Lilly Ledbetter was born in a house with no running water or electricity in the small town of Possum Trot, Alabama. She knew th
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Crown Archetype (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  477 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, 2012
This is one of those books that leaves you struggling with whether to rate it based on the quality of the writing or on the story itself. I chose the latter.

Lilly Ledbetter went to work for Goodyear tires in 1979, and although that may seem fairly recent along the timeline of the women’s equality movement it was still a time when such factory work was undeniably a man’s world, when sexual harassment was only recently legally defined and the laws rarely enforced, and women were expected to either
Mar 31, 2012 rated it liked it
This is the infuriating, and then semi-triumphant, tale of Lilly Ledbetter, the woman whose epic quest to recoup the pay that was owed to her by Goodyear eventually inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. My only fear is that this will be turned into a movie and, because the heroine is Southern, we will have to endure Julia Roberts in a wig and '70s pantsuit.
I absolutely cried while reading this one.
Isabella Roland
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A woman’s life working in a plant is different than a man’s the minute she walks in the door because of what she is. Despite the capabilities and diversity of thinking that she may bring to a company, she gets harassed and considered inferior. She gets picked last. She gets excluded from company trips. She might find herself among enemies when in fact she is among coworkers. These were the circumstances for Mrs. Ledbetter throughout her career. What I am sad to realize is that life for women in ...more
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read "Grace and Grit" because it is on the United Methodist Women's Leadership reading list and we will be discussing it in January. I thought it might take a while to read but found that it was a very interesting and easy read. I highly recommend this book to all women and girls starting out in the work field. It is the autobiography of a woman from Alabama who just wanted to make money so her children would be able to have things she never had and she wanted to do the best she could working ...more
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lilly Ledbetter has lived a hardscrabble life. Her desire for working hard as the men doing the same work at Goodyear was met with derision and hostility. She persevered for 19 years thinking if she kept doing her best she would when over the men who didn't think women could do the job. She found out through an anonymous note that she was being payed 40% less then the men in her same position, which affected her current standard of living and her retirement. She sued. She won, then lost on appea ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing true story of Lilly Ledbetter and her fight for equal pay for women. She is truly a remarkable woman.
Newt Taylor
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Had I been aware of Goodyear’s disgraceful labor practices back in the day, I would have bought my tires elsewhere. I’m still buying their tires, assuming the company has changed its ways since passage of The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had the honor of meeting Lilly Ledbetter at the ACLU of Massachusetts' 2013 Bill of Rights Dinner, and, well, I just love her. To paraphrase Ted Kennedy speaking about his brother Bobby, Lilly Ledbetter "is a good and decent women who sees wrong and tries to right it." Our country is a better place because she decided to fight injustice instead of accepting it!

You'll enjoy this book if you're interested in this information:

The ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts is honored to present the 2013 Rog
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Really more 3.5

I have an opportunity to see the author at an upcoming event. Her story is so genuine, so honest, and so heartbreaking. Born into poverty, she wanted more for her life. With a husband, house, and kids, we can identify with her motivation to work and make enough to keep them out of poverty and actually give them more. Her hiring by Goodyear seemed to promise this.

But being a woman in a mostly-male environment was a challenge: she was routinely denied pay and benefits - but the comp
Tamara Dahling
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
I attended a lecture by Mrs. Ledbetter earlier in the year which led me to read her book. An unlikely heroine, she epitomizes grit and fighting for one’s rights. Her story infuriates and encourages and shows what one person can achieve with persistence. What a woman!
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
It seems logical that if two people do the same job they should get the same pay, but as most women know, this is often not the case. Lilly Ledbetter seemed to break through a glass ceiling when she was hired for a management position at a Goodyear tire factory in Alabama in the late 1970's. As one of the only women managers, she experienced a near-constant state of bullying and sexual harassment, only to learn after nearly 20 years of service that she was also paid considerably less than all of ...more
Ashley Laidlaw
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My father gifted this book to me last year and all I knew about it was that he had seen Ms. Ledbetter on the Colbert Report or The Daily Show and thought that I would like her book. I had NO IDEA that this woman was responsible for creating the first bill Obama signed after he was sworn into the presidency until the very end of the book.

Lilly Ledbetter started working at the Goodyear factory in the mid 80s (not that long ago, people...) and experienced horrible inequality that took over her life
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This clearly written and heart felt book is must reading for everyone who believes in justice and fair play. It is the story of Lilly Ledbetter, a woman who worked hard to better her family and herself, yet she was cheated out of more than $200,000 in salary and even more in pension funds and social security. Because she was a woman, she was paid considerably less than male managers at the Goodyear plant in Alabama.
President Barack Obama first act as president of the United States was to sign th
Sue Jackson
Oct 04, 2014 rated it liked it
The story of Lilly Ledbetter was and still is remarkable. It is the story of a woman who worked for years at Goodyear yet made significantly less money than the men in the same or similar jobs. I wish I could say that I am shocked but I cannot. It seems so true both then and could easily be true today. Because of that fact, I enjoyed the book. It was clearly written as she explained the day to day issues that she faced. Those included being passed up for pay increases and promotions and routinel ...more
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was infuriating and sad, but inspiring. The story of Lilly Ledbetter, whose name is on the first legislation signed by President Obama upon taking office.

