As more and more women venture into the world of business, we have gathered some of the best business books for women.
Read related article: 68 Best Business Books for Entrepreneurs
Discover insights on how to start your business and even how to fight inequality in the field.
See them below.
Interim Director, School of Finance
Sheryl Sandberg’s book has created a whole movement encouraging men and women alike to “lean in” and be heard.
Women tend to be more reticent to speak and are easily overpowered by male voices at the conference table. If you look around, you see it happen all the time.
Once you get a seat at that table, you also need to make sure that your voice is being heard. Speak up and make them listen.
I credit much of my success to my mindset. If you close your mind to possibility and opportunity, you’ll never move past where you are right at this moment.
When you believe in your ability to learn and adapt, anything is possible. This book discusses the science behind the power of a growth mindset over a fixed mindset.
Even as children, girls are taught to behave differently than boys. Those behaviors are reinforced throughout our childhood, and the result is that women tend to exhibit different behaviors in the workplace that hold them back from advancing as quickly as men.
Women do not need to act like men, and I would dismiss anyone who suggested otherwise.
I like this book because it lists specific behaviors that women are unconsciously exhibiting. It can help women think about how to show confidence, be assertive, and promote themselves while staying true to who they are.
Read related article: 40 Best Self Help Books for Women
Amanda McCluney & April Klimkiewicz
Co-Founders | Co-Hosts, Her Step Forward
Any woman who dares to dream big has likely been told that to succeed she has to be better, smarter, and more prepared than her male counterpart.
But the ‘better, smarter, and more prepared’ mantra comes with a cost. It dissuades women from taking risks – and that’s dangerous.
This book not only challenges women to take risks and to pursue their passions, and not be afraid to embrace failure, but it also gives guidance on how to do it.
Reshma also encourages women to not hide their ambition, as she shares her personal story and those from other accomplished ladies.
Perhaps most importantly, she reiterates that authenticity and following your passion are key to a more meaningful life.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Brené Brown
It’s hard to separate ourselves from our work, and if we are struggling with feeling like enough in our personal lives, that will often bleed over into our careers.
Either our work suffers, or we focus too much on work and neglect the other areas of our lives. In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené shares her research on shame and vulnerability and how that led to her work’s focus on wholeheartedness, love, and acceptance.
This book highlights advice from 15 career experts who share their best advice for choosing a career. Each expert talks about the process of career change and how to approach it in a way that leads to a life you love.
Co-Founder and Chief Editor, Give Me a Bag
Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers – Lois P. Frankel
Girls are often raised differently than boys. For many of us, there’s a persistent message to be submissive, passive, a “nice girl”.
But how does that message manifest itself in our work? If you can reveal and face these unconscious attitudes, it can quite literally turn your life around in terms of confidence and assertiveness.
This book reveals a plethora of these unconscious behaviors. There’s probably something here for every woman to tackle and develop from the college graduate to the CEO.
I’m a believer in interpersonal relationships as one of the foundations of business success. Thus high emotional intelligence (EQ) is a key factor in business life.
Besides, most of our education is usually focused on developing our IQ and neglects our emotional development. The good news is that emotional intelligence can be developed in every stage of life.
I recommend this book especially for women in leadership positions to better understand others and themselves, and to build healthy relationships with people.
Chantay Bridges, CNE, SRES
Coach | Speaker | Writer | Realtor, Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing
The One-Minute Money Mentor for Women: 21 Strategies for Financial Empowerment – Deborah Smith Pegues
The One Minute Money Mentor is a true must for women. We are living in a day where many women are head of household or even when they are not are faced with making numerous money decisions on a daily basis.
This little book provides a road map, tips, insight, and a wealth of knowledge on how to make, keep, save, invest money you have or don’t have.
It’s a true guide to financial freedom so many dream of.
Founder and CEO, Second Act Moms
So many women face problems that don’t allow them to reach the level of success they desire. Many women have negative self-talk or stories they tell themselves about their business or life.
Mr. Hendricks outlines the “upper limit” problem and solutions. Whether it’s business or family or personal, there is a way to break through and reach your next level.
You have to be willing to commit, do some work, accept feeling uncomfortable from time to time and ensure that you’re working in the “Zone of Genius.” He gives you tips for recognizing signs of your upper limit problem and what you should do to overcome it.
I wish I had read this book many years ago as I think I wouldn’t have wasted so much time not understanding how to break through to my next level.
I wish I had this book when I started my first online business.
For many entrepreneurs, they pay their expenses but take years to pay themselves. In this book, he gives you a formula for setting up your business.
He explains how to calculate the percentages to pay yourself, your expenses, the amount to set aside for taxes, and even for profit! Many women don’t feel confident dealing with money, but this book will give them the tools to put their business on the right path for financial success!
Marketing Director for a law firm in West Palm Beach, FL
An essential read for any woman working in a male-dominated field, this book creates a sense of community among women who battle for fairness at work every day.
Jessica Bennett sets up specific scenarios and then presents solutions ranging from extreme to modest (using humor whenever possible). There is no vague advice here. She outlines phrases and actions that you could use tomorrow. You’ll feel empowered and validated after this quick read.
