The most comprehensive resources for Gender Lens Investing
- Gender Lens Impact Investing (Wharton Social Impact)
- Top Reports on Women & Girls (The Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation)
- Gender Lens Investing Resources (Criterion Institute)
- Gender Lens Investing Resources (excellent summary of investment options & resources)
Most books I read are referred by friends. If you see your book, thank you—reading it enhanced my understanding of a topic and has made me a better global citizen.
“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance
I read J.D.’s struggle-filled story as a means of better understanding the people of the disenfranchised Rust Belt that rallied behind Donald Trump. As one who grew up and out of hillbilly culture, J.D.’s viewpoint is bold and insightful: economic insecurity is less the issue; the larger one of is hillbilly culture itself.
“Impact With Wings: Stories to Inspire and Mobilize Women Angel Investors and Entrepreneurs” by Suzanne Andrews, Jagruti Bhikha, Karen Bairley Kruger, Christine Emilie Lim, Wingee Sin, Hana Yang, and contributions from Geri Stengel and Susan Preston
My wish is for every woman to own the title of “investor.” Angel investing is one way we can impact the future. By sharing stories of their own individual angel investing journeys, these women hope to impact yours.
“Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, & Finding Joy” by Sheryl Sandberg
I’ll never forget reading Sheryl’s Facebook post 30 days after the sudden death of her husband. It was like viewing an open wound, beautiful in its honesty. This book fills in the rest of the story. It’s pure Sheryl Sandberg, in the most important kind of leadership.
“The Seventh Day” by Yu Hua
A satirical novel which tells the life story of character Yang Fei in life and death. Through a blend of darkness and humor, it’s a critique of the government corruption and obsession with consumerism that is contemporary Chinese society.
“Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese
Whenever I told someone I would be traveling to Ethiopia, the most common question was “Did you read Cutting for Stone?” This 650 page novel is not a quick read, but it weaves Ethiopia’s history into the lives of memorable characters who will always remain with me.
“Changing My Mind” by Margaret Trudeau
Inspired by the true leadership of Justin Trudeau as the Prime Minister of Canada, my Canadian friend lent me the memoir of his mother, Margaret. I now have context for Justin’s upbringing, but also a deeper understanding of the struggles of mental illness.
“Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t” by Simon Sinek
In his follow-up to “Start With Why” (read that book first), Simon credits leaders’ building of a Circle of Safety to being the secret to stable, adaptive, confident teams.
“My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth” by Wendy Simmons
I relate to Wendy: travel obsessed, curious, sarcastic, and business minded. She had to get to North Korea “before it changed.” No worries, it’s not changing anytime soon. Now you don’t have to go at all. Just read Wendy’s hilarious tales of “Sh– That Might Be Real.”
“Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek
Simon shares the Golden Circle of WHY, HOW, and WHAT that is now part of my everyday thinking and language. As Simon suggests sharing with others, I share. Connecting people and ideas globally is my WHAT, but a belief that global experiences change your perspective is my WHY.
“Strength in What Remains” by Tracy Kidder
Deo’s story weaves together what I understand of the Rwandan genocide, what I didn’t know about related events in Burundi, and New York City in the mid-1990s. An incredible and inspirational tale.
“The Essentialist: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown
In reading this book, I realized that there was a name to a philosophy I’ve been practicing. Essentialism is about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives.
“The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict” by the Arbinger Institute
Said my friend struggling with a workplace conflict, “Reading the book has completely changed my perception and I am hopeful that I can get the others to read it as well.” Similar ideas from Conscious Leadership (below), taught in a different way.
“Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” by Katherine Boo
Through a beautiful narrative, one meets colorful characters and is reminded that there is one incentive we all have—to provide a better life for our families.
“Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown
Vulnerability is not weakness. In fact, it’s our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. Even if you don’t read the book, check out her TED Talks.
“Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa” by Dambisa Moyo
A Zambian-raised economist, Dr. Moyo asserts that structural aid from developed Western governments to Africa has actually diminished African countries’ economic growth rate. While conclusion-supporting data is always time-period dependent, I agree with Dambisa on the disincentives caused by repeated handouts (emergency and NGO aid is a different story).
“In Defense of a Liberal Education” by Fareed Zakaria
My favorite quote: “The central virtue of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to write, and writing makes you think.” Fareed is one of my favorite thinkers and writers.
“The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success” by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman & Kaley Warner Klemp
Jim is one of several coaches who’ve made a profound impact on my life. While none of the book’s concepts were new for me, the book allowed me to appreciate my growth and identify where I still want to improve. If you are truly committed to being a better leader, employee, partner, parent and friend, start here.
“Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum” by Kennedy Odede & Jessica Posner
It’s the most unlikely of love stories–Kennedy is from Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya, and Jessica is from Denver. Individually and together, they defy conventions. Their story of fighting hopelessness and transforming the lives of Kenya’s most vulnerable girls is one you’ll never forget.
“Left to Tell” by Immaculee Ilibagiza
I wanted to understand the Rwandan genocide from a personal account. Immaculee’s tale was harrowing and honest; her ability to forgive will forever inspire me. A must read if visiting Rwanda.
“A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
You don’t need to be Bill Gates to make the world a better place. There are many innovative ways that each of us can make a difference. Through inspirational examples, be forewarned that an idea will likely hit you.
“The Path Between the Seas” by David McCullough
Read in conjunction with our adventure trip to Panama, this tale put the feat of French and American efforts to build a canal through a jungle into context. One of the many books I’ve read as an adult that fill in the holes from high school history.
“Running for My Life – One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games” by Lopez Lomong
From a barefoot lost boy of Sudan’s civil war to the U.S. Olympics, Lopez’s tale feels more inspirational novel than true story. An easy-to-read page turner, one can’t help being inspired to dream, work hard, and never give up.
“The Soul of Money” by Lynne Twist
My husband gave a signed copy of this book to me years ago, and I was thrilled to finally read it before seeing Lynne speak. Our “money culture” trains us in the scarcity mindset, and the belief that we never have enough. Similar to Lynne, I believe a healthy relationship with money is key in self-awareness and acceptance.
“A Thousand Hills to Heaven” by Josh Ruxin
An inspiring memoir that makes me wonder “could my husband and I do that?” while returning me to the remarkable people that are Rwanda. Hearing Josh and wife Alissa’s backstory, the memories of our tree tomato cosmopolitans and entrees at their Kigali restaurant Heaven are even sweeter.
“Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder” by Adrianna Huffington
A friend invited me to see Adrianna speak in San Francisco in March 2014. It was the launch of her book tour, and the day that crystalized what success really means for me (hint: it’s beyond money and power). Reading this book a year into my “third metric” exploration made it even more meaningful.
“The Big Leap” by Gary Hendricks
Gary is regularly referred to by Jim Dethmer and his partners at the Conscious Leadership Group. The idea that we often hold ourselves back by subconsciously setting “upper limits” is worth exploring.
“The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed up to Win Sailing’s Greatest Race, the America’s Cup” by Julian Guthrie
Having become obsessed with the 2013 America’s Cup (and Emirates Team New Zealand) during its San Francisco run, I was curious as to how “the greatest comeback in sports history” by Oracle Team USA came to be.
“Creating Room to Read” by John Wood
Following “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World,” John continues the story of how education non-profit Room to Read scaled globally. With many great lessons, I’ve gifted this book to several corporate and non-profit leaders. Room to Read is my favorite non-profit, and John and CEO Erin Ganju are among my favorite leaders.
“The Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly
This book is not about companies adding an org chart box titled “Dream Manager.” A clever parable, this quick-read will make you think differently about your life, your role as a leader, and the productivity of your organization.
“The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time” by Bob Harris
A travel writer takes the earnings from a plump magazine assignment, lends them to deserving entrepreneurs through Kiva.org, and travels the developing world to tell their stories. A primer in micro-lending mixed with feel-good inspiration.
“Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg
I didn’t think I’d have much to learn from this book—I was already leaning in! But there was something about knowing that a superstar like Sheryl struggled with some of the same inane issues as a senior woman that I did that made me feel less alone.
“The Paradox of Success: When Winning at Work Means Losing at Life” by John R. O’Neill
John apparently lives over the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, CA. When a friend described John as his mentor and recommended this book, I ordered it immediately. For me, it was an important book, at a critical time.
“Son Of A Postman: Delivering Straight Talk on Managing Fluffers, Bullies and the Rest of the Team” by Kevin R. Alger
Having overlapped for 12 years in our division of JPMorgan, Kevin and I met on a magical June morning in New York and bonded over visions of post-investment industry life. If you’ve managed people, especially in investment management, particularly at JPMorgan, this is a fun read.
“State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett
The New York Times described this novel as “a kind of reverse ‘Lord of the Flies.’” Several fictional pharmaceutical executives pulled me deep into their drama in the Amazon basin, and I had a hard time putting this book down.
“Tomorrow’s World: A Look at the Demographic and Socio-Economic Structure of the World in 2032” by Clint Laurent
I saw this Australian demographer speak at a global CFA conference. Appealing to my love of humor and analytics, Clint points out that policy and social changes can quickly impact demographics. This means that some of the global trends that we take as givens may, in fact, not be.