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Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons

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An inspirational and practical book written by two high-achieving women, sharing the experience and advice of some of our most extraordinary women leaders, in their own words. From their broad experience on the world stage in politics, economics and global not-for-profits, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Julia Gillard have some strong ideas about the impact of gender on the treatme An inspirational and practical book written by two high-achieving women, sharing the experience and advice of some of our most extraordinary women leaders, in their own words. From their broad experience on the world stage in politics, economics and global not-for-profits, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Julia Gillard have some strong ideas about the impact of gender on the treatment of leaders. Women and Leadership takes a consistent and comprehensive approach to teasing out what is different for women leaders. Almost every year new findings are published about the way people see women leaders compared with their male counterparts. The authors have taken that academic work and tested it in the real world. The same set of interview questions were put to each leader in frank face-to-face interviews. Their responses were then used to examine each woman's journey in leadership and whether their lived experiences were in line with or different from what the research would predict. Women and Leadership presents a lively and readable analysis of the influence of gender on women's access to positions of leadership, the perceptions of them as leaders, the trajectory of their leadership and the circumstances in which it comes to an end. By presenting the lessons that can be learned from women leaders, Julia and Ngozi provide a road map of essential knowledge to inspire us all, and an action agenda for change that allows women to take control and combat gender bias. Featuring Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Theresa May, Michelle Bachelet, Joyce Banda, Erna Solberg, Christine Lagarde and more.


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An inspirational and practical book written by two high-achieving women, sharing the experience and advice of some of our most extraordinary women leaders, in their own words. From their broad experience on the world stage in politics, economics and global not-for-profits, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Julia Gillard have some strong ideas about the impact of gender on the treatme An inspirational and practical book written by two high-achieving women, sharing the experience and advice of some of our most extraordinary women leaders, in their own words. From their broad experience on the world stage in politics, economics and global not-for-profits, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Julia Gillard have some strong ideas about the impact of gender on the treatment of leaders. Women and Leadership takes a consistent and comprehensive approach to teasing out what is different for women leaders. Almost every year new findings are published about the way people see women leaders compared with their male counterparts. The authors have taken that academic work and tested it in the real world. The same set of interview questions were put to each leader in frank face-to-face interviews. Their responses were then used to examine each woman's journey in leadership and whether their lived experiences were in line with or different from what the research would predict. Women and Leadership presents a lively and readable analysis of the influence of gender on women's access to positions of leadership, the perceptions of them as leaders, the trajectory of their leadership and the circumstances in which it comes to an end. By presenting the lessons that can be learned from women leaders, Julia and Ngozi provide a road map of essential knowledge to inspire us all, and an action agenda for change that allows women to take control and combat gender bias. Featuring Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Theresa May, Michelle Bachelet, Joyce Banda, Erna Solberg, Christine Lagarde and more.

