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The 7 Best Business Books Women Need to Read in 2023

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

These books for business women, from c-suite executives to female entrepreneurs, will give you the edge to excel in your career.

Ask any successful business woman what her secret is, and she'll point to a phenomenal group of inspiring women that motivated her to keep going. It can be challenging as a woman in any business. That's why it's so important to read encouraging, empowering insights and stories from professional women we admire.

Our How She Shines team has compiled a list of the most thought-provoking, important business books for women and by women that will change the way you think and move in your profession:

by Lolly Daskal

Lolly Daskal, who has advised and inspired top chief executives for decades, has discovered a surprising trend. She discovered every leader possesses innate abilities that can hinder their potential for greatness. Many high-achieving leaders have risen to prominence through their well-developed skill sets, only to struggle when the negative aspects of those same skills surface. Daskal has developed a proven system that leaders at any level can use to improve their performance significantly. The process involves identifying your unique leadership archetype and acknowledging its negative aspects: the shadow side.

Through her proven system, Daskal shows readers how to pinpoint their unique leadership archetype and uncover the negative aspects of those archetypes. For instance, the Rebel archetype has an Imposter shadow side. The Inventor has the potential for great destruction, and the Explorer could give way to the Exploiter without proper guidance and wisdom.

Most highlighted quote:

"To lead a life of impact, you need to be clear on your values, confident in your voice, and intentional in your actions."

by Minda Harts

Minda Harts provides a no-nonsense career guide that empowers women of color by offering practical solutions to the challenges they face. While many business books provide generic career advice, Minda Harts recognizes the unique obstacles that women of color encounter in the workplace, from microaggressions to the wage gap. Drawing on her extensive experience as a fundraising consultant for prestigious colleges and her current role as CEO of The Memo, Harts provides insightful guidance on how to overcome barriers that prevent women of color from advancing in corporate America.

With humor and frankness, Harts addresses uncomfortable truths about networking, office politics, and financial matters. The Memo delivers crucial support and long-overdue advice, providing women of color with the tools they need to succeed in their careers.

Most highlighted quote:

"Success doesn't come from one person carrying the weight of an organization, but rather when people come together to make things happen."

by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

In "The Confidence Code," Katty Kay and Claire Shipman explore the elusive nature of confidence, asking whether it's innate or learned and whether it's more important than competence. The authors delve into the neuroscience behind confidence and interview psychologists to uncover actionable steps for building confidence. They also speak with successful women from various fields to learn how they have tapped into their own confidence. While genetics play a role in confidence, the authors argue that it is not a fixed state of mind.

To cultivate confidence, one must take action, embrace risk-taking, and learn from failures, rather than aiming for perfection or people-pleasing. With insights and practical advice, "The Confidence Code" empowers women to embrace their authentic selves and experience the life-changing effects of confidence.

How She Shines readers may recognize this title from their book tailored for girls, The Confidence Code for Girls, featured in "5 Books to Empower Our Preteen Daughters."

Most highlighted quote:

"Confidence is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets."

by Caroline Criado Perez

Ever wonder why your voice-activated app responds more readily to the male voice than the female voice? This book has the answer. Invisible Women, an international bestseller by acclaimed feminist advocate, Caroline Criado Perez, reveals how gender bias is ingrained in data and perpetuates inequalities for women. From product design to medical research, Criado Perez shows how data often treats men as the default and women as atypical, leading to dangerous consequences for women's lives.

This book draws on hundreds of studies from around the world to expose this insidious pattern and provide a highly readable, eye-opening perspective that will change the way readers view the world.

Most highlighted quote:

"The gender data gap is both a cause and a consequence of the profound inequality that women face, particularly in developing countries but also in the rich world."

By Trudi Lebron

The Antiracist Business Book by Trudi Lebrón is a groundbreaking work that offers a new approach to business. As a DEI business coach, Lebrón draws from real-life experiences to teach entrepreneurs how to create an antiracist business that supports and repairs the wealth of all people. In this book, she advocates for a shift from toxic capitalism to justice-based commerce and identifies a new form of leadership built on trust, creativity, and community. Lebrón also emphasizes the importance of embracing and creating wealth generation to advance antiracism in business.

The Antiracist Business Book is a timely and essential read for anyone seeking to create transparent, equitable, and disruptive businesses that challenge the status quo.

Most highlighted quote:

"As anitracist entrepreneurs and leaders, we need to be honest about where our power and privilege come from, adn then we must use that power and privilege to advance antiracist policies and practices in our businesses and workplaces."

By Bozoma Saint John

In her memoir, American business woman and marketing goddess, Bozoma Saint John shares her experience of grief and her determination to live life with urgency after the death of her husband, Peter. Despite facing previous adversities, including the loss of her college boyfriend and navigating an interracial marriage, Bozoma was inspired by Peter's terminal diagnosis to live in accordance with her values. The book takes readers through Bozoma's journey of grief, and her courage to build a remarkable life worth living even in her brokenness.

The Urgent Life is a relatable story of resilience and determination that will inspire readers who have experienced loss and anyone looking to live life to the fullest.

Most highlighed quote:

"I learned to live life with urgency. To take the trip, to call a friend, to cut out the toxic person — not next week, not next year, but as soon as the thought crosses my heart. I don’t delay. I don’t count on a future that isn’t promised."

By Katy Milkman

In this groundbreaking book, Katy Milkman, a renowned Wharton Professor and host of the Choiceology podcast, shares a proven path to help you achieve your goals. Milkman's original research and world-renowned scientific collaborators reveal strategic methods for overcoming common barriers to change, such as impulsivity, procrastination, and forgetfulness. By turning an uphill battle into a downhill one, Milkman shows that you can transform your daily struggles into a source of pleasure.

Through engaging stories and case studies, you'll learn why timing is critical, how to turn temptation and inertia into assets, and how giving advice can help you achieve more. Whether you're a coach, manager, teacher or an individual struggling to make a change, How to Change provides an invaluable, science-based blueprint for achieving your goals once and for all.

Most highlighted quote:

"Research has proven time and again that rather than relying on willpower to resist temptation, we’re better off figuring out how to make good behaviors more gratifying in the short-term. Big payoffs far down the road just aren’t enough to keep us motivated."

These books offer valuable insights, groundbreaking ideas, heart-wrenching stories of triumph, and practical advice that can help women in business navigate the challenges they face while achieving their goals. Whether you're a seasoned executive or just starting out in your career, there's something here for everyone. Now get out there and shine ☀️

This page contains affiliate links to products that align with our values. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, How She Shines may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. We thank you for your support!

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