Retiring But Not Shy



Retiring But Not Shy: Feminist Psychologists Create their Post-Careers

Edited by Ellen Cole and Mary Gergen

Taos Institute Publications, 2021 (WorldShare Books), 2012 (original in print)
ISBN (print): 978-0-9848656-6-6
ISBN (WorldShare Books): 978-1-938552-86-1

Retiring But Not Shy: Feminist Psychologists Create their Post-Careers
is composed of the stories of 23 women who address this time of life we call “retirement.” Each woman has been highly successful in her career as a psychologist, and each has taken seriously her commitment to feminism. Yet the authors are diverse in other ways, with differences in age, career specialties, ethnicity, ableness, sexual orientation, and partner status. The chapters are engaging, personal, lively, and, above all, a helpful guide to any professional woman who is considering what the future holds for her in her “post-career.” Issues of health, emotional well-being, housing issues, balancing career and post-career tensions, partner negotiations, financial decisions, endings and beginnings, are all touched upon. These accounts of resilience and creativity are written from the heart but also provide practical resources for readers. The introduction by Michelle Fine begins by describing it as “a textual pajama party of essays by the very women who pioneered feminist psychology.” The forewords by editors Ellen Cole and Mary Gergen invite us all to join in.


A fascinating, intimate glimpse into the future; candid reflections from the first generation of professional women. These accomplished trailblazers are now embarking upon a new journey—retirement. Once
again, there really are very few, if any, role models providing guidance and assurance. RETIRING BY NOT SHY—affirmatively facing the challenges of the future.

— Pat DeLeon, Ph.D., MPH, JD
2000 Past President, American Psychological Association


“Retirement” is a misnomer, as the authors in this powerful and personal book so aptly demonstrate. “Redesign” is what resonates with me, as I take leave from 23 years as a major union’s head attorney, in favor of time to explore things yet undiscovered. Retirement, not for me; more time and less structured commitment, that is “what’s next.” RETIRING BUT NOT SHY has something to say to all professional women who are contemplating their own “what’s next.”

— Nancy E. Hoffman, ESQ
Redesigning and transitioning from General Counsel
to arbitrator, mediator, neutral, not-for-profit-board member,
and to whatever is yet to unfold.


The stories in RETIRING BUT NOT SHY combine to produce an inspiring, poignant, funny, motivating rich mosaic on the stage of life, “retirement.” Whether these amazing feminist authors are “poised on the diving board,” in “the mid-air plunge,” or in “splash down and re-entry,” they provide very honest, informative personal and professional experiences and insights as they look back, as well as forward. It is a superb discourse on the variety of ways to engage with this stage of life. Readers (women and men, retired or not) will laugh and cry and relate to the humbling parts of life. We can all be inspired to make choices now to have meaningful and rich futures.

— Melba Vasquez, PhD, ABPP
Independent Practice, Austin, Texas
2012 Past President, American Psychological Association

December 22, 2021 2:21 pm

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