Women have had to work twice as hard to stand out and be respected in the corporate space —and it is even more so for Black women, who are at the intersection of race and gender stereotypes.
Tokunboh Ishmael, co-founder of Alitheia Capital, mentioned in a recent interview her experiences with discrimination and exclusion where she was ‘overlooked to the benefit of male colleagues, and sometimes Caucasian female colleagues’
These experiences are not novel for black women in professional spaces who always have to be on guard as one mistake might be career-damaging.
However, black female professionals who came before us and have successfully scaled through the corporate space and come out on top are eager to share tips, strategies and best practices that worked for them: through classes, mentorship programs and books!
In this article, we’ll be listing some of these books available for a career girl to come out on top as a black female professional.
1. A Techie’s Guide Into Big Tech Companies — Chisom Nwokwu
Chisom Nwokwu is a software engineer at Tech giant, Microsoft. After announcing the commencement of her new role, she was flooded with questions across all social media platforms on how it happened.
In this book, she breaks down he process into a step-by-step guide that covers everything from personal branding to applications and interview preparations. The book also contains several contributions from black female professionals who work at tech companies like Google, Meta, and Twitter.
2. The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table — Minda Harts
Most business books provide a one-size-fits-all approach to career advice that overlooks the unique barriers that women of color face. In The Memo, Minda Harts offers a much-needed career guide tailored specifically for women of color.
Drawing on knowledge gained from her past career as a fundraising consultant to top colleges across the country, Harts now brings her powerhouse entrepreneurial experience as CEO of The Memo to the page. With wit and candor, she acknowledges “ugly truths” that keep women of color from having a seat at the table in corporate America. Providing straight talk on how to navigate networking, office politics, and money, while showing how to make real change to the system, The Memo offers support and long-overdue advice on how women of color can succeed in their careers.
3. Thrive Through It — Brittany N. Cole
Thrive Through It is a powerful, practical, and paradigm-shifting guide that will help you cultivate resilience to journey through change, challenge, and loss in your life, career, or business.
Brittany Cole is a Career and Inclusive speaker, Coach and consultant who believes that every experience is an opportunity for continuous improvement. According to her, thriving isn’t only about what’s happening to you. It’s also about how you’re learning, reimagining, and reinventing through it.
“Through my own losses and experiences, I’ve learned what it means to navigate change, challenge, and loss with authenticity, curiosity, purpose, and courage.”
4. Meeting Your Power: Returning Home To Yourself — DJ Zinhle, Nokubonga Mbanga
Being an empowered woman is more than just doing, it is also about being. This book will show you how to look at power differently and will help you to unleash and harness your inner power with honest, simple and practical examples and advice. Most importantly, you will learn that your greatest empowerment project is being authentically you, every day.
5. Black Girl Finance — Selina Flavius
Selina Flavius is a London-based Senior Account Exec who created and runs the coaching platform Black Girl Finance. According to Cosmopolitan, “This accessible and non-preachy guide […] is the finance guide you’ll keep passing around your friends”
Selina Flavius created Black Girl Finance to address the unique difficulties Black women face due to the gender and ethnicity pay gaps. Since we literally can’t afford to wait for change, we need to start changing things up for ourselves. From challenging money mindsets to teaching key skills, such as how to set up an emergency fund and where to start with budgeting, investing and saving, Black Girl Finance provides a safe space for a community of unapologetic, ambitious, money-minded women to get real about their finances.
6. Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies For Thriving in The Workplace — Carla Harris
Carla A. Harris is a senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley. She has been the recipient of many awards honoring business professionals, including Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America, Essence magazine’s 50 Women Who Are Shaping the World, and Black Enterprise’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.
In her first book, Expect to Win, she shares advice, tips, and strategies for surviving in any workplace environment. While climbing the corporate ladder, Harris had her own missteps and celebrated numerous victories. She vowed that when she reached senior management, and people came to her for advice, she would provide them with the tools and strategies honed by her experience.
7. Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual — Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Luvvie Ajayi is a New York Times bestselling author known for her trademark wit, warm voice, and exceptional integrity. But even she’s been challenged by the enemy of progress known as fear.
With humor and honesty, and guided by the influence of her inspiring and professional troublemaking grandmother, Funmilayo Faloyin, Luvvie walks us through what we must get right within ourselves before we can do the things that scare us; how to use our voice for a greater good; and how to put movement to the voice we’ve been silencing–because truth-telling is a muscle. The point is not to be fearless. It is to know we are afraid and to charge forward regardless, to recognize the things we must do are more significant than the things we are afraid to do. This book shows you how she’s done it, and how you can, too.