Summer Reading List 2019
Memoirs, Fiction, Non-Fiction & Self-Help Books for the Hard Working Woman
Which is why I went behind the scenes to dig up 13 thirst-quenching reads recommended by our team at PowerToFly that will keep you busy this summer.
From cyberpunk political thrillers and sci-fi adventures (with female protagonists!), to eye-opening memoirs and self-help books from diverse authors, we proudly present our summer reading list 2019 — in no particular order.
Let us know which book you decide to take on, or if you think we missed one!
"An amazing story, and truly inspiring. The kind of book everyone will enjoy. It's even better than you've heard."—Bill Gates
A PowerToFly top pick because: We were so moved by Tara's rebellious and inventive spirit! A woman with an unconventional family lifestyle, determined to change her perspective and overall world view. Tara's boldness, and drive to take responsibility for her own education, represents a real character we can learn from and develop with as the novel progresses.
"The second I finished The Bucket List, I hugged it. Like, literally. I clutched it to my chest and wailed." - Jenny, Goodreads
A PowerToFly top pick because: We fell in love with Georgia Clark when she sat down and chatted with us last year and shared some of her creative writing tips with our community. Her newest book, The Bucket List, is a fun, quick witted story about a serious topic - genetic predisposition to the BCRA1 gene mutation: the "breast cancer" gene, something more women should be talking about!
Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded her the National Humanities Medal for "championing the stories of an unsung history."
A PowerToFly top pick because: We recognize that there are so many stories that have been unjustly left out of our history books. These forgotten stories certainly have their effects on modern culture and influence the way tiny conversations are swallowed and transmuted into something else or shared and evolved into a healing dialogue. This lyrical piece of non-fiction brings to light a part of our culture, to spark a new conversation.
"I am grateful to Women Who Run with the Wolves and to Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. The work shows the reader how glorious it is to be daring, to be caring, and to be women. Everyone who can read should read this book."—Maya Angelou
A PowerToFly top pick because: This book is an excellent resource for those who feel as if they've lost their voice or are afraid to use it. An overwhelming response from our PowerToFly community comes from those who feel nervous, discouraged, or invisible in their current situation. Clarissa Pinkola Estés uses her medical knowledge and assorted roots to reveal how we can give territory and voice to the wild woman inside each of us.
"[Machado's] use of a vivid experimental lens to show women struggling for agency is startling."―The New Yorker
A PowerToFly top pick because: This is a collection of short stories that beautifully experiments with surreal, fantastical, and at times undeniably palpable narratives which aim to question unique experiences and perspectives of the contemporary and complicated women we know today. An investigation of intellect, identity, sex, gender, and mental health -- these stories may ring true for your neighbor or may be something you identify with on a more personal level.
A PowerToFly top pick because: As a daily quoted resource by the PowerToFly team, 'Becoming' has sparked a new confidence in our leaders who value the challenges Michelle Obama faced during her path to become one of the greatest leaders of all time. She candidly reveals the challenges women of color face, navigating the white-washed waters of the mighty systems that raise us and employ us. As citizens of the world and instigators of positive change, we find her story very insightful and encouraging as she unabashedly brings us to question how we can redesign the system of employment and acknowledge the root of one big challenge our free world is chasing: equal opportunity.
"Moms' family schedules don't always meld with a 9-to-5, in-office, 5-day-a-week job, which is why the advice here is critical, so mothers can keep caring for their children and gain financial stability."―Meredith Bodgas, Editor-in-Chief of Working Mother magazine
A PowerToFly top pick because: The most common questions we are asked at PowerToFly revolve around flexibility at work - we sat down and talked with Kathryn Sollmann about how to ask for a flexible job just a few months ago. This book outlines everything you need to know about asking for more flexibility - whether you're a job seeker, new parent, or someone looking for a little more "you" time.
