Top 10: Books for Women in Tech
Inspiration and explanations - books featuring personal stories and practical advice for the women of the tech world.
5 min read
Whilst we always tend to have a tech focus, some of these books are great for any woman in any industry where she feels like her voice is still not heard. This list includes incredibly personal stories and accounts, to logical and rational advice, for kicking butt in your professional and personal life in the world of tech. Find a comfy spot on the sofa and settle down with these inspiring page turners.
1) Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg
You’ve probably heard of Sandberg (she’s the CEO of Facebook) but did you know she is also a board member of other major companies like The Walt Disney Company and SurveyMonkey? Her career advice comes straight from her experiences and makes this book an awesome read.
2. Women in Tech: Take your career to the next level
by Tarah Wheeler
This tech-focused guide includes teaching career skills as well as inspiring personal stories from successful women in tech. It’s great because it teaches the reader useful information, and then gives them examples of how this has actually been used in real life, with successful results. Role models and teaching are the way to go. This book is geared towards women in tech who want to step up their career game a notch, or those wanting to get into tech.
3. Feminist Fight Club
by Jessica Bennett
While this book's title, and some of its content admittedly, is a bit tongue-in-cheek, it features a ton of useful stuff. There is a lot of genuine real-world research and personal accounts of women and men working together - both good, and bad.
4. Hardball for Women
by Pat Heim, Tammy Hughes and Susan Golant
This book is great as it focuses on creating a balanced workplace culture for both women, and men. Obviously, it focuses on what women can do to help this balance, it also focuses on both genders working alongside each other. It’s thoughtful and logical and a thoroughly good read.
5. Grit: Why Passion And Resilience Are The Secrets To Success
by Angela Duckworth
An interesting read on promoting and explaining the impact of perseverance on achievement. Generally, we know that hard work pays off, however sometimes, especially for women, it doesn’t feel like our hard work is being noticed. This book has that feeling of being pushed down 10 times, but getting up again 11 times.
6. Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers
by Lois P. Frankel
This book really spoke to me when I read it. Have you ever spent 10 minutes constructing an email to make sure you didn’t ‘come across too mean’ and ended up with an email that beat’s around the bush and dresses something up so nicely, the point is totally lost. In reality, you had something serious to say, and you put a smiley face on the end. Are women too nice? Nicer than men at work? This book is a really interesting gem, and will definitely make you think about whether your doing many of these mistakes without realising.
7. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
by Amy Cuddy
If you have any issues with confidence, public speaking, not feeling like you're seen or heard in a room, etc. Presence is perfect for you. It focuses on how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us, and how we can change that for the better. It helps us to be comfortable, and use what we already have to overcome social fears and doubt whilst boosting confidence. I think this is so important for women in tech, especially when you can feel like one woman among a crowd of men.
8. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
by Arianna Huffington
This book really focuses on something beyond the two factors people in working life tend to not see past: money and power. I think, for women especially, sometimes we forgo our work-life balance to prove just how hard working we are. In my opinion, being this way only makes you stressed and resentful and actually, damages your career and work performance even though you think you’re doing the right thing for it. Whilst it’s not so much a tech focused book, this book is great for making you think about what it means to live, and work hard in a different way.
9. Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women’s Paths to Power
by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, Mary Davis Holt
How can women break through into senior level leadership positions?
That’s the question that is the forefront of this book. It discusses 6 rules or assumptions that women follow that get in the way of their careers, and replaces these with new rules to follow. For example, the original rule of ‘Focus on Others’ is replaced by ‘Take Center Stage’, and my personal favourite ‘Ask Permission’ becomes ‘Proceed Until Apprehended’. For me, whilst this may seem really simple, it helps to have it seen in such terms. This is backed up by a heap of research by the author, results from over 1700 interviews with executives in Fortune 100 companies and stories from a range of high profile women including Ann Moore (CEO, Time Inc.), Susan Ivey (CEO, Reynolds American), and much more.
10. Own It: The Power of Women at Work
by Sallie Krawcheck
Sallie Krawcheck knows a bit about being a successful, working women in the digital age—she is the CEO and co-founder of the women’s online investment platform Ellevest and is a chairwoman of Ellevate Network, which she created in 2013 to support women entrepreneurs.
In this book, she focuses on her own experiences working in the high levels of business, both as she is now, an entrepreneur and a woman amongst men in the tech industry as she climbed the ranks. Most importantly, she shows that women play significant roles in business and gives advice on helping women grow their careers.
If you feel another book deserves to be recognized on this list, post it in the comments so we can all check it out!
Charlotte Anderson is a marketing enthusiast with a First Class Degree in Business from the University of Sussex. Currently, she is working as a digital marketer involved heavily with social media marketing and content creation, and hoping to gain further knowledge in coding and website development. Having written many essays around the subject of gender equality and representation in the media, she hopes to convey the passion for the subject through her blog posts with SheCanCode.