"Must reads" for women in academic research

Interested in perusing the books that were recommended as "must reads" for women in academic research? Here it is! Please add. The problem is there are too many! I added a column so you can add recs if there are ones that particularly spoke to you!

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Must reads for women in academic research

Interested in perusing the books that were recommended as must reads for women in academic research? Here it is! Please add. The problem is there are too many! I added a column so you can add recs if there are ones that particularly spoke to you!

books, recommendations, gender, feminism, science

“Must reads” for women in academic research

Prepared by Rinad Beidas, PhD in concert with many colleagues on Twitter who recommended these books.

Updated 6/23/21

Big thanks to Jill Landsbaugh Kaar, PhD for helping make this a reality!

Book Title



Girl, Stop Apologizing

Rachel Hollis

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals is a Self-help book by Rachel Hollis. It follows her 2018 best-seller Girl, Wash Your Face. I

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Sheryl Sandberg

In Lean In, she shares her personal stories, uses research to shine a light on gender differences, and offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals. The book challenges us to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do, and serves as a rallying cry for us to work together to create a more equal world.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Patrick Lencioni

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and Gender Divide

Linda Babcock

Ask for it: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want

Linda Babcock

Yes! Babcock’s 2 books first made me mad (Women Don’t Ask), but then inspired me to negotiate for my first job’s salary. I still use what I learned from her in my work life (e.g., negotiating workload with colleagues). - Erika Waters

The Coach’s Guide for Women Professors: Who Want a Successful Career and a Well-Balanced Life

Rena Seltzer

It turns out that whether they want higher salaries or more help at home, women often find it hard to ask. Sometimes they don't know that change is possible--they don't know that they can ask. Sometimes they fear that asking may damage a relationship. And sometimes they don't ask because they've learned that society can react badly to women asserting their own needs and desires.

Glass Ceilings and 100-Hour Couples: What the Opt-Out Phenomenon Can Teach Us about Work and Family (*not on audible)

Karine Moe

When significant numbers of college-educated American women began, in the early twenty-first century, to leave paid work to become stay-at-home mothers, an emotionally charged national debate erupted. Karine Moe and Dianna Shandy, a professional economist and an anthropologist, respectively, decided to step back from the sometimes overheated rhetoric around the so-called mommy wars. They wondered what really inspired women to opt out, and they wanted to gauge the phenomenon’s genuine repercussions.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Stephen Ri. Covey

Covey defines effectiveness as the balance of obtaining desirable results with caring for that which produces those results.

At the Helm: Leading your Laboratory (*Not on audible)

Kathy Barker

Since 2002, the first edition of this best-selling book has helped thousands of newly appointed principal investigators successfully transition to running their own labs. But changes in technology continue to transform the way science is done, affecting ways in which labs communicate and collaborate, organize data and supplies, and keep current on the latest developments. The culture of science has also evolved, as more scientists explore non-academic career paths, seek new ways to communicate information and ideas, and acquire skills and knowledge outside of their field. In the second edition of this book, Kathy

Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty (*Not audible)

Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time

Laura Vanderkam

The most positive take on work and family I've read in a long time" New York TimesDo you struggle to balance the demands of a successful career with quality time with family and friends, your hobbies, and even a decent night's sleep?

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Daniel Pink

Rinad Beidas: I loved this one! Great for figuring out “when” to do tasks and to be more efficient with your circadian rhythms!

Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message

Tara Mohr

At last. At last this very important book has been written, encouraging women to take up all the creative space they deserve in the world. I hope it will empower legions of women to step into their greatness.

Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family

Anne-Marie Slaughter

With moving personal stories, individual action plans, and a broad outline for change, Anne-Marie Slaughter reveals a future in which all of us can finally finish the business of equality for women and men, work and family.

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

Lois Franker

"Want to know why some women's careers take off like rockets, while others' sputter (or even crash)? Hint: It's not about "leaning in" versus dropping out. This brilliant book is packed with more than 100 mistakes women make at work and the practical ways to stop doing the things that really hold them back.

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Elena Favilli

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Greg McKeown

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

* Kerry Patterson


Angela Duckworth

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Roger Fisher

The Art of Possibility

Rosamund Stone Zander

99u Series

Jocelyn Glei

The Myth of the Nice Girl

Fran Hauser

This looks intriguing…-Erika Waters

We Need to Talk

Celeste Headlee

Leading Change

John Kotter

Talking from 9 to 5

Deborah Tannen

The Art of Self-Promotion

Ilise Benun

Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You mean

Kim Malone Scott

Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

Kim Malone Scott

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Douglas Stone

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life

Susan David

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Cal Newport

Harvard Business Review – Women at Work podcast


Harvard Business review daily tips


Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less

Tiffany Dufu

Rinad Beidas: This changed how I think about my life and was so helpful as a full time mother who works outside of the home.

Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career

Sylvia Ann Hewlett

Rinad Beidas: This gave a really concrete road map of the transactional two way street of sponsorship; and made clear how important it is to be intentional about identifying sponsors.

Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace

Jessica Bennett

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Brittney Cooper

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

Sally Helgesen

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Anne Lamott

Eva Woodward: game changer for scientific writing - I have used the principles in this book for 6+ years and found I write more in less time with significantly less emotional burden.

Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being

Shawn Achor

Letters to a Young Scientist

Edward Wilson

The Dip

Seth Godin

Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO

Harrison Monarth

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

Steve Martin

The Coaches Guide for Women Professors

Rena Seltzer

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith

Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It

Peggy Klaus

What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know

Joan C Williams

Rinad Beidas: I particularly like this one because it offers multiple suggestions for various barriers so it allows for selection based on what you prefer.

Professor Mommy: Finding Work-Family Balance in Academia

Kristen Ghodsee

Every Day is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House

Rebecca Sive

Make Trouble

Cecile Richards

Becoming a Behavioral Science Researcher

Rex Kline

Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman

Gail Evans

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*uk

Mark Manson

'Women Leading Change in Academia: Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Cliff, and Slipper'

Callie Rennison and Amy Bonomi

Hardball for Women

Patricia Heim

Down Girl

Kate Manne

Rinad Beidas: I really liked this because it provides a really thoughtful perspective on how institutional misogyny came to be and the policing role it plays in exiling women who challenge male dominance. It is really dense and doesn’t have as much of an emphasis on solutions but it was well written and a good read.

Between Grace and Grit

Sasha Shilcutt

Dare to Lead

Brené Brown

Pam Hull: This book transformed how I see myself as a leader and how I practice leadership. Brené applies principles from her other books to the context of the workplace; it’s not specific to academia but very relevant for (female and male) faculty at any rank and aspiring faculty. Her website also provides a workbook for a team “read-along,” which we used in my t

Must reads for women in academic research
Tags Books, Recommendations, Gender, Feminism, Science
Type Google Doc
Published 07/05/2022, 20:00:36


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