"Science fiction for election nerds and for media geeks. I highly recommend it." ―BookRiot
A PowerToFly top pick because: While we anxiously await the next seasons of Black Mirror and The OA on Netflix, this book fills the gap with a complex and highly upbeat story that will totally consume you. Chances are, you'll be called to flip back and read again in order to fully understand this very SciFi (almost real) version of humanity. It's no surprise that as a reader, you're left with a very humanitarian outlook on the world - when she isn't writing, Malka Older holds her ground as a Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
"Nancy A. Shenker is a marketing innovator, brand-builder, writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed rule-breaker and gadget geek."
A PowerToFly top pick because: Nancy Shenker is just like us - a mom of two grown daughters with experiences from blogging to becoming the CEO of her own company. We loved hearing her '20 lessons over 40 years' and while the title may be a little provocative, the content is anything but. Nancy shares some real talk when it comes to dealign with hard topics at work, like building real professional relationships and how to approach finding a mentor.
"Better Allies demystifies the work of allyship in an actionable, approachable, and blame-free way. The book introduces key concepts necessary to effective allyship with concrete examples and case studies, and offers a myriad of positive actions we can all take on our journey to be better allies in our workplace and our personal lives." —Caroline Simard, PhD, Managing Director, Stanford VMWare Women's Leadership Innovation Lab
A PowerToFly top pick because: We can all become better allies. Karen Catlin gave us some really great tips (and one-liners!) for how you can respond to uncomfortable situations at work, and become a better ally to your peers and coworkers. We got a high level overview during our chat with Karen, but this book dives way deeper into how you can create a more inclusive environment at your company!
"Alexander is absolutely right to fight for what she describes as a "much-needed conversation" about the wide-ranging social costs and divisive racial impact of ourcriminal-justice policies."—Newsweek
A PowerToFly top pick because: We loved this quote from Michelle Alexander, civil-rights-lawyer-turned-legal-scholar "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." Michelle gives sight to the bigger discrimination issues our country is facing as we strike towards a new social movement.
[Babel-17] winner of the Nebula Award for best novel of the year, is a fascinating sci-fi thriller taking place in space and centering a woman leader protagonist.
PowerToFly picked because: Growing up burdened and bullied with questions about his bi-racial family and sexual identity, this powerfully written book by the self-proclamed black and gay Samuel R. Delany, is just what the literature world needs in a time of such strong discrimination. Written from an unexpected perspective, Samuel pushes the diversity meter up and empowers more authors to share their stories with confidence and flavor!
"A troubling testament to grit and mother love...While the story of her own achievement under grim, often violent circumstances is extraordinary, the reader is left feeling particularly grateful for [Chambers's] compassion." —The New Yorker
PowerToFly picked because: In this memoir with great lyricism, Veronica Chambers shares her story of the bond she had with her immigrant mother growing up an Afro-Latina woman from Brooklyn, New York. This novel touches on the hardship and triumph many women still face today - raising families or growing up with low income, and rising to the top. Now added to the required reading list for both colleges and high schools around the US - it's time for us to back-read!
Whether you're embarking on your first summer internship or taking your first vacation in over a year after founding your startup, these books are sure to keep your mind stimulated this summer.
Growing Your Career in Technical Support: 4 Tips for Getting Hired at Elastic from Support Director Heidi Sager
Heidi Sager loves math, but she also loves working with people.
She always has, which is why she enjoyed her part-time job working at the IT department of the University of Colorado while she was studying electrical engineering. (She'd started in computer science, but explains that it "wasn't for her" and switched her major.) She helped students and professors with word processors, basic programming, and software checkout, and took a full-time job after graduation as a UNIX system administrator.
Working at Relativity—the global tech company that equips legal and compliance professionals with a powerful data-organizing and discovery platform—looked different in 2020. The highly collaborative environment of their Chicago headquarters transitioned to a virtual setting, and just like companies around the country, Relativity adapted their goals and major projects to a completely remote environment.
