Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Chelsey Glasson
Black Box

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

You don’t have to fight workplace discrimination alone. By the time Chelsey Glasson filed a lawsuit for pregnancy discrimination against tech giant Google, she had lost the job she once loved and had gone against the advice of trusted professionals. Many thought she would lose everything. Instead, her faith in fairness, reparation, and equal opportunity was restored. In Black Box, Chelsey shares her story and provides the strategies you need to pursue justice for yourself and your family in the fight against pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace. A deeply ingrained prejudice, pregnancy discrimination poses a variety of hardships for its victims, including judgment from friends and coworkers and a newfound, ever-present sense of self-doubt. If you’ve encountered pregnancy discrimination, though, you have options. A tale of retaliation, redemption, and the quest for justice, Black Box is an empowering memoir and insightful guide for reclaiming confidence and making justice accessible to all.

Analyst Glasson, whose internal departure memo from Google accusing the company of discrimination on the basis of pregnancy went viral in 2019, tells the complete story of her mistreatment at the tech giant and her pursuit of legal recourse in this focused debut memoir. Glasson begins by sharing a little about her abusive childhood as background, exploring why she became a recognition-seeker willing to tolerate poor treatment for too long, and then describes a corporate culture of peer-dependent progress and minimizing HR issues—and eventually hitting her breaking point. Glasson aims to illuminate the “black box” of obstruction she experienced. A short chapter with quotes from other women who faced pregnancy discrimination adds a bit of broader perspective.

Glasson’s thorough documentation (even when the company actively discouraged it) is the foundation of a well-organized chronological memoir with a clear storyline depicting her rise through the company ranks until her defense of one of her direct reports, and then herself during both of her pregnancies, led to the retaliatory destruction of her career. Her prose is clear and impactful, making it easy to understand and care about Glasson’s frustrating experiences with both the discrimination and the legal system’s slowness and squeamishness about taking on her case. Glasson’s inclusion of her pre-Google experiences and her mental health challenges beyond the impact of corporate mistreatment place the book somewhere between working mother’s memoir and targeted corporate exposé. Legal-oriented readers may find the play-by-play of the legal proceedings a bit vague, though an appendix includes the full complaint filed with the state of Washington.

Glasson’s explanations of Google’s internal system for peer review plus personnel and legal systems make clear these were not exactly helpful. Told with insight and sensitivity, this story of what it takes to stand up and fight back against a “superpower” that “can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a discrimination lawsuit without blinking an eye” has welcome, rousing power.

Takeaway: Inspiring story of standing against pregnancy discrimination in the tech world.

Comparable Titles: Susan Fowler’s Whistle Blower, Ellen Pao’s Reset.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: B

Seattle woman details pregnancy discrimination fight with Google in new book

Despite new federal and state laws protecting pregnant workers, stigma, financial burden and lack of resources allow pregnancy discrimination to persist, according to Chelsey Glasson, a Seattle woman whose public fight against Google became the basis for a new book out next month.