Top 10 business and personal development books from underrepresented authors

Book publisher Mindy Gibbins-Klein champions equity in publishing by showcasing underrepresented authors. Here are her top business picks for 2021

The reality for many people in underrepresented groups is that ‘left to chance, they are not given a fair chance.

Far too many lists of recommended leadership, business and personal development books are dominated by white, male authors. Until we have a level playing field, people from underrepresented groups may need extra attention, more airtime and a conscious effort to create equity – and it is the responsibility of ALL of us to seek opportunities to promote them, their good work, and their products and services. If not, situations like this will simply keep happening.

Here Thoughtful Leadership expert Mindy Gibbins-Klein shares her top 10 business and personal development books where every single one is authored by someone from an underrepresented group.

The authors are women, people of colour, people with disabilities or different abilities, people from the LGBTQ+ community and others who feel that left to chance, they are not always given a fair chance.

The Silenced Voice by Dr. Marcia Morgan


Black women face challenges because of the intersectionality of gender and race, but yet many of them are able to achieve academic success and career progression. Marcia Morgan captures the emotional turmoil, as well as what it ‘feels’ like to be an intersectional subject in two white male-dominated institutions: Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, UK and Higher Education. She uses the rich texture of words to capture the reader’s imagination by igniting an emotional connection and a logical interpretation of the experience shared through the poems, interview extracts and interpretative narrative.

This book encourages you to think differently and identify strategies to overcome the anxiety and pain associated with the feelings of invisibility, exclusion and isolation.

Slice: Cutting Through to Excellence in Sales Leadership by Vinit Shah


Sales leaders must balance many activities and personalities, develop a strategic vision and culture and encourage their team to grow and improve for long-term success. This fascinating book encourages and teaches aspiring sales managers to understand themselves and their team to handle challenging situations and achieve higher levels of success.

The Art of Iconic Leadership – Power Secrets of Female World Leaders – by Justina Mutale


In this remarkable, groundbreaking book on female leadership, the author intellectually celebrates the emerging power of female world leaders in the global political landscape. She chronicles the remarkable achievements of a few brilliant women leaders who have employed mostly soft leadership skills to unleash remarkable transformation in their own lives and those of others, using the instrumentality of sheer industry, uncommon courage, unrivalled compassion and indomitability of spirit. Proceeds from the book go to the Scholarship Fund at the Justina Mutale Foundation to help disadvantaged young women and girls from Africa access tertiary education worldwide.

Travelling by Train by Laurie Morgen


Behind clinical approaches to autism are real human beings with real lives. This is just one of them. Written by an autistic parent, this book looks at the situation they faced when playing a game where nobody told them the rules. What would you do when faced with such circumstances? What would you do to fight a system that assumes guilt until innocence can be proved? How would you fight for your children’s right to family life when your approach to life is to simply tell the truth? This is a story of resilience and determination in the face of great odds, driven by a mother’s love for her children.

The Jobhunting Toolkit by Oni Bhattacharya


The so-called global recession has claimed thousands of jobs, leaving many unable to find work. With employers tightening their purse strings, becoming pickier about who they employ and filtering a large number of applications, how do you find work in the 21st century? The Jobhunting Toolkit will provide you with the answers. Part personal development, part practical advice and with simple exercises to follow, this book shows how to get working in tough times. It also gives an insight into how to look for and apply for work and succeed in an interview. The methods have been tested on some of the UK’s long-term unemployed with great success. For those serious about finding work, this book will show you how to unlock your own inner potential, know yourself better and be successful at finding the job you are looking for.

Back Track by Tessa Niles


Backtrack is the star-studded account of Tessa Niles’ 30 years of working alongside the greatest names in rock and pop; the story of a young girl’s quest to discover her true voice as she charts her rise to become one of the most respected session singers in Britain. Follow Tessa as she records with superstars such as Eric Clapton, David Bowie and Robbie Williams, appears on the world’s biggest stages, rubs shoulders with royalty and reveals the triumphs and heartbreak of life on the road. Backtrack is a story of driving ambition, first-hand experience and the accomplishment of a dedicated and talented musician.

The Successful Mumpreneur by Debbie Gilbert


Debbie started her business in 1998 when the internet was in its infancy, and few women were launching their own businesses. Twenty years on, her business is thriving. In 2011 she launched Mums UnLtd to support other Mumpreneurs. What is shared in this book comes from her own experience together with those successful business builders who have generously shared inspiration and insights.

Nothing beats the knowledge of someone who’s experienced the highs, lows, pleasures and pitfalls of running their own business. Debbie’s been there, done it and learned lessons. Within this book, you’ll find answers to FAQs, specific case studies and common mistakes to avoid. Also included:

  • processes;
  • sourcing resources;
  • and maintaining your sanity at the same time as making money!

The advice is constructive and effective, the solutions straightforward and the input invaluable, whatever stage you’re at with your business.

Be Gender Smart by Inge Woudstra


Women have already proven they can get to the top. Now is the time for the next wave and to see more women bring their unique contribution to work and leadership roles. Learn the latest insights from Neuroscience, and be gender smart. Build a career and dare to be yourself. Be more confident about your own value. Get better projects, promoted faster, and paid more.

Farewell Jet Lag by Christopher Babayode


At a time when globalisation and technology make the world smaller, when it really matters, nothing beats being there yourself. In business and pleasure, presence is where it’s at, but you can’t fly halfway around the world and be fully present if you’re jet-lagged.

Solving the challenges of jet lag requires mastering healthy flying as a discipline. It is a discipline every flyer with purpose should be conversant with. That journey starts here. Master Productivity No Matter How Much You Travel; Build Vitality and Resilience on the Road; Beat Any Jet Lag Symptom You Have Every Time. Jet lag is not just about how you travel, it’s about how you arrive.

How To Be A Smart Woman in Stem by Gabriella Mueller Mendoza


The world needs more women in STEM! Increasing the presence of women in STEM is a business imperative. It is key to encourage women to study these fields and to go for jobs in STEM; it is a smart business decision. When women climb the leadership ladder, they add tremendous value to the organisation they work for and become role models for the next generation of women. Keeping smart women in STEM careers and getting them promoted is a number one priority for diversity leadership expert Gabriela Mueller Mendoza. This book is a goldmine of ideas and strategies to achieve that as we enter the 4th Industrial Revolution.
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