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Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  706 ratings  ·  80 reviews
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
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 12th 2020 by Adult Local Vintage
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Amy Ryan
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 womens
Jennifer (JC-S)
Women leaders all seem to be facing the same kinds of problems

This book, co-authored by Julia Gillard, Australias 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
Madelon North
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 theyre talking from
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
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
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.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Shirley Bateman
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Inspiring accounts from female leaders around the world. Interesting insights into the womens journeys into leadership and how they differ from their male counterparts experiences. All of the women featured are extraordinary but its clear to see were still a long way from gender equality. ...more
Gabriel Thomas
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Millie May
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
Such a brilliant and empowering book! Highly recommend!
Ee Cheng Ooi
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a much needed book for today's society where sexism permeates literally (LITERALLY and annoyingly) every aspect of living! The book offers an eye-opening perspective to 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 with dignity and integrity given the deep-seated gendered societal constructs.

Quite a few things mentioned in the book reminded me of the following podcast which I highly
Ella  Hart
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 didnt surprise me. It made me angry realising how many women turn ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership, women
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
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sharon Taylor
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read_in_2020
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.
Jojo Kenn
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Its written in an easy, conversational style, which I wasnt expecting. It selves into their owns lives as well as the lives of those amazing women interviewed. A must read for everyone. ...more
Kelly Chase
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So important!
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
I put this one aside at around 70% markI think its an interesting text in examining leadership styles and paths to leadership of several current female world leaders from several countries.

I particularly found myself interested in comments made by Ardern and the political climate in NZ, including her responses to both things she has faced as a leader in NZ but also whether politics is even an arena she would have entered if the climate in NZ was anything like how women in Australian politics
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Its easy to associate the recent political climate with feelings of incompetence and despair. Regardless of your partisanship, its difficult to ignore the sense of urgency that global issues such as climate change, refugee protection and escalating economic and health crises are pressing on the worlds citizens. Politicians usually cop the brunt of harsh judgements targeted at them when they try to problem solve. And to some extent, these harsh judgements are necessary for holding them to ...more
Amy Ursula
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
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
Yara Alzahid
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful and inspiring! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The lessons discussed truly resonated with me. Although the stories told in this book mainly focus on women politicians, the lessons learnt are transferable to any women who aspires to be a leader in any sector. This book can also be of vital importance to men so they can understand gender inequality, especially in leadership roles.
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,
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Regardless of whether you agree with the politics of the women featured in this book, this is an outstanding read. At once challenging and inspiring, this is meticulously researched but is still conveyed in a very authentic way.
A perfect fit in the For Children section, I thoroughly recommend passing it along to any older child/young teen of your acquaintance. The writing style is sufficiently simple (without being condescending) and subject matter engaging and vital, regardless of personal interest in politics. A composed and sympathetic compilation of powerful womens experiences from numerous cultural and educational backgrounds, this is not a hefty academic text but provides an exploration of what women leaders can ...more
Tiana Sixsmith
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to come back to this and review it, despite finishing it at the start of this month. My reasoning was that I wanted to see how it impacted me over the following weeks and whether I felt anything shift. The thing is, I think that everything shifted. There were so many elements to this story that I constantly found myself coming back to. The way women are portrayed in the media, the way we continually focus on clothing and looks over policy and merit, the way a woman who has ...more
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read for every woman and man in leadership, this book openly and honestly explores the challenges of raising up and being raised into leadership as women, in a world that has been defined by the powerful in terms of racism and sexism. Upholding the virtues of education for all people, the woman interviewed describe their rocky journeys through torture, imprisonment, ridicule and media crucifixion to arise triumphant in a world where equity and equality are growing values. An admirable ...more
Marles Henry
Leadership is a funny thing. It is sometimes the best opportunity in the world, and sometimes it is also the poisoned chalice. To lead is difficult enough as a woman, but to be recognised as a leader in such a role is both rewarding and brutal. Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala wrote Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons as a sharing of their experiences as leaders, and as a culmination of stories from fellow women in leadership roles. There is some theory, some research references, ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was delighted to stumble upon this book on my library audio shelf, but really had no idea of what to expect other than it involved stories from some significant world leaders, and was authored by a leader I highly respect (I dont think I even read the blurb!). That is perhaps why I felt a little disappointed that it was quite an academic, almost clinical approach to some important leadership issues for women, structured around a number of hypotheses. I probably would have enjoyed a more ...more
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the way this book was set out, with eight hypotheses which are then tested by the experiences of eight female political leaders as well as various research articles. I think most women could relate to the sentiments in each of the hypotheses, which include things like Women leaders end up losing valuable time on matters related to their appearance and Having children and being a leader plays out differently for women than it does for men. Whilst not all anecdotes throughout the book are ...more
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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria's Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015, and Foreign Minister in 2006. She was Managing Director of the World Bank from 2007 to 2011, overseeing South Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, and is currently Senior Adviser at Lazard and Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. She is the author of Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from ...more

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