The winner of the 2019 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award is an investigation into how a gender gap in data perpetuates disadvantages for women across the world. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by journalist and activist Caroline Criado Perez, delves into the ways data collection systematically ignores half the world’s population.
McKinsey global managing partner Kevin Sneader and Financial Times editor Lionel Barber presented the award on Tuesday, December 3, at the Park Hyatt Hotel in New York. Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne sat down with Barber for the event’s keynote interview.
In the book, Criado Perez investigates the shocking root causes of gender inequality. Informed by hundreds of studies in the United States, the UK, and around the world, Invisible Women reveals a dangerous pattern that lurks in data and lays bare the consequences it has on women’s lives.
“Unassailable facts, backed by powerful stories, are what move minds,” said Kevin. “This year’s winner brilliantly uses that combination to cast a bright light on one of the most important issues of our time.”
The judging panel spent Monday deliberating the merits of the six finalists for the £30,000 prize. In addition to Lionel Barber, who chaired the group, this year’s judges included Mitchell Baker, executive chairwoman at Mozilla; Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz; Herminia Ibarra, professor of organizational behavior at London Business School; Randall Kroszner, professor of economics at University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Dambisa Moyo, global economist and author and non-executive director at 3M Company and Chevron; Shriti Vadera, chairman of Santander UK and independent director of BHP Billiton; and Rik Kirkland, partner, global publishing at McKinsey.
“Invisible Women is a stunning book that tells people about sexism that is hidden in plain sight,” added Lionel Barber. “The data that Criado Perez marshals are overwhelming, and her call for action is compelling.”
The Bracken Bower Prize for 2019’s best business book proposal by an author under 35 was also awarded on Tuesday night. The winner was Jonathan Hillman for The Sinolarity, which the judges called “a thought-provoking and topical analysis of the battle between the US and China for control over tomorrow’s technology and networks.”
This marked the 15th year of the FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Given annually to the book that provides “the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues,” the prize has shortlisted 88 books since 2005 that comprise a thorough overview of business in a tumultuous era.
Each of this year’s other shortlisted authors will receive £10,000. They include:
- Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America
- The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind
- Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
- The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
- The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution