My Top 5 Favorite Books on Women’s Leadership & Allies

Top books supporting women’s leadership and allies

I am often asked, what books do you recommend for women’s leadership?  My answer, these five:

  • Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Brene is the thought leader on empathy and vulnerability.  As a researcher on shame, she uncovers the key leadership habits that all humans can adapt and lead by.  I personally like her feedback and delegation models the best.

  • Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Former Google leader, Kim helps us with a framework for candid conversations to “challenge with care.”  Her insight into how to provide meaningful and sometimes tough feedback with a plethora of real stories help women be more candid.
  • How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith. The consequences of being gender socialized to be pleasing, wait for permission, and avoid risks is remapped in Sally and Marshall’s work.  They studied the top traits holding women back at work and found proven solutions to coach women to success.
  • Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women by Brad Johnson and David Smith.  My favorite public male allies, Dave and Brad, were one of the very first to write about men as allies.  And, they have been incredible allies to me.  They dispel the myths preventing men from engaging with women and work and what to do effectively mentor women, and how women can engage their male allies as mentors.
  • Give and Take by Adam Grant. Last and never least, Adam is a true male ally.  He outlines three key types of people from givers to takers to matchers and what the research bears for success rates.  While women often are the givers, they can fall into the trap of being taken advantage of.  The key is intentional giving and aligning your gives with where you get energy and you are highly skilled.

I have been following or engaging with these authors over the years and they stand behind gender equality.  They cover the key challenges facing today’s emerging woman leader from leadership to feedback to confidence to allies to giving intentionally.

If your organization has a women’s leadership group, consider these professional development opportunities to facilitate a book discussion with any one of these topics.  You will be better for it.  These books matter.

We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

I am a equality, leadership, and career development trainer and speaker.  If you are interested in learning more, simply connect with me at

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