At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Business Books for Women:
- Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead – Our Top Pick
- In the Company of Women
- The Myth of the Nice Girl
- Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
- Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business
There are many great business books out there. But business books for women, specifically, are fewer and farther between.
Being a woman in the business world has its own set of unique challenges. Women earn 78 cents for every dollar a man makes — for reasons both internal and external.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best business books for women.
The Best Books for Women In Business
Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or starting your own company, here are the best business books for women.
1. Lean In Women, Work, and the Will To Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Lean In is one of the most popular business books for women of all time. And there’s a reason. The book is powerful, inspiring, practical and full of research on women in the workplace.
Sandberg draws on her own experiences and examines the ways women can lean in to become the leaders they want to be.
2. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney
When it comes to business books for women, there are few things more motivating than women inspiring women. And that’s exactly what In the Company of Women is all about.
This book contains more than 100 stories about influential women from all ages, cultures, and industries. If you’re looking for practical and inspirational advice from successful women, this is the book for you.
3. The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate by Fran Hauser
There is a paradox that women in business are all too familiar with. If we’re nice we’re seen as a pushover. It’s we’re tough, we’re considered a bitch. These perceptions can leave many women feeling helpless in the workplace.
In The Myth of the Nice Girl, Fran Hauser deconstructs the myth that women need to be any specific way to be successful. This book gives excellent advice on how to advance in your career without losing yourself in the process.
4. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown
Brene Brown has spent decades studying emotions like shame and vulnerability. Now, she’s sharing how we can be more intentional and authentic in leaders in business and life.
There’s plenty of advice out there that will tell you that success means acting “like a man.” But Brown’s powerful advice resonates with women who want to find happiness and success by embracing their authentic and powerful selves.
Dare to Lead is encouraging, insightful and backed by years of research, making it one of the best books for women in business today.
5. Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business by Pat Heim, Tammy Hughes, and Susan K. Golant
One of the classic business books for women, this is an excellent guide for any woman looking to learn how to negotiate to get what she wants, become more self-confident in the workplace, and lead with assertiveness.
Although it was recently updated, some of the advice may appear outdated to younger women. However, there are still wise insights to gain from Hardball for Women.
6. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Dr. Lois P. Frankel
From a young age, many women get a message that tells them it’s better to be nice, quiet, and agreeable. And these personality traits can and do make women well-liked at work. But well-liked doesn’t always mean successful.
Dr. Frankel explains how being “nice” holds women back in their careers — and offers tips for how to find your inner strength and get the corner office.
7. Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett
Businesswomen are all too familiar with the happy hours with girlfriends where we share workplace struggles and sexist job frustrations. Feminist Fight Club is a humorous guide full of statistics, personal stories, and advice for women in the workplace.
8. Smart Women Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams by David Bach
Managing finances can be a weak spot for many successful people — including women.
In Smart Women Finish Rich, David Bach walks you through a nine-step program that gives you the tools to spend smarter and be more secure in, and more in control of, your finances.
Check out our list of the 24 best self-help books to read in 2021 and beyond!
9. Beta: Quiet Girls Can Run the World by Rebecca Holman
In a society that encourages women to lean in or act “like a man” to be successful, what happens to all the women who just, don’t? Is being an Alpha boss a requirement for career success?
Rebecca Holman argues that it’s not. She encourages quiet, emotional and introverted women not to change who they are just to succeed at work. The world is changing, and plenty of women are finding ways to find their own version of success, without changing who they are.
10. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington may be one of the most successful women in the world, but even she’s experienced moments of fear, burnout, and even failure.
After years of letting her career control her life, Huffington realized that she needed to redefine her personal meaning of success. Rather than focus on money and power, Huffington encourages us to change our mindset toward business and what it means to be successful.
11. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes is the queen of network TV, creating hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. What’s the secret to her success? Simply saying “YES.”
In Year of Yes, Rhimes reveals how saying “YES” changed her life and set her on a path toward career success. This inspiring and uplifting message make Year of Yes one of the best business books for women.
12. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Business doesn’t always have to mean pantsuit and tie. Creativity is critical to business success.
In fact, Elizabeth Gilbert believes that even the most buttoned-up amongst us has a creative side yearning to be unleashed. Big Magic teaches the creative souls in all of us how to pursue our passions without fear.
Read more: The Best Psychology Books on Human Behavior
13. Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
Women in business know that it often feels like a constant cycle of one step forward, two steps back.
Marie Forleo’s latest book, Everything is Figureoutable, provides insights into how to train your brain to be more positive and productive during the challenging times.
14. How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship by Annie McKee
Sure, work pays the bills. And if you’re lucky it pays for nicer things. Maybe you have a corner office. Or maybe you get to travel to exotic places. But are you happy?
Many of us would hear that question and respond, “not quite.” Employees are more overworked and undervalued than ever before, and many women find themselves in leadership positions wondering, “Is this even worth it?”
But hope is not lost. It’s possible to find happiness and fulfillment in our work. And McKee shows us how in this enlightening and practical read.
What are your favorite business books for women? Share any that we missed in the comments!