How women rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith

How women rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith

How women rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith

by styleabille , March 22, 2020

Book Reviews

Within the same spirit of celebrating the month of women around the globe, we have read How Women Rise and chose to review it. Let us start by speaking about the authors rather than the book itself.

Sally is an internationally acclaimed speaker and consultant. Over decades, she has helped women unleash their potential at work. She authored six books including an incredible read for people who still do not believe that women run the world: The Female Advantage.

Dr Marshall is by far the most influential leadership expert. Our favorite pick is What Got You’re Here Won’t Get You There. Dr Marshall has not dedicated his career for women empowerment. Yet, over the years he observed – repeatedly – that what is hindering women may or may not be similar to the roadblocks of any high achiever; disregard their gender.

For long, we thought that Lean In (already reviewed on our blog) was a go-to book for all things related to the emancipation of women.

Not after reading this book!

The combined experience of the authors provide a comprehensive view to both the challenges that women face in the workplace and how to weather them to go to the next level. Oftentimes as one reads the book, she can relate to the (real) situations described in every chapter.

The book has three parts. In the first one, the authors shed light on the background and the context of the book. Surprisingly, it starts with questioning women themselves: they want to move forward and grow higher yet they, themselves, resist change.

The second part of the book is by far the most interesting as it goes into the details of twelve habits constraining women’s progression in the world of work

  1. Reluctance to claim achievements
  2. Expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward contributions
  3. Overvaluing expertise
  4. Building rather than leveraging relations
  5. Failing to enlist allies from day one
  6. Putting job before career
  7. Perfection trap
  8. Disease to please
  9. Minimizing
  10. Too much
  11. Ruminating
  12. Letter the radar distract women

The third and last part provides a thorough action plan to start rising! The authors speak about how to start with one habit at a time, the need for support, the importance of eliminating judgment against oneself and others.

This is a recommended book in the wake of the increasing challenges women face as they try to advance. As much as these challenges may be salient for women, they are not uniquely women’s behaviors! Increasingly, we come to realize that these are human behaviors that are likely to get in the way of women.

This book is an invitation to women who are oftentimes overly fearful of being seen as “too much” or “not enough”. The authors urge women from all walks of life not to back off prematurely and not to worry if they step over the line.


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    1. There’s no need to read the book: there’s plenty of advice in this well-written review!

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