Inspiring Women: how real women succeed in business

Inspiring Women
Title: Inspiring Women: how real women succeed in business Date Reviewed: 31st January 2009
4 out of 10
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I’ve found myself having an interesting love/hate relationship with Inspiring Women: 25 Top Female Entrepreneurs Reveal How Real Women Succeed in Business by Michelle Rosenberg. It was on my Amazon wishlist so my brother bought me a copy for Christmas (thanks bro!). It’s a series of profiles of women behind successful businesses, talking about what they’ve achieved and how they have done it. I was keen to read it because I don’t know much about the actual people behind businesses and thought it might help me choose a role model/something to aspire to, particularly with it being specifically about women and me being a woman and all.

However, what I’m not and have no plans to be is a mother and what this book is screaming at me is that to be a ‘real woman succeeding in business’ I have to have the added challenge of raising a family and spending enough time with the kids etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m full of admiration for women who do manage to do both, but that’s just not who I am. I find it hard enough getting a decent work/life balance as it is! But, my idea of reading about how women have succeeded in business is more about learning about their experiences running the business, not the children bit.

Overall I did find the book very interesting but I found the focus on being a mother increasingly frustrating and at some points (which I quickly talked myself out of) began to feel inadequate for my lack of offspring. Does everyone have to be introduced as ‘blah, mother of three’ – if it was a book about men in business that wouldn’t happen. It seemed that even the types of businesses covered were fluffy women-friendly ones – maternity clothes, baby food/toiletries, fashion, secretarial. Let’s face it I obviously don’t fit into the target audience for the book – if I was a mother thinking of setting up a business I’m sure I would find the book incredibly inspiring.

How about a book about women succeeding in male-dominated industries … like web design for example? They can be women with or without children, I don’t mind, just don’t make it all about the motherhood.

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