30 review for Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy Ryan

    I NEEDED to read this book. The lessons from these inspiring women could apply to anyone, and particularly resonated with me as a woman in business. I particularly loved a quote from Jacinda Ardern where she says 'I still constantly questioned whether I had the right character traits and personality for that environment, because I'm a sensitive person, I'm empathetic, I don't like the agressive side of politics.' I receive this criticism almost weekly at the moment and this book made me feel les I NEEDED to read this book. The lessons from these inspiring women could apply to anyone, and particularly resonated with me as a woman in business. I particularly loved a quote from Jacinda Ardern where she says 'I still constantly questioned whether I had the right character traits and personality for that environment, because I'm a sensitive person, I'm empathetic, I don't like the agressive side of politics.' I receive this criticism almost weekly at the moment and this book made me feel less alone and unworthy of my position. Well done Julia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, I hope your book can motivate and inspire girls all over the world to dream big and back themselves (and others!).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘Women leaders all seem to be facing the same kinds of problems …’ This book, co-authored by Julia Gillard, Australia’s first woman prime minister, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister, looks at why there are so few women at the top level of politics. Ms Gillard and Ms Okonjo-Iweala draw on their own experience as well as on interviews with eight women leaders: Jacinda Adern; Hillary Clinton; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Theresa May; Michelle Bachelet; Joyce Banda; Erna Solberg and ‘Women leaders all seem to be facing the same kinds of problems …’ This book, co-authored by Julia Gillard, Australia’s first woman prime minister, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister, looks at why there are so few women at the top level of politics. Ms Gillard and Ms Okonjo-Iweala draw on their own experience as well as on interviews with eight women leaders: Jacinda Adern; Hillary Clinton; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Theresa May; Michelle Bachelet; Joyce Banda; Erna Solberg and Christine Lagarde. Why is this such an important issue? Well, consider this: ‘The World Economic Forum has calculated that, if we continue to improve at the current rate, closing the global gender gap in political representation will take ninety-five years.’ While Ms Gillard and Ms Okonjo-Iweala have focussed on women leaders in politics, much of what they write applies to women in leadership roles more generally. In the book, they test eight hypotheses by asking each of their interviewees a set of questions. The headings of the eight hypotheses are: 1 You go girl 2 It’s all about the hair 3 Shrill or soft (the style conundrum) 4 She’s a bit of a bitch 5 Who’s minding the kids? 6 A special place in hell – do women really support women? 7 Modern-day Salem 8 The role-modelling riddle Sadly, it does not look like sexism is going to disappear anytime soon. But in a chapter entitled ‘The stand-out lessons from eight lives and eight hypotheses, aspiring leaders are reminded to ‘Be aware, not beware’. This is important: while in writing this book Ms Gillard and Ms Okonjo-Iweala want to inspire women to pursue leadership roles, they have not glossed over the challenges. There are other valuable observations, and a reminder. Both Ms Gillard and Ms Okonjo-Iweala are involved in sponsorship and mentorship. The publisher of this book observed that, despite all of the work they were doing they were both acting like stereotypical women and highlighting their failures and guilt. ‘Naturally, in response to her assessment, we edited. But there is something laugh-out-loud ridiculous about two intelligent, dedicated women writing tens of thousands of words about gendered stereotyping and then falling for it in our behaviour.’ I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in the issues faced by women in leadership. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  3. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    This was a fascinating book. Julia and Ngozi have put together something really fascinating; speaking to women from various countries and with varying political careers and struggles. Both authors have written an introduction (and in the audiobook, each narrate their own) and they were so wonderful. It sounds odd for an introduction to be a highlight of a book but I loved listening to these women speak, even briefly, on their career and the experiences that led to the writing of Women and Leader This was a fascinating book. Julia and Ngozi have put together something really fascinating; speaking to women from various countries and with varying political careers and struggles. Both authors have written an introduction (and in the audiobook, each narrate their own) and they were so wonderful. It sounds odd for an introduction to be a highlight of a book but I loved listening to these women speak, even briefly, on their career and the experiences that led to the writing of Women and Leadership. As the book continued, I did enjoy the words from interviews with other leaders. Things are structured around eight hypotheses: 1. You go girl 2. It’s all about the hair 3. Shrill or soft (the style conundrum) 4. She’s a bit of a bitch 5. Who’s minding the kids? 6. A special place in hell – do women really support women? 7. Modern-day Salem 8. The role-modelling riddle I was a big fan of the points made in a few of these, particularly 2, 3 and 4. I also quite enjoyed the concluding section which urges young women to pursue political careers and not be put off by the frank portrayal of leaderships challenges in this book. Overall though, I am not sure I loved the structure. It seemed that, at times, not much focus was given to the leaders interviewed in these sections and it was more an analysis or observation. This is still interesting but I was more interested in the anecdotes and lessons regarding overcoming stereotypes/ glass ceilings. There were a few times where I thought more time could've been given to dissecting statements by interviewees. One point stood out as bothersome- Hillary Clinton muses in passing that not all men in politics are bad as a few men helped her get her foot in the door. I thought that whilst this is true, it ignores the fact that it had to be a man who helped her get her foot in the door because there aren't women in politics. That's half the point of the book! It bothered me a lot once I did some overthinking. I'm glad I read this book, it's incredibly interesting and there was something empowering about it. But there was also something lacking for me... so 3/5.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bec

