We know women make up half the college graduates and just under half the workforce. And yet, lots of companies still have zero senior executives who are female. According to a 2017 study by Grant Thorton, only 23 percent of senior executive roles in America are filled by women. And even worse, Utah ranks THE LOWEST state to have gender diversity at the executive level — only 17% (source: DiscoveryOrg).

The good news is we are working to change this! And businesses large and small all across Utah are working side-by-side us to make changes in their own companies and culture. But it’s a big mountain to move. And change happens slow, one tiny effort at a time.

If you are ready to become a catalyst for change in your company, register for our ElevateHER Challenge this May and then pick up one of these books and start reading.

1. Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business by Barbara Annis and Michael Gurian

We first met Barbara Annis in 2017 when we brought her in as a keynote trainer and speaker for our ElevateHER Challenge. We had no idea just how much her research would revolutionize how we help businesses in Utah elevate women. In fact, we are thrilled to have her join us again in May 2018 for a full day of workshops on gender intelligence and unconscious bias (and we’d LOVE for you to join us.) If you are looking to elevate women in leadership, this book is a perfect start. 

“A must read for any man or woman who works. Changed my business life, yet the big surprise was – it changed my relationship with my husband and son! Can I give it six stars?” –Amazon Review

Here’s the book summary from Amazon:

Michael Gurian’s trademark use of brain science in gender studies together with real life examples of what is currently happening in business leadership make this an important resource for businesses and organizations. It provides new vision and useful practical applications, helping women and men in the workplace become more effective and fulfilled, and ultimately helping businesses and business leaders realize increased profits. Through examples and case studies from companies like Kodak, Nike, Nintendo, Home Depot, Proctor & Gamble, Avon, and Disney, the book shows readers how ignoring gender diversity actually impedes the true potential of any business.

2. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

This book sits at the top of the best sellers list. And definitely worth the use of your Audible credit. Though some reviewers argue if you’ve not chosen the full-time career path, this book may not resonate as much with you. Overall though, this book may be exactly what you need to move your career to the next level.

“These aren’t new ideas, but Sandberg synthesizes and highlights them in a new way. Her writing is personal and, in many cases, specific to the private market. If you’re a young woman looking for a comprehensive guide for professional success, this probably isn’t it, but her ideas and tips may be helpful as you begin to think about how to approach professional transitions. Additionally, and perhaps most significantly, she provides poignant and relevant reminders that women have power and that reclaiming leadership positions is important to the continued movement towards gender equality.” –Amazon Review

“This book CHANGED MY LIFE. I had been working in the same position at the same company for the last 12 years wondering why I wasn’t being promoted or approached by competitors. Along with gaining experience over the years and building my own self confidence, I needed this book to push me to take the next steps. I know this sounds silly and self absorbed, but when I was reading it, it was like Sandberg was talking directly to me. She gave me insight into some of the things that were happening around me, and some tips on what I could do to change the course of my career.” – Amazon Review

Here’s the book summary from Amazon:

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

3. Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business and Life” by Nancy D O’Reilly

An easy, enjoyable read, this book offers insights of multiple women and will leave you inspired. The variety of stories and insights might even leave you encouraged to press on with your own dreams and career.

“A wealth of inspiration and insight. This collection of pioneering women embraces the power of a female in todays society, deconstructing the limitations placed on gender in the workplace. A must read for anyone looking to go beyond obstacles and skillfully overcome stereotypes. Its an exciting symposium of feminine independence and awareness.” – Amazon Review

Here’s the book summary from Amazon:

Stop waiting around for the career–and life–that you deserve and start taking the reins! Leading Women shows you how to claim power and respect, conquer your internal barriers, and change the world by helping other women do the same. Featuring stories from twenty nationally acclaimed female leaders, this empowering guide offers real-life advice for breaking free of the predetermined roles in the business world and life. Powerful women such as New York Times bestselling author Marci Shimoff, advocacy leader Gloria Feldt, and Emmy-winning television host Aurea McGarry describe what it’s like to go beyond their comfort zones, hold their own in a male-dominated environment, and take control of the situations that keep many women from achieving their goals. From corporate coach Lois Frankel’s key ways to becoming a natural and necessary leader to bestselling author M. Bridget Cook-Burch’s struggles after years of abuse, their insight will help you embrace your purpose, seize important opportunities, and overcome any obstacle that comes your way.

With the guidance of these influential, resourceful leaders, you’ll maximize your personal power, exceed your business goals, and establish a network designed to support and celebrate your fellow women.

