The best books to empower women to become leaders

Why am I passionate about this?

Women’s empowerment is my passion and my purpose, which is why I founded Women Connect4Good, Inc., a 501(c)3 foundation to help support other organizations that work to advance women and girls. Our name says it, and our work proves it. Women make phenomenal leaders, and while I can do a lot through my foundation to promote women’s leadership, we can all do something in our day-to-day lives to help women lead. Every day we can do something to support another woman, or partner with another woman, like the women who’ve written the books I’ve reviewed here – friends, colleagues, and fierce advocates for equality on every level. We are all lifting as we rise.


I wrote...

Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life

By Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD,

Book cover of Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life

What is my book about?

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. Co-authors 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 keys to becoming a natural 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. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power

Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD Why did I love this book?

Imagine your ideal leadership role where you – and the you who you’ve always known you were meant to be – can fully thrive. Well, imagine no more…Gloria Feldt’s No Excuses can show you the way. This book opened my eyes to how women think about power. We're used to being subjected to power over us and don't want any part of it. But when we change how we view power as the "power to," we can transform our careers and lives to one where we fully thrive beyond what we might have imagined. No Excuses turns power into nine very specific, female-oriented tactics to help women channel their inner strength and power to advance where ever they wanteven the c-suite, where we need hundreds more phenomenal women leaders. 

By Gloria Feldt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Excuses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An invaluable guidebook, which contends that the most vexing problems facing women today isn't that doors of opportunity aren't open but that not enough women are walking through them

Feminist icon Gloria Feldt pulls no punches in this new book, which argues that the most confounding problem facing women today isn't that doors of opportunity aren't open, but that not enough women are walking through them. From the boardroom to the bedroom, public office to personal relationships, she asserts that nobody is keeping women from parity-except themselves.
Feldt puts women's power into an historical context, showing the ways in which…


Book cover of 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week

Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD Why did I love this book?

To say that 24/6 has had an impact would be an understatement. Tiffany and her husband, who both worked in technology, realized they were losing connections with people through their addiction to screens and began a tech Shabbat 13 years ago. Their practice, outlined in 24/6, examines how taking a Shabbat from screens one day a week gives us the time for reflection that we need to express greater creativity and productivity. The result is a new perspective on how to view ourselves and our humanity, to live better lives, engage our own creativity, and lift everyone else with us. Tiffany shows readers how the principle of the sabbath, used throughout history, can be applied to today’s needs and provide a cure for an unhealthy way of life.  

By Tiffany Shlain,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 24/6 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Marshall McLuhan Outstanding Book Award
Entrepreneur’s 12 Productivity and Time-Management Books to Read

“I’m won over to a day with people, not screens….I tried Shlain’s idea. I highly recommend it.” —The New York Times
“Tiffany Shlain is a modern-day prophet, brilliant and incredibly funny in equal measure...24/6 is timeless and timely wisdom.” —Angela Duckworth, #1 New York Times bestselling author

This “wise, wonderful work” (Publishers Weekly starred review) demonstrates how turning off screens one day a week can work wonders on your brain, body, and soul.

Do you wish you had more time to do what you…


Book cover of The Rise of Women and Wealth: Our Fight for Freedom, Equality, and Control of Our Financial Future

Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD Why did I love this book?

Why are women still struggling for equality in every area of society, from wages to leadership, and why are so many women allowing men to control their finances? How did we get here – especially when women own over half of the investible assets in the U.S.? Cindy Couyoumjian gives us a sweeping picture of women, money, and power in her new book and shows how women taking charge of their personal and economic power and directing their own financial future will revolutionize the world. Whether you know your way around investments or don’t even try to balance your checkbook, you’ll enjoy reading this book. It will open your eyes to the way you think about money and inspire you to change your financial future.

By Cindy Couyoumjian, R.F. Georgy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rise of Women and Wealth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's time for all women to take control of their financial destiny.

Financial expert Cindy Couyoumjian is on a mission to empower women to stop being spectators and enter the fiscal arena; to stand up and assert their inalienable right to financial self-determination. Although today in the US, women are making gains in higher education, hold corporate positions, and are successful leaders, men still control most of the household wealth.