    Such a powerful and interesting guide to getting started in politics. This fanatics novel is for anyone looking for empowerment or for getting their foot into politics door. Challenging gender stereotypes, pay and position inequalities, motherhood and even a little bit of fashion. Featuring Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Theresa May, Michelle Bachelet, Joyce Banda, Erna Solberg and Christine Lagarde just to name a few. We get insight into each of these influential women’s Such a powerful and interesting guide to getting started in politics. This fanatics novel is for anyone looking for empowerment or for getting their foot into politics door. Challenging gender stereotypes, pay and position inequalities, motherhood and even a little bit of fashion. Featuring Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Theresa May, Michelle Bachelet, Joyce Banda, Erna Solberg and Christine Lagarde just to name a few. We get insight into each of these influential women’s journey into politics the good, the bad and the awful. Each woman had such a differ experience from death threats to first lady’s and resting bitch faces. Hillary’s presidential campaign and loss to Trump. Insight into Julia’s life and struggles. My favourite insight was learning more about Jacinda Ardern’s life from growing up in a Mormon home to university, travel and starting in politics. She battled and worked her butt off to get where she is today. Not handed a single free ride or leg up from anyone. Becoming prime minister, falling pregnant while in term and being and her partners role swap.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Madelon North

    I did enjoy this book. I particularly liked the insight into each of the leaders and how they came to power and their insights into each of the research questions posited by the authors. I think there were some great lessons in here and it is inspiring to know that it is possible for women to overcome the gender stereotypes and all manner of glass to become leaders of different countries all in different ways. I also liked that they mention at the start that they are aware they’re talking from t I did enjoy this book. I particularly liked the insight into each of the leaders and how they came to power and their insights into each of the research questions posited by the authors. I think there were some great lessons in here and it is inspiring to know that it is possible for women to overcome the gender stereotypes and all manner of glass to become leaders of different countries all in different ways. I also liked that they mention at the start that they are aware they’re talking from the binary, and that they weren’t being as intersectional as they could have been. My only issue is with some of the research terminology and that is 100% a me thing, but it really did bring down the experience of reading it. And I felt it got a little repetitive towards the end. Apart from this though I do think it’s a fantastic read for everyone regardless of their gender identity.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alana

    Women and Leadership packed a (very well researched, well written, upsetting and empowering) punch! This book was a unique and personal insight into the plight of women who clambered over adversity to get to where they are. This book was co-authored by Julia Gillard, Australia’s first woman prime minister, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister. It focuses on the gender dynamics that permeate politics, that spawn and constrict women in leadership, and answers the question of w Women and Leadership packed a (very well researched, well written, upsetting and empowering) punch! This book was a unique and personal insight into the plight of women who clambered over adversity to get to where they are. This book was co-authored by Julia Gillard, Australia’s first woman prime minister, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister. It focuses on the gender dynamics that permeate politics, that spawn and constrict women in leadership, and answers the question of why there are so few women at the top level of politics. Julia and Ngozi are generous with their own experiences as women in the top jobs, but also draw upon the experiences of eight other women, including Jacinda Adern, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Theresa May, Michelle Bachelet, Joyce Banda, Erna Solberg, and Christine Lagarde. This book does not shy from the reality – it illustrates the good, the bad and the ugly. I was so impressed with the vulnerability of the women in sharing their insecurities, their fears, and the motivation they found to rise above the rampant sexist and misogynistic fibers that creep the walls of our parliamentary or presidential offices. I have always believed that to be it, you need to see it. It can be so isolating to want something that you struggle to envisage. Many young women have the ambition, the intelligence and the strength for a prosperous career in politics or power or leadership, but the road forward is murky. In all our work, we should be driving mentorship to those less senior women, and have the courage to look up and ask for help from the women who have been where we are. That is the way forward: to be it and to see it. Start with this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Alice (brookes.bookstagram)

    I found this book very empowering to hear voices and information from so many inspiring strong and independent women. I particularly liked getting to lean more about each leader, their own personal journey of their lives and how they have achieved what they have in a professional sense. I particularly enjoyed reading about Jacinda Ardern and her struggles in her life, and overcoming the gender stereotypes about being pregnant, unmarried, and not being the primary care giver for her child. I found I found this book very empowering to hear voices and information from so many inspiring strong and independent women. I particularly liked getting to lean more about each leader, their own personal journey of their lives and how they have achieved what they have in a professional sense. I particularly enjoyed reading about Jacinda Ardern and her struggles in her life, and overcoming the gender stereotypes about being pregnant, unmarried, and not being the primary care giver for her child. I found hers the most inspirational as she is not adhering to any form of patriarchal control. Overall, I enjoyed learning more, and knowing that with these women in power, we can see more of our world bending towads something I am far more proud of. We might still be a long way away from gender equality, but we are sure making it known that we are out here and can tackle anything!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ee Cheng Ooi

    This book is a rare opportunity to compare and contrast the life experiences of prominent women world leaders, with the analysis conducted by women who have also held the highest positions of power. It's an academic, qualitative approach but that doesn't mean it doesn't have it's own moments of charm and good humor. I enjoyed Julia's recollections of her time as PM in particular, as I remember the way she was treated and the stoic front she held up. How refreshing to see her speak bluntly about w This book is a rare opportunity to compare and contrast the life experiences of prominent women world leaders, with the analysis conducted by women who have also held the highest positions of power. It's an academic, qualitative approach but that doesn't mean it doesn't have it's own moments of charm and good humor. I enjoyed Julia's recollections of her time as PM in particular, as I remember the way she was treated and the stoic front she held up. How refreshing to see her speak bluntly about what we could all see - the deluge of misogynistic bullshit from other politicians and mass media. I'm not a strong proponent of any particular political party in Australia, but I liked Julia. I remember my father telling me in the car one day that she was unfit to be the prime minister. How could a woman be a leader? A better question is, who the hell says something like that to their own daughter? It's obvious that we still need books like these, and we still need analyses like these. We need leaders like these incredible women. The conclusions of this book suggest ways to deal with the situation, and encourages women to step up and take on the responsibility of power. Worth a read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    This book went above and beyond my expectations. Exploring the personal, political and professional implications of sexism, through the perspectives of an array of female leaders (capturing the voices of female politicians from almost EVERY continent). I was pleasantly surprised to find this book takes a methodical approach to a scientific research, leaving no stone unturned, with the hypotheses of both authors tested and analysed. A must read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    A super interesting examination of different experiences and challenges lived by women in positions of leadership (mostly political) from around the world. The book begins with brief summaries of interviews the authors conducted with women leaders (Jacinda, Hillary, etc). Then it presents several 'hypotheses' about the experiences of women in or en route to leadership positions, testing them against their subjects' own stories and other peer reviewed findings. It finishes with a set of short les A super interesting examination of different experiences and challenges lived by women in positions of leadership (mostly political) from around the world. The book begins with brief summaries of interviews the authors conducted with women leaders (Jacinda, Hillary, etc). Then it presents several 'hypotheses' about the experiences of women in or en route to leadership positions, testing them against their subjects' own stories and other peer reviewed findings. It finishes with a set of short lessons for women to take with them as/if they pursue leadership themselves. I enjoyed it a lot. The reasoning seemed solid to me and there's clearly lots of research and experience behind it all. It was quite liberating to hear a consensus on lots of things I and others have felt and/or anecdotally observed. It was kinda weird being put in a position where I felt sorry for conservative politicians, though. I understand that the point was to go beyond partisan lines and explore a global experience of women in politics, but it was still hard! Good to confront my own biases, I guess. I borrowed this but have a feeling I'd like to buy it and go back to it for reference. The chapter on 'Modern Day Salem' will be particularly interesting to come back to with all the Gladys stuff unfolding.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diana Ramayee

    I really enjoyed this one. It was easy to read and even funny at parts but also very nuanced and academic. However, despite being an important contribution to discussions around the treatment of women in leadership, this book failed to deepen its analysis of the issue by considering the experiences of Asian women in leadership.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Juliana Azevedo

    I particularly enjoyed the section where the “pathways to power” for each woman leader was described. Inspirational stories of hardship, resilience, resolve and ultimately - women doing what they felt was right in spite of circumstances.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala interviewed eight current or former world leaders from politics about their experiences, as a woman, in that sphere. They presented eight hypotheses on encouragement to lead, commentary on appearance, the style conundrum, being seen as a 'bitch', family, supporting other women, the 'witch' issue and role modelling. These are the interviews that are hard to get and so it makes perfect sense that Julie and Ngozi would write this book. p.32 on the glass ceiling, Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala interviewed eight current or former world leaders from politics about their experiences, as a woman, in that sphere. They presented eight hypotheses on encouragement to lead, commentary on appearance, the style conundrum, being seen as a 'bitch', family, supporting other women, the 'witch' issue and role modelling. These are the interviews that are hard to get and so it makes perfect sense that Julie and Ngozi would write this book. p.32 on the glass ceiling, labyrinth and cliff: "Yes, that is a hell of a lot of glass, and for the women who break through there is always the nasty consequence of being surrounded by jagged, dangerous shards." It stood out for me that while these women, from both the conservative and liberal sides of politics, all had stories to tell they did so in quite a guarded way, or even downplayed the sexism they get or got. So many of us do this. It's as if we don't even like to admit it to ourselves. In my last job at executive level a consultant commented to me once "gosh it must be hard being the only woman on this team". I brushed him off, a little bit cross. Of course it wasn't hard, its the same for me as everyone else not the team. Six months later I left that organisation and found that it wasn't the same for everyone else. I didn't realise the tide I was swimming against was just for me. The others were in a calm pool by comparison. The classic boiled frog. We don't even see. And this is what it is like. We don't know any different. And yet it could be different. This book is not so much about changing the system as learning to navigate the system while changing it bit by bit. I was fascinated by reading the back stories of these amazing women. It reminded me of the research done by Terry Fitzsimmons on "Why are there so few women CEOs?". He found that, for men, the pathway was quite simple: grow up in a traditional household, captain the footy team, go to uni etc. For every woman CEO he interviewed (which was every single one in Australia at the time) they had been 'knocked of the traditional pathway' for women in some way: a tragedy in their childhood, an unconventional childhood, or my favourite, the existence of 'crazy aunts' who bucked traditional society. All of the women in this book were knocked off the traditional pathway by one of these methods. It gives even further proof that leadership is a strongly gendered concept and for women to make it they have to leave their own traditions behind which leaves them to be seen as challenging to both men and women on their way to the top. A great book by two wonderful women. My favourite advice at the end for the media "whenever you write a story about a woman, replace her name with a man's name and see if you would still write it to check if you've used harmful stereotypes you wouldn't use for a man". Julie and Ngozi note that the case women in leadership is ultimately: " a moral one. In a democracy, a population should be a able to look at its leaders and see a reflection of the full diversity of society. What kind of democracy is it that bestows a vote but not a real prospect of becoming the person voted for?"