Contributors include: Kristin Andress, Cheryl Benton, Claire Damken Brown, PhD, M. Bridget Cook-Burch, Vivian Diller, PhD, Gloria Feldt, Lois P. Frankel, PhD, Joanna L. Krotz, Aurea McGarry, Lisa Mininni, Shirley Osbourne, Lois Phillips, PhD, Birute Regine, PhD, Linda Rendleman, Marcia Reynolds, PhD, Marci Shimoff, Rebecca Tinsley, Sandra Ford Walston, Michele Willens, and Janet Rose Wojtalik, EdD


4. “Leading Gracefully: A Woman’s Guide to Confident, Authentic & Effective Leadership” by Monique Svazlian Tallon

This is a 200-page, well-written book with lots of built in quizes and thoughtful questions making this book also a ‘workshop in a book.’ The book covers topics like leadership styles, collaboration and even vulnerability. Because we love tangible actionable items, this book makes our list.

“I am an addict of productivity and self help/improvement books. I found Monique’s approach to women’s leadership to be different and refreshing. Rather than leaning in and adopting the ‘boys’ rules of the game, she focuses on embracing the feminine qualities and coming from a place of confidence and empowerment from within. The question becomes finding the balance of women’s inner qualities and established rules of business.” Amazon Review

“I think working women in all stages of their career from entry level to senior executives could benefit from reading this book.” – Patti Solaski, Global Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Microsoft

Here’s the book summary from Amazon:

In 2016, women still hold a shockingly low 14% of top executive positions in the Fortune 500. Trying to get ahead while operating in a man’s world, women continue to face immense challenges, constantly being told how to navigate these treacherous waters in a myriad of ways. Yet the gender gap persists.

While working for a tech giant in Silicon Valley, the author was faced with a tough decision—should she lead like her male counterparts or try a different approach? This choice gained her unique insights into how women can break through gender bias and become far more effective as leaders, while helping close the gender gap.

In Leading Gracefully, Feminine Leadership expert and executive coach, Monique Tallon, presents neuroscience research that tells us that women’s brains are wired for empathy, intuition and collaboration, the same qualities people are looking for in their leaders today.  Through her extensive research, she has developed a visionary roadmap for women–The Feminine Leadership Model—that plays squarely to women’s strengths.

Whether you are a senior level executive, a mid-career manager or just starting out, Leading Gracefullyis a must-read for women who want to get to the next level in their career and life. Through personal stories and those of female executives and entrepreneurs from the world of technology, science, retail and non-profits, you will learn how to successfully use ‘feminine’ strengths combined with traditional traits to breakthrough gender bias. Use it as self-coaching ‘how-to’ guide, with 15 powerful exercises, tips and resources you can apply right away to gain more confidence, authenticity and effectiveness. Are you ready to to be an inclusive leader, fostering innovation and collaboration on the teams and businesses you manage? Are you ready to be a game changer?

5. New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace” by Susan Packard

Susan Packard is the co-founder of HGTV. In this book, she shares the stories of other presidents and CEOs who have become great in their own fields, providing you with the insight and inspiration to play the business game smarter, stronger, and more successfully. You will also be better able to coach others, inspiring your team to perform at higher levels as you drive them toward the next win.

“The insights on gamesmanship in Susan Packard’s book will better enable women, and men, to fulfill their potential every day.”
—John Bryant, CEO, Kellogg, a Fortune 500 Company

“I bought this as a guide to a new Mentor/Coaching program I implemented in my workplace. It has been an invaluable tool!”
Amazon Review

The book summary from Amazon:

Business is a team sport. Learn how to win.

Where would your career be if you could understand how your colleagues–especially men–succeed and win at work? And if, in understanding and applying the rules, you could win, too?

In New Rules of the Game, business leader Susan Packard shows you how to cultivate gamesmanship–a strategic way of thinking regularly seen in the video game and sports worlds, and most often among men–that develops creativity, focus, optimism, teamwork, and competitiveness. You’ll learn the Ten Rules of Gamesmenship and how to use them effectively to:
·        Compete outwardly in a healthy, rewarding way
·        Build support groups to help you advance
·        Step up with more grit to get the next win
·        Approach your workplace with more lightness and insight
·        Take loss in stride and provide the emotional distance needed to win at work

Packard shares her career story with humor and candor, including the successes and the mistakes, the triumphs and some personal and career setbacks, and presents them as teachable moments for you.