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Irina Chavlytko
Irina Chavlytko

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Books for tech women to read and reflect

I’ve been in tech for more than 15 years, but only recently I’ve started reflecting on my experience there as a women professional and sharing my thoughts with others. The questions I sometimes ask myself are: why do the meetings I participate usually have 10 men and only me as a woman? how did I convince myself that the part of the product I am responsible for is easier compared to those run by men? and why did I feel so miserable after giving a birth to my twins that I was about to quit my job?

I am happy to list the books I’ve read, as they’ve helped me to find some answers and inspire to continue. I am sure you’ll find a lot of insights in stories shared by different women, and you’ll be probably surprised to know you are not the only one who face some of the challenges.

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez (Amazon link)

Though not about tech in particular, this Sunday Times bestseller reveals how, in a world built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half of the population, sometimes with disastrous consequences. The authour brings together a range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the profound impact this has on us all. The book is described as “a book that changes the way you see the world.”

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (Amazon link)

The book was published in 2013, and since then has been criticised a lot for putting the responsibility on women to forge ahead on their own. Those days Sheryl Sandberg served as COO of Facebook, now Meta, a position from which she stepped down in August 2022. Despite criticism, “Lean In” is still a great book for women as it addresses the difficult choices and questions which women face during their work and personal life.

3 paragraphs on the book are devoted to balancing the family and work, while the rest are about how women can take charge of their own careers and push forward at a time when gender bias is more alive and well than most of us may want to admit.

Female Innovators at Work: Women on Top of Tech by Danielle Newnham (Amazon link)

The main idea behind was to tell the stories of women innovators who can become role models for students and women in tech, “by sharing them we might have a better chance of changing the face of tech, in terms of its history, as well as its future”. This book features 20 interviews with female innovators who have climbed to the very top of their career ladders within tech. It features Martha Lane Fox, Lynda Weinman, Gwynne Shotwell and more, and focuses on the different ways women have made it to the top of their professions and offers advice on how to achieve career goals.

The Adventures of Women in Tech by Alana Karen (Amazon link)

Alana has spent more than 20 years working in Google, being the tech company veteran and leader she wrote a book inspired by women she met in tech - women with diverse backgrounds, education and ambitions. The Adventures of Women in Tech delves into why women join tech, the challenges they face, and the skills and support they need to succeed and stay in an often challenging environment. In twelve chapters filled with intimate stories, insights, and advice from women working in technology companies and start-ups, Alana Karen demonstrates that we all belong in tech.

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