The best books to help women find more fulfillment in their work and career

Who am I?

Throughout my career, I’ve always been passionate about leveling the playing field for women. I do this through my writing, speaking, and investing. Much of my current work is informed by the 20 years I spent in corporate as both an executive and a mentor to hundreds of women. ​The books I’ve chosen for this list are written by women I admire and who espouse similar approaches to the way I lead and show up at work. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!


I wrote...

Embrace the Work, Love Your Career: A Guided Workbook for Realizing Your Career Goals with Clarity, Intention, and Confidence

By Fran Hauser,

Book cover of Embrace the Work, Love Your Career: A Guided Workbook for Realizing Your Career Goals with Clarity, Intention, and Confidence

What is my book about?

I came up with the idea for this guided workbook when I realized that women all around me were feeling stuck, and there wasn’t a practical yet inspiring resource to help them find clarity and achieve their career goals. The pandemic has driven so many women out of the workforce and left others questioning their paths. My hope is that through simple, inspiring, and actionable tools, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career will help women of all ages thrive in their careers and ultimately live the lives they want and deserve.

The books I picked & why

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The Glass Ledge: How to Break Through Self-Sabotage, Embrace Your Power, and Create Your Success

By Iman Oubou,

Book cover of The Glass Ledge: How to Break Through Self-Sabotage, Embrace Your Power, and Create Your Success

Why this book?

The glass ledge is a metaphor that represents women’s tendencies to get in their own way. As a mentor, I have witnessed this time and time again. Oubou’s book explores the ten themes that are most likely to derail us when we least expect it. By sharing her own personal struggles, along with the strategies and tools that she has used to overcome them, Oubou provides a playbook for women to stop the self-sabotage and own their power.


Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work

By Reshma Saujani,

Book cover of Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work

Why this book?

In Pay Up, Reshma Saujani astutely addresses the moment that working women exist in today: a moment when burnout is more common than not and inequality persists both at work and at home. Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and author of Brave, Not Perfect challenges the dangerous myth that women can "have it all" and pushes readers to redefine our notions of success. The book contains bold calls for change and tools for working women and leaders in the corporate space to implement to help achieve this.


The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America

By Deepa Purushothaman,

Book cover of The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America

Why this book?

Based on her own career, Deepa Purushothaman identifies what women of color often experience at work – burnout, microaggressions, and under-representation to name a few – and puts onto the page how corporate structures contribute to these injustices. After meeting with hundreds of women of color across cultures and industries, Purushothaman knew that her own lived experiences were shared by so many others, and The First, the Few, the Only advocates for women of color to recognize their collective power and push back against these workplace inequities to claim the respect they have always deserved.


We're Speaking: The Life Lessons of Kamala Harris: How to Use Your Voice, Be Assertive, and Own Your Story

By Hitha Palepu,

Book cover of We're Speaking: The Life Lessons of Kamala Harris: How to Use Your Voice, Be Assertive, and Own Your Story

Why this book?

Have you ever had someone mentor you that you’ve never met? The brilliant Hitha Palepu - author, CEO, and investor - certainly has. Throughout Hitha's career and life, she has captured quotes and “Kamala-isms” in a notebook that served as strength and motivation when she needed it most. We're Speaking weaves together wonderful lessons from Kamala's groundbreaking accomplishments along with Hitha's insights from actualizing these lessons herself.

While there is so much to learn from Kamala, Hitha is a star in her own right. She’s the ultimate multi-hyphenate. She’s the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, author, speaker, investor, social media influencer, and more. Just as Kamala has been a mentor from afar to many women around the globe, I suspect that there is a long list of women who would say the same about Hitha. 

This is the perfct book for anyone who is looking to step into their power, use their voice, and lead.


Personal History

By Katharine Graham,

Book cover of Personal History

Why this book?

Personal History is Katharine Graham’s memoir. She became the first female Fortune 500 CEO when she took over at The Washington Post. From having Warren Buffet as a mentor to presiding over The Washington Post during Watergate, her life was absolutely fascinating. There is so much to learn about leading, women’s empowerment, and how we show up at work through Graham’s journey. What makes this book unique, though, is that in addition to being a classic in the women’s leadership genre, it’s as juicy and riveting as your best suspense novel.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in self-actualization, women's rights, and leadership?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about self-actualization, women's rights, and leadership.

Self-Actualization Explore 104 books about self-actualization
Women's Rights Explore 28 books about women's rights
Leadership Explore 58 books about leadership

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Long Game, Leadership Reckoning, and Think Big if you like this list.