Real Lives, Real Lessons
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.
As a result of 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 who lead.
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.
“I have met some of these women and their candour is a treat. They discuss their childhood, families, ambitions, successes and obstacles. They decry the double standards that hold women back, including being judged on appearance, marital and parental status, age and race. This book is worth reading for the insights into these remarkable women – a dream dinner party guest list – but the authors also examine the statistics, the biases (conscious and unconscious) and the structural obstacles that face women. This book demands that we never make assumptions about leadership based on gender. And the authors provide 10 useful tips for aspiring women leaders of all ages. Gillard and Okonjo-Iweala want women to persevere in their ambitions, but believe they need to be aware of the obstacles; they should create networks and mentor and support other women. The authors' truth-telling will forewarn the next generation of leaders.”
Natasha Stott Despoja, The Age