Co-Founder, Mooring Advisory Group and Boston Knotlight
Rhonda Vetere, seasoned C-suite technology veteran, knows firsthand that there’s no such thing as a perfect, struggle-free life.
In her work as a global technology executive, she’s faced down some of the biggest financial crises of modern times, and she knows it’s not what challenges you face in life but how you face them that matters.
Grit & Grind uses real-life stories of how Vetere and her team navigate the volatile tech industry and illustrates her simple practice for building confidence in her abilities—no matter what the challenge is.
WE ALL FACE OBSTACLES AS WE WIND OUR WAY THROUGH LIFE.
Whether you’re seeking success at work, creating a lasting relationship, or just trying to get “unstuck” in some area of your life, the quickest way to get what you want is to dive into the mess and learn your way through it.
Grit & Grind gives you a simple 10-part practice for building bone-deep confidence in your own abilities.
No matter what challenges you face, no matter how messy things get, you can work your way through them and things will be better on the other side.
co-CEO, Brilliant Earth
This book outlines a clear and achievable system for companies to set and accomplish goals.
Doerr presents a collaborative goal-setting protocol in which companies identify and measure Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
His system encourages teams to focus on three objectives that are each tied to 3-4 succinct, specific and measurable results; this allows team members to work towards common goals, measure progress, create accountability – and ultimately turn ambitious ideas into effective execution.
As the leader of a high-growth company in a dynamic industry, effectively managing change and growth is critical to my company’s success.
At Brilliant Earth, we have a very data-driven culture and utilize goals and metrics to measure progress on a wide range of areas across the organization, from website design to products to people.
We recently implemented an online tool to align around, communicate and monitor our company and department goals, so this was a very timely and relevant topic given this company initiative.
The book provided additional thought-provoking insights and tangible action items to improve our success measurement processes.
Author | Investor | Speaker
I am a big fan of David Bach’s books which teaches people about personal finance and real estate.
He shares how his grandmother taught him about personal finance at an early age. He sheds light on how women need to be proactive about money management and not rely on their spouse.
Women outlive men and we also tend to earn less than men in our careers. This means we need to take action because we need our money to last longer.
What’s great about this book is that he simplifies the financial terms and guides you on how to get out of debt, how to rebuild your 401k plan and improve 529 plan.
My husband and I worked together and completed the exercise worksheet, The FinishRich Inventory Planner. It was very eyeopening to see how we spend and save our money on a monthly and yearly basis.
This book is a must-read for all women who are serious about taking control of their financial future.
Amy C. Waninger
Founder and CEO, Lead at Any Level LLC
We’ve all been told that what you know isn’t as important as who you know. But how can you be sure you’re meeting the right people?
Network Beyond Bias: Making Diversity a Competitive Advantage for Your Career will help you find the focus, confidence, and purpose you need to create opportunities for yourself and others.
This book will show you how to be intentional in making connections, building relationships, and helping others succeed. You’ll learn how to make decisions on purpose, tips for effective networking, and how to get out of your comfort zone.
Network Beyond Bias will help you see yourself and others in a whole new way.
Dr. MJ Rowland-Warmann
Founder, Smileworks Liverpool
It’s a tour de force of cultural best practices mixed with pure genius and insight from one of the most pragmatic and brilliant women in business in 2019.
The book is a mix of useable insights for developing a truly world-class culture of learning, independent thought, brutal honesty, and creative flair.
I was attracted to it because of her no messing attitude to dealing with some very difficult individuals (digital engineers) and also an oftentimes impossible-to-achieve strategic goal of stupendous growth, continual change, and being the very best.
I found is especially helpful to my business because we have cosmetic dentists who are also pretty difficult sometimes to truly align with our values and culture. Also she practices techniques that I felt resonated with my style of leadership.
Amongst others were a stupid level of continual learning and a very high level of individual freedom balanced with tough and demanding metrics and accountability.
This is a must-read for any aspiring business owner who wants to foster a culture of true excellence, creativity, and individual flair.
President, Discover Org, LLC
Own the Room by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Wilkins has bar-none been the most influential book in my career.
It took me a while to become comfortable with what my ‘authentic’ leadership style was–and it was finding the right balance between my personal values and my professional voice.
Women in general, due to social influences, struggle to figure if they have the potential to become strong leaders, and what their personal leadership style should look like.
Read related article: 24 Best Leadership Books of All Time
This book will free women to get past cultural and social norms to find their authentic self, pinpoint their leadership style, and succeed in using it.
Jamie L. Smith,CPA ,CA, MPAcc
Chartered Professional Accountant | Founder, Amplify Advisors Inc
Women (& men) will find this book to be tangible and specific in its advise.
It is easy to read with a great tone. It is frank and it captures a number of action points that can be used immediately by any business owner.
My favourite line is “Think of it this way: Your data needs the vehicle of story if you want people to internalize it, remember it, and repeat it. Don’t just dump numbers at their feet. Put them in the context of a bite-size narrative that creates instant meaning. That’s the way to have them speaking your language, long after you leave the room.”
Women in business that are not part of a start-up will also find lots of great ideas in this read. Loved it and couldn’t put it down as it read like a great beach read despite’s its usefulness!