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ella Hart

    I absolutely loved this book! I loved learning about leadership and the experiences of women in high profile positions from the best in the business. Julia and Ngozi had incredibly different yet similar experiences in their roles and I was fascinated to hear about how being a woman impacted them. The best feature was them interviewing other leaders about the unique pressures they face. The research presented also shocked me but didn’t surprise me. It made me angry realising how many women turn d I absolutely loved this book! I loved learning about leadership and the experiences of women in high profile positions from the best in the business. Julia and Ngozi had incredibly different yet similar experiences in their roles and I was fascinated to hear about how being a woman impacted them. The best feature was them interviewing other leaders about the unique pressures they face. The research presented also shocked me but didn’t surprise me. It made me angry realising how many women turn down the idea of politics because of the unwelcoming environment. This book if anything, was a great discussion of how women entering leadership roles can be the only way to change systems that cast them out. Truly inspired!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

    As a female leader in a secondary school, this book was inspiring and eye opening. There are so many fantastic lessons to take away from the stories of these inspirational women that translate across cultures, countries and working environments. Not only does this book empower women reading it, but also provides a very realistic look into the struggles that women face in their strive for leadership - examining work/life balance, stereotyping, the role the media can play and the questions asked o As a female leader in a secondary school, this book was inspiring and eye opening. There are so many fantastic lessons to take away from the stories of these inspirational women that translate across cultures, countries and working environments. Not only does this book empower women reading it, but also provides a very realistic look into the struggles that women face in their strive for leadership - examining work/life balance, stereotyping, the role the media can play and the questions asked of women that would not be considered for their male counterparts. Engaging, shocking and thought-provoking, this is a must read for all women AND men.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Thomas

    Important insights into gender issues in world leadership and how they are portrayed in media and society. It is especially important for us men to read this book and those like it to gain a better understanding of the extra challenges women face everyday.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dayle

    A book to inspire future leaders. I enjoyed the perspectives across different countries, political beliefs, and privileges. Gillard and Okonjo-Iweala explore their own biases and those of the world around them. There’s a nice mixture of individual experience and research. I particularly enjoyed the exploration dependent on the country. Through the book the authors raise their own hypotheses about the dilemmas that face women in power and then work to prove or disprove. There were times I felt lik A book to inspire future leaders. I enjoyed the perspectives across different countries, political beliefs, and privileges. Gillard and Okonjo-Iweala explore their own biases and those of the world around them. There’s a nice mixture of individual experience and research. I particularly enjoyed the exploration dependent on the country. Through the book the authors raise their own hypotheses about the dilemmas that face women in power and then work to prove or disprove. There were times I felt like I was reading a repeat of a number of other gender focused books - but on reflection, if nothings changes then these books will keep being written. The book concludes with a summation of each chapter and a sort of ‘guide’ for women seeking leadership roles. It also includes a section directing men how they can be a part of the change. This was a great read, gently delivered with real thought provoking content. And it made me more sure that Jacinda Arden is one of the best people alive right now.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sheri Hopsy

    I liked this book for the advice it offered. It’s lessons sneak up on you. At first giving the life experiences of a group of successful women, then hypothesising about why their experiences are so gendered and finally, what I found most interesting are suggestions to affect change. The idea that the “black widow” - single territorial female was a product of scarcity of roles and not defensive competition reduced the reflective guilt and gave me space to think - “well how can I give back now”. L I liked this book for the advice it offered. It’s lessons sneak up on you. At first giving the life experiences of a group of successful women, then hypothesising about why their experiences are so gendered and finally, what I found most interesting are suggestions to affect change. The idea that the “black widow” - single territorial female was a product of scarcity of roles and not defensive competition reduced the reflective guilt and gave me space to think - “well how can I give back now”. Let’s not forget a 2013 Conservative party function menu listed a course as: “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail - Small Breasts, Huge Thighs and a Big Red Box". This referred to the PM. Her eloquent “misogyny speech” is one of Australia’s most watch videos: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fCNuPcf... Nothing much has changed in Australia if your following our news.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Sadly, Angela Merkel didn't (couldn't? wouldn't?) take part in this collection of experiences of female political leaders. Sadly, as far as I know, she never spoke publicly about the hardship she had to endure as a woman in her position. As her political career is coming to an end, I really hope that she will use her unique position to talk about her experiences as a woman. Sadly, Angela Merkel didn't (couldn't? wouldn't?) take part in this collection of experiences of female political leaders. Sadly, as far as I know, she never spoke publicly about the hardship she had to endure as a woman in her position. As her political career is coming to an end, I really hope that she will use her unique position to talk about her experiences as a woman.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Bateman

