Women and Leadership: my summer literacy journey

I’ve decided that I am going to take a literary journey this summer. I am always interested in contemporary feminist writing, especially those that delve into the topics of women and leadership in the American workplace. Something that has always bothered me is that many business books do not address are the nuance of gender equity. I know instinctively that more women in leadership positions are good for the bottom line. But until I read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women Work and the Will to Lead in 2013, I had rarely heard someone describe the vulnerability of what it feels like to be that woman.

I read about leadership to better understand the theory and practice, but also the personal struggle, to better understand how I demonstrate my own leadership in my professional and personal life. It is part of my own personal reflection about how my day-to-day work can have the influence I want to have. As an architect who can be sometimes the only woman in the conference room, on a construction site, on a panel, or giving a presentation, I am aware that I represent more than just my professional experience. This is why I actively seek out leadership books authored by women when I can–to help me become more article and aware of the barriers, opportunities, and create an environment for future gender equity.

So, my challenge to myself this summer is to read through some recently released business, leadership, or feminist books written by women and post thoughts along the way. Some of these have direct connection to architecture; some do not. This is a list curated by me, but I am open to future suggestions.

My preliminary list with a goal to post every two weeks for the summer of 2017:

I do not yet know what I will discover or learn. That is why is will be a journey. If I sense that I need a good venting session, I might just request Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work from the public library and see how deep that goes. (I’m not willing to pay for that book.) Feel free to follow along and jump in with comments when inspired.


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Emily is an Architect, Mother of 2, and Somerville, MA resident.

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