Women in Business and the Workplace

It’s hard enough being a female business owner or employee in a world still very much dominated by men. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has intensified the challenges faced by women. Women—especially women of color—are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis, stalling their careers and jeopardizing their financial security.

A recent joint study from McKinsey and LeanIn found that one in four women have or are considering downshifting their career or leaving the workplace early, all because of the pandemic. The burden of supervising their children’s virtual school instruction has fallen on women and many have left their jobs to better balance the needs of their children and families.

Since the topic has gained renewed attention, here are some books and ebooks on women and work, women as entrepreneurs, and issues affecting women in the workplace.   Also included are titles giving advice for women as to how to succeed in their careers, and inspiring reads on women empowerment and self actualization.

Back to Business: Finding Your Confidence, Embracing Your Skills, and Landing Your Dream Job After a Career Pause by Nancy McSharry Jensen

The 45 percent of American women who take career breaks know better than anyone that searching for a job-with its new modes of communication, new rules of discoverability, and new expectations-has changed rapidly in the last decade. This book lays out a clear path for anyone ready to re-enter the workforce.

Boss Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take Charge of Your Career by Nicole Lapin

You don’t need dozens of employees to be a boss, says financial expert and serial entrepreneur Nicole Lapin. Hell, you don’t even need one. You just need to find your inner Boss Bitch — your most confident, savvy, ambitious self — and own it. 

Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Own Terms: A Remixed Rule Book for Badass Boss Ladies by Antoinette M. Clarke and Tricia Clarke-Stone

Media executives Antoinette and Tricia share their wisdom with the next generation of Boss Ladies looking to make their mark. They share tips, tricks and tactics to help women identify their goals, cultivate their confidence, and double down on their superpowers. 

Female Firebrands: Stories and Techniques to Ignite Change, Take Control, and Succeed in the Workplace by  Mikaela Kiner

Thirteen professional women recount the career challenges they’ve faced and how they have overcome bias, sexism, and the power imbalance.

The Fix: Overcome the Invisible BarriersThat Are Holding Women Back at Work by Michelle P. King

Discover how to thrive at work from the director of inclusion at Netflix with this passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women.

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis | ebook

Hollis knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people–whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee–instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

Grow Your Value: Living and Working to Your Full Potential by Mika Brzezinski

Drawing on deeply revealing conversations with powerful and dynamic women, input from researchers and relationship experts, and her own wealth of experience, Mika helps women pinpoint their individual definition of success. She advises her readers to define the “professional value” that encompasses their worth in the workplace, and the “inner value” made up of their core beliefs and goals.

I Am My Brand: How to Build Your Brand Without Apology by Kubi Springer

Featuring dynamic female brand builders from around the world, the book is a tapestry of personal brand advice interwoven with storytelling and support that offers a practical guide for female entrepreneurs, freelancers and executives.   It explores the techniques used by different women across cultures to build their personal brand, as well as the challenges they faced and their paths to overcoming them. 

Ladies Get Paid: The Ultimate Guide to Breaking Barriers, Owning Your Worth, and Taking Command of Your Career by Claire Wasserman

From career coach and founder of the startup Ladies Get Paid-the eponymous organization leading the fight for equality in the workplace-comes an empowering guide to provide you with the tools to strategically navigate the workplace, achieve success, and become a true leader.

Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs by Nathalie Molina Niño

For women entrepreneurs (and anyone launching a startup from scratch), this smart, snappy guide presents 50 proven ways to leapfrog over roadblocks to growth and success. Based on the Athena Core 10, a unique set of leadership values Nathalie helped develop at Barnard, as well as anecdotes and advice from well-known trailblazers, this inspiring book lays out powerful strategies and shortcuts for business growth.

Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving by  Caitlyn Collins

A cross-national account of working mothers’ daily lives–and the revolution in public policy and culture needed to improve them.

The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table by Minda Harts

A look at the odds stacked against women of color in professional settings, from the wage gap to biases and microaggressions, with actionable takeaways.

The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You: Command an Audience and Sell Your Way to Success by Lydia Fenet

Fenet takes you on her twenty-year journey from intern to managing director and global head of strategic partnerships at Christie’s Auction House.  Combining case studies and personal stories, Lydia also shares tips from some of the most powerful and successful women in business, fashion, journalism, sports, and the arts. This book will show you how to take your career to the next level, whether it’s overcoming your fear of asking for something or bridging a wage gap.

Own It: The Power of Women at Work by Sallie Krawcheck

A new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism, offering women a new set of rules for professional success: one that plays to their strengths and builds on the power they already have.

The Women’s Small Business Start-up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide by Peri Pakroo

A guide for women interested in starting or running a small business. It covers how to: draft a business plan; raise start-up money, including through crowdfunding; choose a legal structure and hire employees; manage finances and taxes; qualify for special certification programs and contracts for women-owned businesses; and market and brand a business online and off. Also contains interviews with successful women business owners, and has tips for maintaining work-life balance.

Women’s Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home by Megan K. Stack

A stunning memoir of raising her children abroad with the help of Chinese and Indian women who are also working mothers. It is also an electrifying meditation on the evasions of marriage, motherhood, feminism, and privilege.

Work Wife: The Power of Female Friendship to Drive Successful Businesses by Erica Cerulo & Claire Mazur

Cerulo and Mazur bring to light the unique power of female friendship to fuel successful businesses. Drawing on their own experiences, as well as the stories of other thriving “work wives,” they highlight the ways in which vulnerability, openness, and compassion—qualities central to so many women’s relationships—lend themselves to professional accomplishment and innovation.

-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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