    Inspiring accounts from female leaders around the world. Interesting insights into the women’s journeys into leadership and how they differ from their male counterparts’ experiences. All of the women featured are extraordinary but it’s clear to see we’re still a long way from gender equality.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Davis

    4.5 stars! Oh this was such an excellent book! I absolutely loved learning about all the different women leaders and how they overcame lots of obstacles to achieve what they have. I especially enjoyed learning about the leaders (and their countries) that I am not overly familiar with. Some of the content in this book was quite shocking to read and it shows that we have a long way to go in terms of equality. Loved Julia & Ngozi’s humour and insight !

  22. 5 out of 5

    Millie May

    Such a brilliant and empowering book! Highly recommend!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gülsüm

    This is a much needed book for today's society where sexism permeates literally (and annoyingly) every aspect of our lives! The book offers an eye-opening perspective into the absurd and seemingly petty things women (and such accomplished female leaders) are subject to put up with in making their way through the world. Quite a few things mentioned in the book reminded me of the following podcast which I cannot recommend enough: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast.... Similar to the book, it to This is a much needed book for today's society where sexism permeates literally (and annoyingly) every aspect of our lives! The book offers an eye-opening perspective into the absurd and seemingly petty things women (and such accomplished female leaders) are subject to put up with in making their way through the world. Quite a few things mentioned in the book reminded me of the following podcast which I cannot recommend enough: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast.... Similar to the book, it touches on the likability of women as opposed to men in their assertiveness and the 'a bit of a bitch' hypothesis. In shedding light onto these issues, Soraya Chemaly in the podcast concludes that we must de-gender emotions and our way of associating assertiveness with men and frowning upon assertive (or aggressive or touchy or emotional or sensitive or thin-skinned according to societal standards) women because supposedly that's inorganic. And I could not agree more! I would have loved to see an exploration of intersectionality and, particularly, the ways in which sex intersects with other social identities. The authors, Julia and Ngozi, mention this briefly and highlight that this is an area the book does not delve into. So, I'd love to see more books unpacking this. As the authors hope, I, too, hope that one day, we find that we live in a world based on merit rather than any social categorisations or stereotypes. ('Find' implies that coincidentally a world as such would emerge and seems to discount the effort of all these female leaders in the book and out of the book so I think it'd be more fitting to say 'build'.) "We each hope that the youngest girls and boys in our families will inherit a world in which leaders are selected or elected based on fair evaluations of their wisdom and capacity." It certainly is a book I will come back to time and time again!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Holstein

    Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala present a well-written, research-backed set of hypotheses and actions around the theme of women leaders. I admit I didn't know much about women political leaders in Africa and South America prior to this book, and this was a great introduction to their achievements and experiences. While not claiming at all to solve the world's problems, Julia and Ngozi raise fantastic points for further thought and practical advice for aspiring leaders. "Sexism, shaming and Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala present a well-written, research-backed set of hypotheses and actions around the theme of women leaders. I admit I didn't know much about women political leaders in Africa and South America prior to this book, and this was a great introduction to their achievements and experiences. While not claiming at all to solve the world's problems, Julia and Ngozi raise fantastic points for further thought and practical advice for aspiring leaders. "Sexism, shaming and silencing all exist, so plan your reaction to them now" is good advice given who holds political power in today's world.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy Ursula

