Inspirational books for women to advance in their careers and build businesses

A must-read list of guides and stories to inspire working women at different stages in their career life-cycle:

30 Women in Power: Their Voices, Their Stories 
It carries the stories and inimitable voices of thirty of India’s greatest women achievers who have been pioneers and led large organizations in banking, law, the media, advertising, government services, health care, consulting, the fast-moving consumer goods sector and the not-for-profit space.
Lady, You’re Not a Man!: The Adventures of a Woman at Work
Apurva Purohit, CEO of Radio City 91.1 FM, shows how women can accept, adapt and achieve their way to the highest rung in every arena. Through real-life stories and funny anecdotes, she provides pithy tips on a multitude of topics: from training husbands to training interns, from the right attitude to getting it right with kids, from dealing with household crises to office emergencies, from building a reputation to paving one’s way to the top. 

Roots and Wings: Inspiring Stories of Indian Women in Engineering by Shantha Mohan – This book chronicles the lives and careers of 29 pioneering women who graduated from the oldest engineering college in India sometime between 1943 and 1971. They all went on to make their mark in their unique ways in various fields of work in India as well as the USA. Buy here

Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-home Mothers Who Want to Return to Work by Carol Fishman Cohen- From the Founder of IRelaunch, a pioneering organisation that first began facilitating stay-at-home mothers to return to work, this book shows you women are returning to work and helps you learn from their successes and challenges. Step-by-step exercises, inspiring stories, sample resumes, and resource lists round out this engaging, well-researched look at when, how, and why women are returning to work after career breaks of a few months or many years. It offers the perfect first step and a handy resource to regularly reference as you successfully relaunch your own career. Buy here

Women Who Launch: The Women Who Shattered Glass Celings by Marlene Wagman-Geller – The book has inspiring biographies of women creators, innovators, and leaders from around the world. It is filled with inspiring true stories of women activists, artists, entrepreneurs who launched some of the most famous companies, brands, and organizations today and changed the world.  Buy here

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg – COO and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business draws on her own experience of working in some of the world’s most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale. Buy here

Own It: Leadership Lessons from Women Who Do by Aparna Jain – The book tells women’s stories. 200 Indian women leaders across industries discuss the challenges they face in the Indian workplace and at home. Heads of companies, human resource directors and senior managers talk about issues like pay parity, harassment, promotion and maternity policies. Why is the workplace agenda skewed against women and what are their own demons that keep them from breaking the glass ceiling? Thought-provoking and controversial, Own It takes the challenges that confront women in the workplace head-on – without discounting the complexities of being a woman in an Indian home. Buy here

Dare to Be: 14 Fearless Women Who Gave Wings to Their Dreams by Rinku Paul and Pooja Singhal- The book chronicles the success stories of fourteen women who have founded India’s fast-growing women-led businesses. None of them inherited businesses, nor were they born into great wealth. These are ordinary women made extraordinary by the single-minded pursuit of their passion and the courage they showed in the face of adversity.  Buy here

Bold and Untold : Life and Leadership Lessons from women who dared to dream by Ipsita Kathuria – The book is a compilation of stories of women that helps draw leadership lessons from rural women who dared to dream, who have achieved so much with so little. The untold stories of unbelievable women who are part of SEWA and their journeys of grit with empathy, perseverance with collaboration, and innovation with resourcefulness are inspiring and exemplary lessons in leadership for aspiring professionals to successful corporate leaders. Buy here

The Accidental Entrepreneur: The Juicy Bits by Janine Allis- The founder of Boost Juice shares the secrets and skills that took her from housewife to entrepreneur to head of a multi-national corporation. As a working mother of four, Janine understands the demands of modern life, and shows you how you can accomplish your goals without sacrificing your health or your relationships in the process. You will learn how to grow your company from kitchen table to earning billion in revenue, explore and apply Janine Allis’s practical tips for success, Identify and develop the skills you need to get where you want to be and Overcome the common obstacles that can throw you off course. Buy here

Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life by Dennse Duffield-thomas – The book that helps women release their money blocks and find their hidden potential for abundance. Buy here

What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey – a beautiful book of essays packed with insight and revelation from Oprah Winfrey. Organized by theme – joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power -these essays offer a rare, powerful and intimate glimpse into the heart and mind of one of the world’s most extraordinary woman while providing readers a guide to becoming their best selves. Buy here

The Working Woman’s Baby Planner by Marla Schwartz – Overcome challenges of being pregnant and working. Leanr the tricks for Coping with common discomforts, remaining professional when you are not feeling well, Making your workspace more comfortable and accommodating, tips for telling your boss you are pregnant, Breast-feeding and much more. Buy here (imported into India)

Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life by Barbara Stanny – the author identifies the seven key strategies of female highearners: A Profit Motive, Audacity, Resilience, Encouragement, Self-Awareness, Non-attachment, and Financial Know-How. She turns each of the six-figure traits into a specific strategy for upping earnings for readers can, step-by-step, climb the income ladder. Buy here

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith – the authors identify the 12 habits that hold women back as they seek to advance, showing them why what worked for them in the past might actually be sabotaging their future success. Buy here

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans – This is the stories of women who were pioneers in technology,who defied social convention to become database poets, information-wranglers, hypertext dreamers, and glass ceiling-shattering dot com-era entrepreneurs. Buy here
Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel. The author reveals a set of 130 unconcious mistakes women make that could be holding you back and teaches you how to eliminate these. Mistakes like “Avoiding office politics”. “Multi-tasking”, ” Failing to negotiate” and “Inappropriate use of social media”. Buy here