There are more women in business than ever before, and this provides some great opportunities. More balanced decision making and leadership, more diversity of thought in discussions and more thought leadership from women’s perspectives. Looking back over my 18 years in the publishing industry, I’m encouraged to see more women than ever before writing and publishing business books; however, it there is still a long way to go. The opportunity is there to speak up and be heard; now more women need to take advantage of it and get published.
Female business professionals, like all professionals, learn from mentors and role models. The majority of these role models who are speaking, writing and training others are male, which is just a reflection of historical behaviours and the numbers involved. Until a few decades ago, there simply weren’t as many women achieving great things in business.
Too many awards, conferences, lists of recommended books and social media articles are still dominated by men. Most of the time, it is not intentional. There are still fewer women who step up into the limelight to write and speak alongside their male counterparts. Therefore, they don’t spring to mind as often. However, leaving it to chance is not a good strategy. At this time, we should be putting a proactive focus on attracting more female authors of business books, to achieve that well-rounded perspective I mentioned earlier. It’s something we are doing unapologetically at my publishing company.
We all like to learn from people who have ‘been there and done it’ and whom we can respect and relate to. Many women want to read books written by people who have experienced similar challenges to them. I’ve interviewed hundreds of business women on this subject, and they all say they want to read more books written by women – not to the exclusion of books by men, but to add to those references.
The different angles and challenges presented by female authors tend to resonate with women in business – challenges such as juggling work and family, struggling with confidence, overt or subtle discrimination. Of course, people in many other social groups may also face the same issues, but it’s a known fact that a large percentage of women face these issues. And it could be that the thoughts shared by female authors could enlighten people from other groups.
Some fantastic success stories have been emerging lately, and they should be out there to inspire others. Women who have built businesses and careers definitely have enough to share with other women, and they have the same ability to write as the men. They simply need to take the first step and decide to put their thoughts out there.
Mindy Gibbins-Klein is a global thought leadership expert and founder of Panoma Press, REAL Thought Leaders and The Book Midwife®. Her latest book The Thoughtful Leader is available from Amazon and all good bookstores. Find out more at www.mindygk.com