"Women Breaking Through Leadership" by Stefania Lucchetti and Anna Bisazza is an important book for several reasons. Not only does it profile women who have gained leadership roles in corporate environments and share the keys to getting there, but it also addresses issues such as family and balance that often are compromised by women who wish to succeed in the corporate world.
While this book is aimed at women, and I feel women who are fighting in the corporate jungle will benefit most from reading it, it also has lessons for us men. One of them being able to understand the differences women go through and better being able to help women in such positions. Personally, since I speak to many women audiences, I want to know what they are dealing with too.
The two authors do a great job of profiling different women and making points about topics such as vision, determination, purpose, fearlessness, passion, strength and courage. These are all qualities that both men and women need to be effective leaders. However, in the second part of the book, the profiles focus on topics such as flexibility, recognition, equality, support and power. This part of the book was aimed more toward women, but then, that is who the book is really written for.
The authors both live in Hong Kong, and the women profiled for this book are also mostly Hong Kong based, even though some have lived elsewhere, including the United States. Hong Kong, one of my favorite Asian cities, is a business and financial mecca and for a woman to succeed in the corporate world there, she could succeed anywhere. For that reason, I think the stories are relevant wherever a person may live. But please note, as you would expect the Hong Kong corporate world to be, these stories are about women in large corporate settings. This book isn't about the female small business owner. (Even if some of the things looked at would help the small business owner too.)
I think the most important lessons for many women are those about balance and family. This is a major issue for many women in the workplace, and it can effect advancement to leadership roles. Face it, men don't put off their careers to have babies as women have been expected to. This book does show how women can have a family and a career. And each of the women who are profiled do this in different ways. Through their stories, I believe many other women will figure out what is important to them and how they too can have loving families and successful careers in leadership positions.
I give the book five stars for the audience it is intended for, women climbing the corporate ladder to success and leadership positions.
Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of the soon to be released thriller "Lost Conscience" and others.