    I loved reading about each individual's leadership stories! The organisation of the chapters was great, but I didn't find every one of them wholly captivating. As soon as I started alternating this book with another I found it easier to digest. I think that Julia & Ngozi have done an incredible job gathering data & opinions, and feel this will be a very useful read for women hoping to enter into the political arena! I certainly learnt something from it & enjoyed lots of side research into the the I loved reading about each individual's leadership stories! The organisation of the chapters was great, but I didn't find every one of them wholly captivating. As soon as I started alternating this book with another I found it easier to digest. I think that Julia & Ngozi have done an incredible job gathering data & opinions, and feel this will be a very useful read for women hoping to enter into the political arena! I certainly learnt something from it & enjoyed lots of side research into the themes & events they mentioned!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    This is a book that is worth reading for men and women, boys and girls. A short but succinct book. Each chapter packs a wealth of theories, evidence and anecdotes. The famous names listed drew me to the book but I came away with more than I bargained. Even if you are not interested in politics it leaves you with food for thought, and inspires an everyday person to think about and question gender inequality.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Taylor

    It was really interesting to hear the views and experiences of female leaders with respect to the questions that Julia and Ngozi posed in order to test their hypotheses about women and leadership. Some of the issues that women face as part of their professional roles are just so frustrating and unbelievable in this day and age. If these experiences can help to bring the issues to the fore and help to counter them, then that would be great.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jojo Kenn

    I loved this book! It’s written in an easy, conversational style, which I wasn’t expecting. It selves into their owns lives as well as the lives of those amazing women interviewed. A must read for everyone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Chase

    So important!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Briony

    What an interesting read. I've never read a book featuring so many strong, powerful women before but I am glad to say I have now. The sense of empowerment I feel from hearing experiences (which weren't always happen) from women in 'high' positions is beyond me. There is a certain type of happiness that comes from women supporting other women. Women and Leadership provides an insight into the lifestyles, experiences and challenges of 10 women who have held or currently hold a position of leadershi What an interesting read. I've never read a book featuring so many strong, powerful women before but I am glad to say I have now. The sense of empowerment I feel from hearing experiences (which weren't always happen) from women in 'high' positions is beyond me. There is a certain type of happiness that comes from women supporting other women. Women and Leadership provides an insight into the lifestyles, experiences and challenges of 10 women who have held or currently hold a position of leadership (not necessarily just government). I personally am not educated on who each of these women are but having read this book, I have a brief insight and want to further my research into this. If you're interested in educating yourself in some important women, you could do the same! 😉 I want to note that these women are from all across the world from the UK, US, NZ, AUS to Malawi and Liberia etc. It also expands on these experiences and raises questions and provides factual statements (based on studies) around women in leadership and the concurrent factors (e.g. relationships, children, men). When beginning this novel I thought it would be more factual based. Yes there are a lot of facts thrown at you but it's not the boring statistics every page type. You get facts and opinions/perspectives (what these women have seen and how they have processed it/how it's affected them). Not everything is based on studies but a mere observation over many many years, a thought when analysing something or just something to throw into the air (food for thought). This book gave me an insight into perspectives i've never really thought about and a starting point to exploring more. I wouldn't say this is the most informative book, I definitely feel as though there are more things to address in regards to women in leadership but you would probably need about 1000+ pages for full analysis... A good read to start a conversation, to begin to acknowledge and understand for both men and women. The first part of change is learning/acknowledging. To give you a bit of an insight into this book I leave you with some interesting facts: - "Only 57countries out of the 193 nations that are members of the United Nations have ever had a woman hold the highest political office with executive power in their nation whether that be Prime Minister or President" - Globally, for every $1 men earn, women earn 63c and some topics I want you to think about... - If a male did the same thing as a female would they receive the same consequences? - Gender stereotypes still exist in homes that give equal opportunities to their kids/family despite gender. - Women as a whole express less confidence than men. Is this linked to gender stereotypes? Does this hinder a woman's ability to push past these barriers? I could go on forever about this book/topic because it interests me but these are just a few points I got from this book. 4/5 ⭐️ I would have probably liked more proven statistics to back their statements for this to be a 5 star read...regardless, I enjoyed learning.

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