Ledbetter, determined to have a more stable life than what she was exposed to in rural Alabama, aspired to be in management at the nearby Goodyear plant - a place limited in opportunity and a candidate without a college education. She endured unspeakable, continuous harrassment and humiliation until after nineteen years, learned she
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you've ever once been discriminated against, whether it's because you are a woman or a minority or a Martian, this book will resonate with you. Lilly Ledbetter tells the story without feeling a great deal of sympathy for herself or her plight - it's just a forthright narrative of what it's like to be treated poorly day after day when you are performing a job well and many times better than the person standing next to you who is getting higher pay or better benefits. Lilly Ledbetter is the pos ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
As an AAUW member, I am well acquainted with the legal battle Lilly Ledbetter fought against Goodyear for paying her less than men doing the same work for nearly 20 years, as well as the shameful Supreme Court decision against her that precipitated the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (the first law signed by newly elected President Obama). But I was shocked at just how toxic Ledbetter's workplace was for her and other females. Ledbetter points out that the company's culture of harass ...more
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a fairly quick read. She may have spent too much time talking about her life before working at Goodyear. Some of it didn't have too much relevance to the main issue, which was her underpayment while working at Goodyear and the subsequent lawsuit. But, nonetheless, I found it interesting as an account of what it was like to grow up poor and white in the segregated Deep South. Her treatment at Goodyear is absolutely appalling, and left me shaking my head a number of times, that a com ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lilly Ledbetter is every woman in America who has held a job and found that she was getting paid less for doing the same (and most likely more) work as a man with the same job description and title. She is every woman who discovered after the fact that although that man was doing the same work, he often was given a loftier title to justify his salary. She is every woman who was told that, after all, he should be paid more because he had a wife and children to feed. I guess having a husband and c ...more
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A steady grit first gained in the 1940s when Lilly Ledbetter was picking cotton on her grand-father's farm in Alabama and lasting through a very long journey that ended in January 2009 when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. It should be noted that the issues of discrimination and harassment Lilly described at length are still present at several levels in today's work place. As Lilly kept giving 100% at her job hoping that Goodyear would recognize her for the ma ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
I knew very little about Lilly Ledbetter before hearing about the Lilly Ledbetter Act. I saw her interview on The Colbert Report and decided I should read the book. Some of it is pretty difficult to take and just makes you angry. Really, Supreme Court, you have to know about the discrimination the first time it happens? So that means it's OK for a company to discriminate just because they've done it for a long time.

Enough with the similes and metaphors, really. Th
Sheri Viggiano
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Apt title for Lily. Lily made it into and stayed in management because of her Grit. It was unusual for women to be in management during that time. Lily definitely suffered from discrimination and unfortunately, the court didn't fix it. President Obama fixed the issue for those following but Lily lives with the unfairness of a reduced Social Security, pension, 401k because she wasn't paid fairly when she worked.

If you work and are not harassed or discriminated against and are paid fairly, you can
Amanda Irving
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very poignant. As expected, I learned a lot of interesting stuff about Lilly Ledbetter. I heard her name in passing before, but I've never knew anything about her. The discrimination and harassment she endured was unimaginable. If I endured half of the stuff she did, I don't think I would be able to live with myself. I'd be scarred for life!

I really admired the fact that she fought back hard to gain justice. She is a big inspiration to young women all over the world. Women are und
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Given what I do for a living, I had to read this book, and I read it at a conference surrounded by the type of employment lawyers who represented Ms. Ledbetter. I was fairly familiar with her case, but reading all the details in her voice never fails to infuriate me, between the assholes that harassed her for nearly 20 years, and those on the 11th Circuit and Supreme Court who ensured that she will never see justice. We all owe her for fighting back, when it would have been so much better for he ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing story about an amazing woman whose pride and courage will make a difference to so many lives. She's the Rosa Parks of the factory floor. I saw her interviewed on the Colbert Report and put her book into my Kindle immediately. I could not put it down once I started it. An amazing example of somebody who knows the difference between right and wrong and her motivation for justice is for others not just herself. Read this book and you'll learn something that will stay with you for ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Background information on the personal and professional life of Lilly Ledbetter. There are times when you question why there is so much information related to her childhood and early marriage, but then you start to see she is showing how she grew up tough and poor. People, women in this case, could not have made it in these extremely toxic work conditions unless they were made of tough stuff.

People are quick to discuss the decline in loyalty from employees - read this book and you'll get why th
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I'll admit, I got a bit lost in the legal part of this book and wish more explanation had been given around some of the terms, etc. Also, there were so many managers names mentioned and job transfers that I couldn't keep it straight; I wish this had been timelined.

But putting the book editing aside, and focusing on the story, I found it disgusting what Lilly endured at Goodyear. As a working woman today, I can't fathom putting up with what she was dealt - or dealing with it for so long.
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann Hein
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
An amazing story...what Lilly put up with for almost twenty years as a female in management at a Goodyear tire plant. The ramifications of her fight against the harassment and even more the differential in pay compared to the men, are enormous. How many of us would be willing to put up the fight she did. thank goodness for the many organizations that helped her in her fight to the Supreme Court and then to get an amendment to the Fair Pay law.
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