Book Reviews

Book Review: “Creating Cultures of Belonging” by Beth Birmingham and Eeva Sallinen Simard

Creating Cultures of Belonging is a practical guide to making organizations friendly to both men and women in leadership.

The authors first outline the ways in which missional organizations have demonstrated difficulty with integrating women into the workings and leadership of their groups. Next, they give a brief background for why this is an important topic. Then, they provide numerous chapters with specific, applicable strategies for correcting that problem.

A book like this turns upon how useful its strategies are. Identifying the problem is one thing, but providing solutions is another. Thankfully, Birmingham and Simard give numerous useful applications of strategies to directly address inequalities in the workplace. Not only that, but they also continue to bring up potential difficulties that may not be on people’s radar related to those same topics. For example, the concept of “living wage” has been influenced by the notion that men are the income earners and so they need to be paid enough (more) to make a living–the authors point out how this mindset can impact those making decisions regarding raises (136-138). Without awareness of the problem and the ways in which certain background beliefs play into it, there is no possibility for a solution. Time and again the authors provide these kind of asides with real, workable solutions.

There are also numerous charts, helpful questions, and ideas for goal-setting found throughout the book. Indeed, this is the kind of work someone wishing to increase the equality of men and women in an organization can pick up and immediately start to use and incorporate in everyday life.

A couple points of critique for the book. One is fairly simple: I wish it had included an index. The chapters are well-organized and have sub-headings, but an index would make the utility of the book increase. Second, the authors don’t really address questions beyond male-female dichotomy in the work. That is, there isn’t guidance about how to apply these practices to sexual minorities. No matter what an organization’s stance is on political topics related to this, the fact remains that this is a question that won’t go away. Not only that, but many Christian groups have stances that are affirming and welcoming to sexual minorities, and the book would have been served to have a chapter or related sections to help integrate practices for those organizations.

Creating Cultures of Belonging does what it sets out to do. Birmingham and Simard provide practical, applicable ways to make organizations places that are welcoming to men and women. It doesn’t move beyond that dichotomy, but it does provide information within that framework.

All Links to Amazon are Affiliates links


Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Book Reviews– There are plenty more book reviews to read! Read like crazy! (Scroll down for more, and click at bottom for even more!)



The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from quotations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited; images are often freely available to the public and J.W. Wartick makes no claims of owning rights to the images unless he makes that explicit) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.


About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,864 other subscribers


Like me on Facebook: Always Have a Reason
%d bloggers like this: