By Pieter De Wit
If you have a look around your company, you’ll probably notice much more gender equity than there was in the previous century. In 1964 the USA prohibited sex discrimination slowly paving the way for women to climb up the corporate ladder.
Things are gradually changing, but women don’t just have the potential to do what men were only allowed to do previously. They also have unique qualities that have finally found a place in the corporate setting.
In the five books that I suggest below, women play a central role in different business environments. Whether it is in solving a mysterious disappearance, polishing their nails to conquer the world, transforming business ideas, or just being plain funny! Have a read and take a step along the path to overcoming anti-female bias in the corporate world.
The Herd By Andrea Bartz
In this thriller, Bartz pulls you into the mystery of an elite women-only co-working space called “The Herd”. The founder Eleanor created this breeding ground for creativity and joy, though she stays a bit mysterious herself. Hanna, a publicist and longtime friend from Harvard is helping to run the place as head of PR. Her sister Katie, a journalist, is moving to New York after a failed book deal and is eager to join the exclusive association. But on the night of the glitzy Herd news conference where Eleanor was supposed to bring important news, she disappears.
Nobody has a clue as to what could have happened, but slowly the domino’s start to fall and the sisters discover that they might not know each other as well as they thought.
Self-Care By Leigh Stein
Richual is a by-and-for-women social media startup in the wellness space. They want to empower women to change the world through self-care. The content is created and managed by Maren and CEO Devin, who hooks up with a surprisingly male employee, Evan, their primary financial backer and former Bachelorette contestant. But when Devin sends out a nasty tweet to the president’s daughter, Richual becomes a battlefield. Another employee, Khadijah Walker, reveals a secret showing Richual’s values might not be as feminist as they seem.
Besides offering an intriguing story, Stein educates us about startup technology and displays the dark side of the all too Insta-perfect wellness industry.
Feminism (A Key Idea For Business And Society) By Celia V. Harquail
This little masterwork gives us insight into the role that feminism can play in a business setting. More than merely defending its place among the male-oriented environment, Harquail shows that feminism can be a gamechanger and should be at the centre of leadership practices. Harquail praises feminist thought leaders and researchers who paved the way for our new future. With her five principles of feminism (equality, agency, whole humanness, interdependence, and generativity), she explains how business can balance profit-seeking behaviour with equality and justice for all.
I am sure that by the end of the book, you’ll feel empowered to embrace your feminine values and be ready to explore its business potential.
The Gender Effect By Kathryn Moeller
Winner of the 2018 National Women’s Studies Association Sarah A. Whaley Book Prize, The Gender effect raises the question of why US transnational corporations invest in the lives, educations, and futures of poor girls and women in the Global South. Are they really concerned with the fate of these groups, or is it just another way to chase profits? In the book, Moeller uses the central case study of The Girl Effect, a non-profit organisation created by the Nike Foundation, supposedly aiming to end global poverty.
But she concludes that this approach by big multinationals shifts the developmental burden to the poor instead of working on transforming the issues leading to poverty.
How To Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings By Sarah Cooper
Jamaican comedian and writer Sarah Cooper, author of the bestselling 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, explores how women face double standards in the workplace. When women ask for a pay rise, they’re pushy. When they admit a mistake, they’re weak. In this humoristic work, Cooper reveals how women can succeed in their careers and become leaders without hurting men’s feelings.
If all the practical jokes, and uh, pieces of advice, are not enough, you can always cut out the moustaches inside and go for the man look-a-like approach when going after that promotion!
Whether you want to relax this weekend with an exciting thriller, get new insights into how corporate feminism can be a new revolution in business or how multinationals misuse the development of poor areas for their own profits, you’ll be spoiled for choice with these books. And if you just want to chill out and give a workout to your laughing muscles, then go for it and let the neighbours hear that a powerful woman is in the house!