The best books that supercharge women’s confidence and accelerate their advancement

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by women’s power in the workplace. My mother was intensely focused on breaking ground as a working mother of four small children on Capitol Hill in the 1960s. She was the first woman to be granted part-time status in Senator Ted Kennedy’s office. She worked her way up to speechwriter for Joan and personal correspondent for the Senator. And she kept a fierce border between work and home. And we were intensely proud of her. At a time when our friends’ mothers were mostly homemakers, our Mom had a cool job and kept a cool head among the political and intellectual elite – most of whom were men.


I wrote...

Make Way For Women: Men and Women Leading Together Improve Culture and Profits

By John P. Keyser, Adrienne Hand,

Book cover of Make Way For Women: Men and Women Leading Together Improve Culture and Profits

What is my book about?

Make Way for Women is a ground-breaking book that clearly shows how specific companies with women and men in executive leadership are excelling. Business veteran/ leadership expert John Keyser and researcher Adrienne Hand interviewed progressive male and female business leaders for insights about how their combined strengths increase profits and improve culture. 

The first section of the book establishes the business case for gender-balanced leadership. Keyser and Hand then profile male and female industry leaders in finance, insurance, law, education, journalism, broadcasting, consulting, sports, and other fields, who share their experience, insights, and counsel. The final section details the steps CEOs, senior executives, HR, OD, and talent development professionals should take to initiate or expand gender-balanced leadership in their companies. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of That's What She Said

Adrienne Hand Why did I love this book?

Reading this book, I got beamed right into the meeting rooms where women are trying to make their points but are constantly getting interrupted by men. I felt the intensity and awkwardness that the author had felt. And I got angry, recalling all the times I’ve been interrupted and talked over in meetings, and how stunned and quiet I’d gotten. I didn’t know then that it takes practice to continue speaking up, and it takes other women to “amplify” our points, so men don’t claim our ideas! Hooray for Obama women staffers who came up with that strategy! And hooray to Joanne Lipman for giving women—and men—the playbook for equitable culture and gender-balanced leadership. Finally!

By Joanne Lipman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked That's What She Said as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A FINANCIAL TIMES BUSINESS BOOK OF THE MONTH

'Urgently needed' Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of THE POWER OF HABIT and SMARTER

'Attention, good guys: this book is for you' Adam Grant, bestselling author of ORIGINALS and OPTION B with Sheryl Sandberg

'I know what you're thinking: 'Not another career guide-cum-manifesto, telling us to "woman up" and demand more money.' But that isn't what Lipman says. Instead, she uses data, reams of it, to expose how the system is rigged against women. She then calls for men to join the fight to make the workplace more equal' SUNDAY TIMES STYLE MAGAZINE…


Book cover of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Adrienne Hand Why did I love this book?

Elizabeth Gilbert is a generous soul. Instead of basking in her deserved success as author of Eat, Pray, Love, she is sharing her battle stories, her crises of confidence, and her inspiration. She has thought of almost every way that authors defeat ourselves and has sourced ancient philosophers and contemporary artists and writers to cheer us up and get us back to the page. 

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Big Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process - and showing us all just how easy it can be. By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether you long to write a book, create…


Book cover of Untamed

Adrienne Hand Why did I love this book?

I read this book during the pandemic when book talks were off and my authors were pissed. (I’m a publishing consultant.) I needed a writing gal pal to help me find and use my outside voice when so many of us were literally stuck in place. Her badass attitude and clarion writing lifted me out of my seat and got me pacing the living room, with a drumbeat of questions in my ears. What is my truth? What is in the way of that truth? What’s my superpower and where’s my damn cape? Reading this book charged me up. When the world opened up again, I went out and bought my cape. 

By Glennon Doyle,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Untamed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OVER TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD! “Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick)

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • Cosmopolitan • Marie Claire • Bloomberg • Parade •…


Book cover of Grace Meets Grit

Adrienne Hand Why did I love this book?

What a breath of fresh air! Daina Middleton gets it. She has been in the center of power at elite global companies, and she shares her observations and research data to clarify the critical differences and strengths that women and men bring to the table. And she brings in an often invisible – and certainly undervalued – element. Grace. A trait that women often bring, naturally. Respect, manners, consideration of others. Grit, by contrast, is more naturally embodied and projected by men: Competitive clashing and do-it-now urgency. I found it very satisfying to visualize the careful blend of grace and grit – and the resulting improvement in culture and the bottom line. Well done!

By Daina Middleton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grace Meets Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is no mistaking that inequality in the workplace is still prevalent in the form of salary inequity and unequal representation in leadership and board positions. Too often conversations about inequality can lead to men and women believing they are alike. Women and men are not the same, biologically or psychologically, and these differences lead to significant dissimilarities in how each approaches leadership situations. Grace Meets Grit navigates the previously unexplored subject of gender differences in the workplace specifically applied to critical leadership behaviors. Leadership behaviors are what make us all successful in the workplace. They are how we are…


Book cover of Earning It

Adrienne Hand Why did I love this book?

This should be required reading for girls and women at any stage of their careers. Joann Lubin is the real deal. As management news editor and career advice columnist at the Wall Street Journal, Lubin brings the data with a personal point of view. I appreciate that she interviewed women executives for their hard-won insights and advice, and that she quotes men who are making meaningful change. This book is well written and made me more hopeful about women’s advancement!

By Joann S. Lublin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Earning It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than fifty trailblazing executive women who broke the corporate glass ceiling offer inspiring and surprising insights and lessons in this essential, in-the-trenches career guide from Joann S. Lublin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and management news editor for The Wall Street Journal. Among the first female reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Joann S. Lublin faced a number of uphill battles in her career. She became deputy bureau chief of the Journal's important London bureau, its first run by women. Now, she and dozens of other women who successfully navigated the corporate battlefield share their valuable leadership lessons. Lublin combines…


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I Meant to Tell You

By Fran Hawthorne,

Book cover of I Meant to Tell You

Fran Hawthorne Author Of I Meant to Tell You

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Museum guide Foreign language student Runner Community activist Former health-care journalist

Fran's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

When Miranda’s fiancé, Russ, is being vetted for his dream job in the U.S. attorney’s office, the couple joke that Miranda’s parents’ history as antiwar activists in the Sixties might jeopardize Russ’s security clearance. In fact, the real threat emerges when Russ’s future employer discovers that Miranda was arrested for felony kidnapping seven years earlier—an arrest she’d never bothered to tell Russ about.

Miranda tries to explain that she was only helping her best friend, in the midst of a nasty custody battle, take her daughter to visit her parents in Israel. As Miranda struggles to prove that she’s not a criminal, she stumbles into other secrets that will challenge what she thought she knew about her own family, her friend, Russ—and herself.

I Meant to Tell You

By Fran Hawthorne,

What is this book about?

When Miranda’s fiancé, Russ, is being vetted for his dream job in the U.S. attorney’s office, the couple joke that Miranda’s parents’ history as antiwar activists in the Sixties might jeopardize Russ’s security clearance. In fact, the real threat emerges when Russ’s future employer discovers that Miranda was arrested for felony kidnapping seven years earlier—an arrest she’d never bothered to tell Russ about.

Miranda tries to explain that she was only helping her best friend, in the midst of a nasty custody battle, take her daughter to visit her parents in Israel. As Miranda struggles to prove that she’s not…


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