Yet women are powerful agents of change with boundless potential in the financial realm, and Cindy shows female readers that by confronting their patriarchal past and becoming financially literate, they…


Book cover of Women Like Us: Together Changing the World

Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD Why did I love this book?

Guess what? Your abilities matter and according to Linda Rendleman simply taking a few minutes to recognize and utilize them positions you to be part of the change and spread positivity in the world. Linda takes time in this third book in the Women Like Us series to share the stories of some well-known and not-so-well-known women who are coming together with their own voices to speak up for more vulnerable women, linking arms with compassion and connection. Most importantly, she shares how you can also be a part of the change in your own way. When we hear one another’s stories, we are inspired to learn more and support each other. I couldn’t agree with her more.

By Linda Rendleman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women Like Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your basic abilities matter and by recognizing and utilizing them, you can be a part in positive change for the world. This third book in the Women Like Us Series focuses on the stories of well-known and little-known women who are coming together in their own way with their own voices to speak up for the vulnerable, link arms with compassion and connection and share how the reader, in her own way, can be a part of the change.

Narrated by Linda Rendleman, MS, CEO and Cofounder of the Women Like Us Foundation, she introduces you to women who have…


Book cover of Walking on the Glass Floor: Seven Essential Qualities of Women Who Lead

Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD Why did I love this book?

Judy Hoberman is a fantastic leader, with the goal to help one woman a day. The meaning behind her latest title, Walking on the Glass Floor, is once women have crashed through the glass ceiling, they are walking on the glass floor and have a responsibility to help other women do the same. So how does she do that? She listens and pays attention to what they say. In this book you will learn to cultivate and strengthen key skills to serve you in business and life, uncover hidden qualities to help you lead and succeed, and harness universal leadership qualities to reach your full potential. Bottom line, this is a game-changer, and you’ll find it invaluable no matter where you are in your professional journey. 

By Judy Hoberman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walking on the Glass Floor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Walking on the Glass Floor is an engaging, indispensable guide for women in leadership. Whether you are a seasoned professional who has crashed through the glass ceiling and are now walking on the glass floor or you are an emerging leader who wants to establish strong footing, this book is for you. Personal stories, humor, and highly actionable steps illuminate and bring to life the seven essential leadership qualities of passion, authenticity, courage, communication, decisiveness, resilience and generosity.


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Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

Book cover of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

Antonieta Contreras Author Of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

As a trauma therapist and dedicated researcher, I love uncovering valuable insights within lesser-known books. There are hidden gems, free from the pressure of commercial success, crafted by authors deeply committed to research, understanding, and the art of writing itself. Their dedication resonates with me, as I believe in the profound value of information and the power of critical thinking. Through my own book, Traumatization and Its Aftermath, I aim to emphasize that psychological concepts often lose their depth in translation and my mission is spreading awareness and fostering a deeper understanding of trauma and its intricate facets. With that idea in mind, I chose these five titles. 

Antonieta's book list on uncovering the human experience and exploring the depths of trauma

What is my book about?

A fresh take on the difference between trauma and hardship in order to help accurately spot the difference and avoid over-generalizations.

The book integrates the latest findings in brain science, child development, psycho-social context, theory, and clinical experiences to make the case that trauma is much more than a cluster of symptoms to be tamed, but instead best understood as development gone off course, away from growth and towards (only) survival.

This book prompts a profound shift in perception, inviting to view trauma as an intricate and diverse experience, a point of view that ultimately leads to sharper treatment and, hopefully, more healing. It encourages a transition from asking, "What happened to you?" to the deeper question, "What is your relationship with what happened to you?"

Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

What is this book about?

The book is comprehensive, bold, and practical-a much-needed resource for the assessment and treatment of trauma. Instead of the traditional focus on the overall importance of healing, Traumatization and its Aftermath decodes why some people don't heal as easily as others, analyzes the various failures of diagnosis, and explains how to make therapeutic interventions truly effective.

This book offers a systemic deep dive into traumatization that clarifies myths and misinformation about the entire spectrum of trauma and provides both clinicians and non-clinicians with the right level of validation, preventive measures, conceptualization methodology, assessment tools, and healing facts that have not…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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