Women and Leadership

Women and Leadership

Real Lives, Real Lessons

By Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

A powerful call to action for achieving equality in leadership.





A powerful call to action for achieving equality in leadership.

Women make up fewer than ten percent of national leaders worldwide, and behind this eye-opening statistic lies a pattern of unequal access to power. Through conversations with some of the world's most powerful and interesting women—including Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Michelle Bachelet, and Theresa May—Women and Leadership explores gender bias and asks why there aren't more women in leadership roles.

Speaking honestly and freely, these women talk about having their ideas stolen by male colleagues, what it's like to be called fat or a slut in the media, and what things they wish they had done differently. The stories they tell reveal vividly how gender and sexism affect perceptions of women as leaders. Using current research as a starting point, Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala—both political leaders in their own countries—analyze the lived experiences of these women leaders. The result is a rare insight into life as a leader and a powerful call to arms for women everywhere.


$29.95 T ISBN: 9780262045742 336 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$19.95 T ISBN: 9780262543828 336 pp. | 6 in x 9 in

For sale only in the US, Canada, or the Philippines.


  • "Much-needed, frank talk from exceptional female leaders about how they've dealt with sexism in the line of duty… each contributor is refreshingly open and candid about their experiences. The case for female leadership, they rightly note, is a moral one: People should see in leaders a reflection of the full diversity of society."

    Kirkus Reviews, KIRKUS STAR

  • “Full of practical advice and insights into the careers of a diverse and impressive array of women, this is a valuable handbook for putting more women in positions of power.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • "This remarkable exploration into women leaders—and why there aren't more of them—is an indispensable guide to addressing sexism and overcoming inequities."


  • “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.”

    Arts Review

  • "The ultimate lesson learned is that there is no “right way” to be a woman leader; all situations are unique and there are no specific set of rules for balancing work and personal endeavors...A thought-provoking study of women and leadership and an outstanding contribution to this topic."

    Library Journal, STARRED Review

  • "The authors leverage their positions for unprecedented access to powerful women, and they offer their own stories with humility and clear eyes. Their posture in the book is the perfect portrayal of women eschewing competition to support other women—one of the most vital themes examined in the book. Every page brims with admiration and respect for women in leadership, the difficulties they face, and the diverse gifts they offer. Despite the grim statistics about how few world leaders are women, the book is hopeful and encouraging. It showcases the resilience and determination of women leaders and the impact they have, bringing wisdom from a variety of disciplines, including neuroscience, psychology, and economics, to bear. Its ending calls out specific lessons for men, too, calling them to a supportive role for women leaders."

    ForeWord Review

  • “This book is worth reading for the insights into these remarkable women – a dream dinner party guest lis—but the authors also examine the statistics, the biases (conscious and unconscious) and the structural obstacles that face women.”

    Natasha Stott Despoja

    Sydney Morning Herald

  • "For women leaders, the path to power is never smooth nor does it follow a straight line...The renown all have achieved leads to much introspection and learning, resulting in hypotheses about their collective lives that ring all too true. The takeaways are simple yet complex, and bathed in contradictions: Is it possible to call out sexism as a female? How to balance mother guilt with work? What's the right way to be a woman leader? (There isn't just one.) Snapshots of the pathways to power."



  • “Women and Leadership is a powerful reminder that there is no limit to what women can accomplish when we have the chance. Written by two celebrated, trailblazing leaders, it is a deeply personal portrait of the obstacles women in politics have overcome and the barriers we still face. Every page of this book is brimming with candor, wisdom and humor—leaving the reader rightfully convinced that while women still have to try a little harder and fight a little longer, sooner or later we will get the job done.”

    Madeleine K. Albright

    the first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State