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Although the gender gap in leadership still exists, women are increasingly moving into supervisory and managerial positions. Research estimates that nearly three in 10 revenue-generating leadership positions will be held by women by February 2024. While this percentage may be low, it shows some progress toward gender equality at the highest rungs of the corporate ladder. This is exactly the kind of progress needed to reduce the persistent gender pay gap.

Women deserve the chance to enter the leadership world if that is their goal. After all, they bring unique skills, insights and experiences that can be invaluable to any company. And that’s not just an opinion. The American Psychological Association recently looked at scientific studies that support the role of women in leadership positions. The research found that companies that brought women into leadership roles saw improvements in many areas, including performance, teamwork and employee engagement through greater loyalty.

What’s the secret behind the innate power that women leaders bring? To answer these questions and more, read the inspirational and advice-packed books of some of today’s rising female superstars.

1. Amanda Hammett — How to have difficult conversations

Whether you are a director, vice president or CEO, uncomfortable discussions are part of everyday working life. However, it is not always easy to master “tough conversations”. How to have difficult conversationsKeynote speaker and celebrated “millennial translator” Amanda Hammett explains how to approach this aspect of leadership effectively and compassionately. Co-written with her husband Gene Hammett, the book serves as a practical guide that offers practical, actionable advice for leaders.

This book is a lifesaver in the workplace, especially if you’ve been avoiding a difficult conversation with a colleague. As the co-authors point out, avoidance is a common problem – and it can be costly. The book tells the cautionary tale of the leader of a fast-growing organization who kept putting off a difficult conversation with a department head. His unwillingness to act immediately ended up costing the company $250,000 – all because he didn’t feel confident enough to tackle difficult conversations.

Even if you don’t hesitate when a warning sign pops up, you may not be communicating your message effectively. In this case, Hammett’s book can be a great help. The book lays out specific ground rules for communication, including how to meet others halfway and not assume their reactions or intentions.

2. Bonnie Hammers — 15 Lies Women Are Told in the Workplace: … and the Truth We Need to Succeed

Bonnie Hammer has been successful in the tough, male-dominated entertainment industry for decades. And she has learned a lot along the way. In 15 Lies Women Are Told in the Workplace: … and the Truth We Need to Succeedshe challenges female readers to abandon the misconceptions they have been told about “success” in their careers. Hammer argues that the longer you cling to the myths about career advancement, the harder it will be to reach your true potential.

A huge benefit of engaging with Hammer’s book is that you get a very affordable taste of her master class sessions. In fact, with each chapter, you’ll be able to slowly reduce your reliance on outdated leadership advice and replace it with Hammer’s proven practices.

Although Hammer writes clearly and succinctly, she also infuses her work with heart and humor. Consider this book your personal guide to getting into the leadership position you dream of—without getting lost in the web of workplace lies and half-truths that women all too often fall for.

3. Jemma Roedel — She thinks like a boss

Want to be a boss but keep getting overlooked for advancement opportunities? Maybe you’re not giving off the “boss vibes” that tell you you’re ready to take the reins. Respected author Jemma Roedel has the answer: Learn to think and act like a leader so you can get interviewed and eventually promoted to management positions.

Through She thinks like a bossRoedel shows you how to navigate the world of leadership with an intuitive, results-oriented approach. She effectively explains methods for developing the traits and skills that will help you stand out and get promotions. If you already manage one or more direct reports, you’ll gain instant knowledge that you can immediately apply to motivate your team.

Roedel uses a tried-and-tested technique in her book: She first examines skills that other female leaders have used to rise rapidly to the executive ranks. Then she shows you clearly and concisely how you can do the same.

4. Morra Aarons-Mele — The Fearful High Performer: Turn Your Biggest Fears Into Your Leadership Superpower

Anxiety can quickly derail your career, take away your confidence in an instant, and make you feel out of control of situations in the workplace. Podcast celebrity and leadership guru Morra Aarons-Mele wants to help you turn your anxiety into a trait. That’s why The Fearful High Performer: Turn Your Biggest Fears Into Your Leadership Superpower focuses heavily on teaching you how to manage your fears to achieve your goal.

Aarons-Mele first asks you to discard everything you’ve heard about anxiety, including the assumption that it’s somehow abnormal. Most people are anxious, including leaders. But if you’re able to identify your anxiety profile, you can begin to recognize your triggers and develop healthier coping behaviors. Over time, by being proactive, you can reduce the hold anxiety has on you.

This doesn’t mean you’ll never experience anxiety again, but you have the tools to move forward as a competent, strong leader. And best of all, you may be able to become a supportive role model for other aspiring female leaders on your team who are held back by their intuitive stress responses.

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