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MARY PORTAS

WORK LIKE A WOMAN

REVIEWED BY: ANNA HARRIS, WOMEN IN GROCERY EXPERT

Mary Portas gets the reader on board very effectively with a strong message about valuing women in the workplace and lots of shocking statistics about the state of play for women in business. These alone are enough to motivate you to keep reading and her early career stories are equally entertaining. However, as Portas continues, the book feels increasingly like a defence of her later career moves and downfall from her ‘Queen of Shops’ persona. Additionally, some of the feminine traits that she favours in the workplace often feel like another form of stereotyping. Overall, I found it a really interesting read.’
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FIONA MURDEN

DEFINING YOU

REVIEWED BY: HESTER LONERGAN, COMMS PARTNER FOR THE GROCERY GIRLS

‘I was given this book by Fiona, who I met recently and was really inspired by. Hearing about her career as a psychological profiler for retail businesses is fascinating. In this book, she takes everything she’s learnt by interviewing senior leaders and gets you exploring yourself in the same way those leaders do. I’ve only just started reading, but I’m learning so much about myself already!’
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SALLY HELGESEN & MARSHALL GOLDSMITH

HOW WOMEN RISE

REVIEWED BY: ADELE BALMFORTH, BUYING DIRECTOR AT CO-OP

‘How women rise was quite a tough read, mainly because it’s like being given some cold, straight feedback from your boss. It focuses on the 12 common habits holding women back from being more successful in their careers which are, not surprisingly, very different to those impacting men. What kept me reading was the recognition of many of the traits in my own behaviour which, at the very least, shone a light in places  before it had been a little hazy.’
The Rules of Life

RICHARD TEMPLAR

THE RULES OF LIFE

REVIEWED BY: JANET CRIER, SUPPLY CHAIN DEVELOPMENT AT CO-OP

‘I’m not always a huge fan of self-help books, but I really liked this one because it’s so simple! The basic premise is that some people seemingly enjoy life, coping no matter what is thrown at them. They can do this because they know ‘The Rules of Life’! The book takes you through about 100 of these rules. It’s the kind of thing you can have in your bag or keep hanging round the house, ready to pick up if you want a bit of a refresh. I found some nuggets really stuck with me and helped me through more challenging days.’
Lean In

SHERYL SANDBERG

LEAN IN

REVIEWED BY: HELEN GOODCHILD, TRADING DIRECTOR AT MARS WRIGLEY

‘This was one of the first books I read after maternity leave, recommended by a Mars back to work coach.  It gave me some amazing insights into strategies to drive confidence early on in my career and also the stark reality that every woman feels this lack of confidence at all levels of their career at some stage.  Focusing on what’s important in work and at home, rather than perfecting.’
Dare to Lead

BRENÉ BROWN

DARE TO LEAD

REVIEWED BY: ROS COLLINS, HEAD OF NEW BUSINESS, FOODSERVICE AND OOH AT SPEEDIBAKE

‘When this book was recommended to me, I was struggling to embrace my own influencing style at work and be comfortable with who I am and what makes me me. We’re conditioned from a young age to think that vulnerability is something we should be ashamed and embarrassed of. But Brown showed me that it’s fine to be me and that, actually, my vulnerability and openness is one of my biggest strengths. Acknowledging that was a lightbulb moment for me, and it’s made a really positive impact on my self-belief.’