Resources on Women’s Advancement in the Workplace

Illustration of three diverse women working at a table, representative of women's advancement.

To continue the commemoration of Women’s History Month, this week Toward Inclusive Excellence offers a resource list for understanding women’s advancement in the workplace. The suggested resources not only highlight skills and historical events that have been critical to women advancing in the workplace, but barriers to women’s advancement as well, spanning social class, race, sexuality, ability, and even broader economic issues that impact the workforce at large. At a time when women’s rights and DEIA efforts are regularly under threat, these resources are especially crucial.

  1. Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work (2016) by Gillian Thomas
  2. The Black Ceiling: How Race Still Matters in the Elite Workplace (2023) by Kevin Woodson
  3. The Class Ceiling: Why It Pays to Be Privileged (2019) by Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison
  4. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II, 20th anniversary ed. (2010) by Allan Bérubé
  5. Don’t Let Hybrid Work Set Back Your DEI Efforts” (2021) by Alexandra Samuel and Tara Robertson
  6. Equality on Trial: Gender and Rights in the Modern American Workplace (2016) by Katherine Turk
  7. The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It (2014) by David Weil
  8. Getting to Diversity: What Works and What Doesn’t (2022) by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev
  9. Girls and Women of Color In STEM: Navigating the Double Bind in K-12 Education (2020) edited by Barbara Polnick, Julia Ballenger, Beverly Irby, and Nahed Abdelrahman
  10. Glass Walls: Shattering the Six Gender Bias Barriers Still Holding Women Back at Work (2023) by Amy Diehl and Leanne M. Dzubinski
  11. Good Guys: How Men Can Be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace (2020) Dave Smith and W Brad Johnson
  12. How Well-Intentioned White Male Physicists Maintain Ignorance Of Inequity and Justify Inaction” (2022) by Melissa Dancy and Apriel Hodari
  13. Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping (2016) by Julie R. Posselt
  14. Managing Generation Z: How to Recruit, Onboard, Develop, and Retain the Newest Generation in the Workplace (2021) by Robin Paggi and Kat Clowes
  15. Mastering Community: The Surprising Ways Coming Together Moves Us from Surviving to Thriving (2022) by Christine Porath
  16. My Desire for History: Essays in Gay, Community, and Labor History (2011) by Allan Bérubé
  17. Older Women Who Work: Resilience, Choice, and Change (2020) edited by Ellen Cole and Lisa Hollis-Sawyer
  18. One Way to Reduce Gender Bias in Performance Reviews” (2019) by Lauren Rivera and András Tilcsik
  19. Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs (2015) by Lauren Rivera
  20. Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia (2020) edited by Yolanda Flores Niemann, Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, & Carmen G. Gonzalez
  21. Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (2012) edited by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Angela P. Harris
  22. Queer Career: Sexuality and Work in Modern America (2023) by Margot Canaday
  23. Race, Gender & the Double Glass Ceiling: An Analysis of EEOC National Workforce Data” (2020) by Tina Kim, Denise Peck, and Buck Gee
  24. Research: Gender Diversity on Start-Up Boards Is Worse Than You Think” (2019) by Lauren Rivera, Ann Shepherd, and Gené Teare
  25. Self-reflection in leadership – Part 1: Ambitions, Values and Personality” (2019) by Palena Neale
  26. Self-Reflection and Action in Leadership – Part 2: Thinking Styles, EI & Making it happen” (2019) by Palena Neale
  27. Tenure in the Sacred Grove: Issues and Strategies for Women and Minority Faculty (2002) edited by Joanne E. Cooper and Dannelle D. Stevens
  28. There may be some truth to the ‘gay jobs’ stereotype” (2016) by András Tilcsik, Michel Anteby, and Carly R. Knight
  29. What makes a good leader, and who gets to be one?” (2021) by F. Donner
  30. What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (2014) by Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey
  31. Why Flexible Work Is Essential to Your DEI Strategy” (2022) by Sheela Subramanian and Ella F. Washington
  32. Women and Minority Faculty in the Academic Workplace: Recruitment, Retention, and Academic Culture (2000) by Adalberto Aguirre, Jr.
  33. Women of Color in STEM: Navigating the Workforce (2017) edited by Julia Ballenger, Barbara Polnick, and Beverly Irby

TIE is grateful to the following Choice reviewers and experts who graciously contributed specialized recommendations to this list:

headshot of Michel Anteby

Michel Anteby, PhD

Professor of Management & Organizations, Questrom School of Business; Professor Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University

Mihoko Hosoi's headshot

Mihoko Hosoi

Associate Dean for Collections Research and Scholarly Communications, Pennsylvania State University

headshot of Lauren Rivera

Lauren Riviera, PhD

Professor of Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management; Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, Northwestern University

Headshot of a woman with blonde hair and glasses

Sue Wiegand

Scholarly Communications Librarian, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN 

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Header image is a detail of This is Harlem by Jacob Lawrence. Courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. © 2021 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. For more information, click here.