Diversity Reboot 2021: The One Hundred Day Kickoff<p><strong>When</strong>: February 1-5, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free!</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://summit.powertofly.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>We had to include our own Diversity Reboot on our list of the best diversity and inclusion events to attend in 2021 because we know firsthand how the quality of 100+ expert speakers, the enthusiasm of 10,000 participants, and the cutting-edge tech that enables meaningful virtual networking and job fairs combine to create a truly epic five-day experience. This year, the theme 100 Day Kickoff harnesses the energy of the new government's first 100 days in office to help jump-start personal and professional plans to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces. </p><p>Following the February summit, we'll have a monthly series of smaller virtual summits on topics spanning everything from returnships to LGBTQ+ advocacy, so be sure to stay tuned for updates!<br></p>
The Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When</strong>: February 3-4, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hr.com/en/webcasts_events/virtual_events/upcoming_virtual_events/the-future-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-2021_kcxf8glq.html#detail" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This virtual conference put on by HR.com focuses on how social movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have pushed DEI at work beyond legal compliance and into a major factor of any company or brand's culture, employee engagement, and performance. Topics include how to uncover and resolve pay gaps across your team and hire top-level diverse talent.</p>
Workplace Revolution: From Talk to Collective Action<p><strong>When</strong>: March 8-12, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$820</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://cvent.me/ZQ4BbE" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>The Forum on Workplace Inclusion's 33rd annual conference includes 12 session tracks, from DEI Strategy to Social Responsibility, along with 59 workshops and daily networking sessions. This year's theme focuses on one question: "What will it take to start a workplace revolution that moves us from talk to action?"</p>
Diversity: How Employers Can Match Words With Deeds<p><strong>When</strong><strong>: </strong>May 19, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register</strong><strong>: </strong>Early bird registration is $49 and general admission is $149</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://hopin.com/events/may-virtual-conference-diversity-how-employers-can-match-words-with-deeds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Here</a></p><p>From Day One is hosting monthly conferences in 2021 focused on different ways for companies to foster strong relationships with their customers, communities, and employees. May's half-day virtual event is focused specifically on how companies can make diversity promises that don't fall flat and features workshops, panels, and a fireside chat.</p>
Hire with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion<p><strong>When:</strong> August 18, 2021</p><p><strong>Where: </strong>Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$195</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hci.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference-hire-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-august-18-2021" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This conference put on by the Human Capital Institute is one of 12 virtual conferences that HCI has planned for 2021. This one focuses on fair and inclusive talent acquisition, including how to attract diverse talent, implement inclusive hiring practices, and addressing bias in employee selection. Other conferences will focus on optimizing talent strategy, engaging employees, and developing your workforce.</p>
Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> September 26-29, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual, broadcast from Chicago, Illinois</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Was $799 for regular access to the virtual conference in 2020; 2021 pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://ghc.anitab.org/attend/registration/" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>Grace Hopper might be the best-known conference for women in tech. Through keynote presentations, networking sessions, job fairs, and community-building activities, vGHC reached over 30,000 women for their 2020 conference and are expecting even more in 2021! While not a conference focused exclusively on diversity and inclusion, many speakers plan to focus their talks on creating environments for women to thrive in the male-dominated tech field.</p>
Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> October 25-27, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual and in person in Austin, Texas as of now</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://conferences.shrm.org/inclusion" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>The Society for Human Resource Management's biggest conference of the year saw 1,200 DEI leaders participate last year; SHRM hopes to see even more come to learn, be inspired, and to walk away with a playbook of implementable strategies to create truly inclusive workplace cultures.</p>
AfroTech 2021<p><strong></strong><strong>When:</strong> November 8-13, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Early bird pricing is $149 for individuals and $249 for corporate attendees; regular pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://experience.afrotech.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>AfroTech is a conference hosted by Blavity, a tech media platform for Black millennials. It focuses on emerging tech trends, connecting Black talent with top tech recruiters, and providing networking and educational opportunities, with an overall goal of building a strong Black tech community. Over 10,000 people participated in 2020. While the conference isn't focused specifically on DEI, its main audience of Black tech talent is an important one to understand and to engage at work and beyond, and several speakers plan to focus on issues of race and inclusion at work. </p>
A Conversation with Vouch's Lead Designer Carrie Phillips