Six book recommendations for International Women’s Day
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
“Is this really what life can offer my daughter? ” That’s how I felt a few years ago. I felt sad and confused that Feminism had become a dirty word and the long battle to reach gender equality seemed to have stalled.
Last year, as we all know, things really felt like they started to change. Women around the world marching and protesting together, women in Hollwood joining forces to topple misogynistic abusers of power, more men getting on board with what equality really means and what needs to change (a vital ingredient in my view)
This year, International Women’s Day feels like it’s not a standalone day but part of a bigger movement and hive of activity. I’ve recently been to a number of women’s networking events in London and the positive energy and determination has been palpable. (Fear not, they are not meetings of women plotting to conquer the world but positive spaces where we can overcome hurdles, support eachother, use our experiences and network for good – any often have a nice lunch and swap fashion tips!) It’s an exciting and important time and I now truly believe things will have taken another huge step forward for our daughters.
There are some great thought leaders out there and so today I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some of my favourite books that are shaping and shaking things up:
I’ve met way too many clients, friends and colleagues who have faced career conundrums as a result of motherhood (unfair redundancies, struggles with a lack of flexibility, justifying the gap in their CV after a child-led career break). I’ve always been amazed at the sheer volume of wasted talent and wanted to see something happen to tap into this market and help women fulfill their career aspirations. I was thrilled when a friend told me about She’s Back. I had the pleasure of meeting authors Lisa Unwin and Deb Khan on Tuesday at a brilliant event they ran at Mother London. Both were so naturally engaging, practical and positive. I walked away with the first chapter of their book and have my copy on preorder.
A huge challenge with women’s “issues” is that they cover so many different scenarios and every situation is individual. It’s so difficult to give advice that isn’t limited or one dimensional. Authors Alice Olins and Phanella Mayall Fine are fantastic at blending a ton of stats, plenty of practical easy-to-implement tips, as well as a love of fashion into their book. Their advice can be applied to corporate high fliers as well as owners of start ups and anyone in between. Their blog and Step up School are also fabulous resources for women today. I’ve gained so much from them already.
I guess the assumption is that everyone has read it. But if you haven’t then do. There’s a reason for the hype! Some of the points made in this book radically changed my perspective and approach.
A photography book: Strong is the new pretty
I spend A LOT of time thinking about how the images I make shape the way my clients/subjects view themselves, how society see women and what being a women means to young girls. I could write pages and pages on this topic.
I love photographer Kate T Parker’s hugely positive approach to presenting girls. Their strengths, talents, personalities and determination leap off the pages and inspires me in my journey as both a photographer and mother.
A novel: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
I read this on holiday in January and just bought it for my mum. I found it through stalking Reese Witherspoon’s posts and getting a list of all the books she has bought the tv/film rights for. What she is doing for women on screen is phenomenal and as we all know it’s great to read the book before watching the movie/box set.
This book is about a network of female spies in the World Wars. Based on real historical figures its a really fascinating read. I couldn’t put it down
And one for the kids – Fantastically Great Women Who Made History
I will be giving this to my daughter this evening as Women’s day gift (Ok, it’s actually just a happy coincidence on the date, it’s been sitting with my neighbour after a missed Amazon delivery!)
On my list: As a mum of 2 kids and owner of 2 businesses. I don’t get anywhere near the amount of time I would like to read. So these are the other books sitting patiently on my kindle … The Glass wall and The Beauty Myth
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