Summer Reading: 14 Books by Trailblazing Authoresses You Don’t Want to Miss
Looking for an inspiration boost this summer? We are loving these witty, poignant, and inspiring books by female authors and trailblazers paving the way for a new generation of female entrepreneurs and leaders. [A little shameless self-promotion doesn’t hurt either!] See below for our top summer reads to keep you motivated, refreshed, and inspired through the blazing summer heat.
In her book Dare to Lead, author Brené Brown answers the questions business leaders are constantly asking: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders? And, how do you embed the value of courage in your culture? According to Brown, courage is a collection of four skill sets supported by twenty-eight behaviors. All it requires is a commitment to doing bold work, having tough conversations and showing up with our whole hearts. Dare to Lead gives us actionable strategies and real examples from Brown’s new research-based, courage-building programme.
Are you looking to build a workplace culture with a certain buzz about it? Where employees are thriving and engagement survey scores are through the roof. Where people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities are hired and set up for success — and they all want their friends to work there too, because it’s so awesome. One secret to creating this kind of workplace is allyship. And it’s something anyone can do.
National best-selling book Brotopia reveals the struggles women face when it comes to working in the aggressive and misogynistic culture of the Silicon Valley. Author Emily Chang tells the tale of how female pioneers have risked everything to help pave the way for other women in the industry. Intertwined with interviews with female bosses such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and former Yahoo! CEO Marissa May, Brotopia illustrates just how hard it is to crack the Silicon Ceiling and make it big in an industry where women are far from welcome.
The book Women Who Venture features 99 women making investment decisions in venture capital around the world, a limited partner, and a founder of the initiative The Billion Dollar Fund for Women. Forget everything that you’ve heard before and read the real stories not manicured by the media, about women who achieved success in this male-dominated industry. They tell us how they worked hand in hand with men to get where they are; what it took them to become venture capitalists, and what the future will hold.
In this survival-of-the-fittest story, author Julian Guthrie reveals the untold story of four women determined to find a way to make a name for themselves in the cutthroat, male-dominated world of Silicon Valley. These women, juggling work and family, shaped the tech landscape we know today while overcoming unequal pay, actual punches, betrayals, and the sexist attitudes prevalent in Silicon Valley and in male-dominated industries everywhere. Despite the setbacks, they would rise again to rewrite the rules for an industry they love.
Fiercely You is a creative, playful approach to the serious problems that women face regarding confidence and risk taking. Drawing on her own experiences and interviews with the world’s top drag queens, Huba and coauthor Shelly Kronbergs offers five Keys to Fierce that will help readers find the courage to ignore criticism and live the life they truly want to live every day — no wigs or stilettos required.
Award-winning author Anne Janzer helps readers recognize and apply the methods of their favorite writers to their own work in her book, Writing to be Understood. By using techniques such as using analogies effectively to illustrate unseen concepts, appealing to the reader’s innate curiosity, and balancing humility with credibility, Writing to be Understood will help you expand the impact of your words.
Coming up constantly with a steady stream of marketing content, stories, and ideas that inspire excitement, interest and banish boring can be challenging. To help overcome this hurdle, Kathy Klotz-Guest’s book takes key concepts from the improvisation stage and applies it to the business stage. Full of tips on how to utilize improv concepts to craft better stories and how to brainstorm creative marketing ideas, this book will help readers innovate and unleash more creativity into their work.
Sarah Lacy’s book is a rallying cry for working mothers everywhere that have been labeled with the “distracted, emotional, weak” stereotype and definitively shows that these professionals are more focused, decisive, and stronger than any other force. Despite proof that working mothers are a lucrative asset, they still face the “Maternal Wall” — widespread unconscious bias about their abilities, contributions, and commitment. Lacy’s clear-cut and persuasive analysis of women’s success in the workplace comes to show that the strongest, most lucrative, and most ambitious time of a woman’s career may easily be after she sees a plus sign on a pregnancy test.
Jennifer S. LeBlanc
Women receive less than 2% of venture funding and make up 8% of VC partners, yet research shows that companies with female leaders and board members outperform all-male companies. Changing Tides brings together experienced female venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who share their expertise and tactical guidance through a collection of essays. This book is intended as a resource for anyone wanting to win — or support a woman to win — at the heavily stacked entrepreneur and funding game.
Written by best-selling author Jenn LeBlanc, Launching for Revenue breaks down a revenue-generating launch with a step-by-step method that has helped companies, startups and nonprofits see $1.5B in new revenue and funding. Based on the ground-breaking ThinkResults Launch Readiness Assessment, this method reveals how ready a company is to launch, and isolates the biggest areas of risk. With this book as your guide, you’ll have a clear Launch Action Plan based on the 10 critical elements that can make or break your launch.
CEO of Reddit and founder of award-winning nonprofit, Project Include, author Ellen Pao tells the story of how she sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Regarded as “the face of change” by Time magazine, Pao’s book shines a light on troubling issues that plague today’s workplace and lays out practical, inspiring, and achievable goals for a better future.
Linda J. Popky
Marketing today is out of control. With all the new marketing techniques accessible to the masses, it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out from the crowd. The result is more and more messages, hitting us more often in new and more intrusive ways. For customers, it’s a lot of noise. Through her work with a wide range of organizations from small companies to professional service providers to Fortune 500 companies, Linda Popky has developed Dynamic Market Leverage(TM), an approach to help cut through the clutter, stand out, and effectively build business.
Kate Purmal & Lisa Goldman
Kate Purmal and Lisa Goldman, members of extraordinary moonshot teams, inspire, lead and guide countless moonshot projects with the help of their book, The Moonshot Effect. This book guides you through the elements of a successful moonshot — a game-changing project that disrupts business as usual — from assembling a high performance team, selling your vision and executing the plan. The Moonshot Effect is a must-read for leaders and includes 24 critical practices that are not only essential to leading and managing a successful moonshot, but can benefit executives and entrepreneurs on a daily basis.
What are your top book picks? Let us know in the comments section — we look forward to adding them to our reading list!