You can be a girl, you can be a boss, but sometimes it’s a little tough to be a girl AND a boss. Despite the fact that this Business Insider article finds women to be more effective leaders than men (see graph below), it also finds that only 3-4% of women worldwide are CEOs and that women typically say:
“In order to get the same recognition and rewards, I need to do twice as much, never make a mistake and constantly demonstrate my competence.”
There are countless articles and studies that point to the fact that women typically have to work harder and overcome more obstacles to reach the same points that their male counterparts do. As a young woman climbing the corporate ladder myself, I do feel like I often face these biases regularly – and have actually be called “just a girl” more than once – which has led me to do quite a bit of reading on the topic. Not only have I picked up a ridiculous amount of information from these books, but it’s also quite motivating to hear about these women and their journey to the top.
In no particular order, here are my favorite books to help overcome the odds and become a #GIRLBOSS….
1. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
I love this book partially just because the juxtaposition of the words “girl” and “boss” are so intriguing to me. As a 25-year-old, I do often still feel like a girl – but why should that mean I can’t still be an effective leader in the workplace? Why should my at times bubbly personality and young-looking face limit me from being a “boss?” It shouldn’t. And that’s why I love this book.
“A #GIRLBOSS is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it.”
Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal, is young, hip, and as smart as they come. She is unapologetically herself and has proven that you can be a “girl” but also build a company that does well over $100 Million in revenue.
2. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
If you haven’t heard about Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In movement, then you’ve probably been living under a rock. While I worked in Diversity & Inclusion, I did have some in depth conversations about this book, about whether it was too polarizing, about some of the assumptions Sandberg makes. But although I completely understand that not every person is the same, not everyone has the same privileges, I personally can really identify with this book and the message that Sandberg is sharing.
Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.
From her anecdotes to her broad base of research, Lean In will not only inspire you to keep climbing the corporate “jungle gym” and to be bold in your career, but will also arm you with the quotes and statistic you need to have intelligent conversations at the water cooler.
3. In My Shoes: A Memoir by Tamara Mellon
This is actually the book that inspired me to write this post. After reading the Into The Gloss Top Shelf on Tamara Mellon I developed quite the girlboss crush on the shoe mogul. In case you don’t know, Mellon is the brains behind the wildly successful shoes brand Jimmy Choo – which she sold for $800 Million.
As a woman people patronize you and think that you can’t know what you’re doing, that it must be the men around you making the decisions—especially in the finance world.
She wrote In My Shoes to “inspire young entrepreneurs and help young women in business” – two things that I can say she successfully accomplished. Tamara Mellon pretty much embodies everything I want to be as a business woman: smart, stylish, and true to myself. She is down-to-earth, despite living a fantasy life, and incredibly likable. 10/10, would highly recommend.
What are your favorite books for young business women? Give your recommendations below!