Women continue to make serious strides in the workplace, from politics to entertainment to medical practice. Currently, women account for more than 57 percent of undergraduate degrees earned in the U.S. and 59 percent of all master’s degrees earned.
However, according to statistics from 2018, women account for only 26.5 percent of executives and senior officials, 7 percent of top executives at Fortune 100 companies, and 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. It’s time for women to take our rightful and hard-earned places at the top.
We’ve compiled a small collection of inspirational books by women, for women, to help you kick-start your career with tips on thriving through every stage of your employment, plus insightful accounts from women who have fought gender barriers and won. Get ready to hit the ground running and play a part in altering the workplace everywhere.
7 inspirational books for working women
1. I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This
Author: Kate Whit
As the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Kate White is no stranger to weaving her way through the challenges of big business. In this guide, White provides must-read tips geared toward women first entering, or re-entering, the workforce. The witty book is full of personal anecdotes as White uses her own experiences to inspire women to break the rules, become the boss, and find success in an area that gives them true happiness.
2. Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success
Authors: Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
These talented TV Journalists know what they’re talking about when it comes to not only finding professional success, but also combining it with a work-life balance. This book goes into detail on how companies who support female talent at all levels succeed. Learn how to say goodbye to your guilt and define your value in the workplace.
3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life
Author: Jane Sherron De Hart
In light of the recent documentary, On the Basis of Sex, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s inspiring story has gained massive amounts of attention and popularity. Now read Ginsburg’s in-depth biography by Jane Sherron De Hart, which tells the inspiring tale of a Jewish girl growing up during World War II, who would eventually make her mark as a Supreme Court justice. Ginsberg paved the way for countless women within the male-dominated legal field, and for women wishing to achieve a visible position of power in any area.
Read more: The Best Podcasts for Women
4. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from Over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
Author: Grace Bonney
Interviews in this book highlight influential women from diverse backgrounds who have a piece of advice—or two—to contribute on building a successful future and overcoming adversity. Professional women from tattoo artists to architects share their stories on how they fought the odds to pursue a creative dream and now influence others to do the same.
Author: Tina Fey
Writer, actress, comedian, and producer Tina Fey knows a few things about entertainment, and her autobiography is no exception. Fey writes about making her way through a male-dominated field and gives her take on the double standards girls endure from a young age.
As she describes her experiences in her relatable and humorous tone, Fey sheds light on the sexism she faced in her career and how she learned to be “bossy” and “unladylike” to reach the dreams she set for herself.
6. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office
Author: Louis P. Frankel
Are you “too nice” in your career, or in all areas of life? In her book, career coach Louis P. Frankel describes the negative career consequences of being afraid to make a decision, voice an opinion, or step on others’ toes.
Dr. Frankel walks through the ways the behaviors we teach girls hold them back in their careers as women. Frankel breaks it all down to: how you play the game, how you act, how you think, how you brand and market yourself, how you sound, how you look, and how you respond. An assessment at the beginning of the book helps each reader decide what to focus on for professional growth and to get just what she wants…like the glamorous corner office.
7. The Working Women’s Handbook
Author: Phoebe Lovatt
This book is unlike the rest on our list, as it spells out just how to create your own custom career. Phoebe Lovatt offers advice on every stage of your career process, from finding your passion in a fulfilling career you to managing your earnings and maintaining self-care. As a freelance journalist and founder of a successful digital resource for women, THE WW CLUB, Lovatt also shares her own secrets to shaping the professional and personal life she always dreamed of achieving.