HR & Management

Business books are not just a boys game: Six titles written by impressive women

9 min read

07 March 2016

To celebrate International Women’s day on 8 March and to encourage women in business, Panoma Press found six books written by successful females in their respective career paths – here we unveil them.

In a recent article in The Guardian it was highlighted that 17 of the top business authors on Amazon were written by men, making business books a “boy’s game” – but Panoma Press found that several women are bucking the trend and empowering females in business through their books on marketing, leadership and law.

Here are the top six:

(1) “Watertight Marketing” by Bryony Thomas


Looks at: Business, finance, management, marketing

If you’re a small business owner fretting over a marketing strategy, Bryony Thomas’ book, “Watertight Marketing”, is a revelation. In simple terms, it talks you through a series of actionable steps to help your business get a grip on its marketing, plugging those all important leaks in the marketing funnel.

As well as being a marketing professional with an impressive background in consultancy, she is the founder of Clear Thought and Watertight Marketing.

According to Thomas there’s too much advice, and that’s the problem – it can be overwhelming. As a business owner, it’s knowing where to start. “You could probably spend a couple of years reading Copyblogger, and others, and get some phenomenal advice,” she said. “The problem is that if you haven’t got a structure in which to apply that advice, you’re probably doing things in the wrong order.”

As such, the book is all about tackling business fundamentals.


(2) “The Thoughtful Leader” by Mindy Gibbins-Klein 


Looks at: Leadership, management, entrepreneurship

Gibbins-Klein has extraordinary experience in international corporate business, having been a marketing consultant, motivational speaker and media personality. She also owns and runs Ecademy Press – a publishing house for business authors.

Tired of people throwing the term “thought leadership” around and using it to label unexceptional people and mediocre content, Mindy Gibbins-Klein sets out to define and introduce a new standard of idea generation and sharing. And one of her greatest philosophies is that everyone has in them the potential to be a revolutionary thinker.

“The most important benefit was not the destination but rather the journey,” she said of her book. “It was the real progress these clients made in clarifying their thinking, putting structure to their ideas and establishing a realistic and effective strategy to share those ideas that truly made the difference.”


(3) “What the PA knew” by Dawn Dixon


Looks at: Fictionalised account, legal, business

Having progressed quickly through the ranks of William Heath & Co at a young age, Jamaican-born Dawn Dixon created her own firm with another lawyer – Michael Webster. Webster Dixon became the first City law firm to be founded by black partners and was steered by Dixon for 15 years until Webster was found guilty of stealing £75,000 from their client account in order to invest in an associate’s diamond business. The firm went into voluntary liquidation.

Her book is a fictionalised recollection of her life as a black solicitor from childhood to her career as a lawyer, all told through the eyes of the personal assistants (PA) that have worked with her. The PA can make any boss look good or bad – a concept that is regularly picked up on by the press. 

One of the truly outstanding parts of the book is that the character faces numerous challenges and unveils the pitfalls that can befall any SME if leaders don’t keep a vigilant eye out.

Read on to find out about books spanning from the psychology of change to confidence building.

(4) “The Soul Mender” by Elizabeth James


Looks at: Counselling, motivation and mind, body and spirit

Elizabeth James is a professional care worker, councillor, TV host and motivational speaker. And as she has overcome her own adversities, her book details how jumping hurdles cannot be done without confidence. 

At the core of her book is that the primary fear in business is the fear of failing. While many successful business people have failed and will fail again, what makes them different to those who won’t take a risk is they either allow the time to examine a problem clearly, or approach the challenge in a heuristic fashion using past experience in a similar situation.

As such, “The Soul Mender” is about having people set goals in order to move forward. James suggested that sometimes in life we are thrown against the waves of life. “We either take the blow as the challenges increase, trying to stay focused, or lose control of life in the midst of the waves,” she said. “Depending on your choice, you are either the winner or you allow failure to choose for you.”


(5) “Choices” by Sarah Lane


Looks at: Coaching and training, business, management

Throughout the book, there are a selection of stories and tools that are practical, fun and useful for the reader to make better choices in their life, aiming to provide readers with a pragmatic approach to the psychology of change. 

Specialising in behavioural change, Lane said: “I think that my book is different from other books on the market because it is conversational in style, balances storytelling with science and the practicality of the tools. You can read it in any order and it’s easy to pick up and put down. The book is designed to suit the speed of life today. It uses straight talking, whilst also being comforting and supportive – like talking to a good friend.”

The message of the book is that whoever you are and wherever you start from, you have a choice – to step up and take responsibility for your life and to be true to who you are.


(6) “Real Leaders for the Real World” by Karen Meager and John McLachlan


Looks at: Training and consultancy, business, management

The founders of Monkey Puzzle Training Consultancy, which focuses is on supporting people to become leaders in their careers and their own lives, Karen Meager and John McLachlan’s book unpacks the psychological and behavioural traits of good leaders and shows how you can develop these traits and remain true to yourself and your own style.

Ironically, the concept for the business, according to McLachen, was born from the book. He said: “We help people to bring their own personality, skill and passion to whatever they do. We believe that when people are themselves, ie real, things flow more easily, life is less stressed and people can play to their strengths and let other people play to theirs. Our job is to help people do just that.”

Concerned with issues surrounding gender diversity in business? Don’t miss the Real Business First Women programme:

Drawing on years of the First Women movement and the phenomenal network of pioneering women the Awards has created, this programme features The First Women Awards and The First Women Summit  designed to educate, mentor and inspire women in all levels of business.