Maybe not all of us can turn a $1,000 loan into a billion dollars like Barbara Corcoran did, but we can learn plenty from these six women who’ve accomplished incredible, against-the-odds feats in their respective industries.
There are some powerful, unstoppable, and — simply put — badass women out there who are walking into conference rooms, factories, and company headquarters, challenging the status quo and shaking things up to bring forth a mightier future for consumers, employees, and themselves.
And of course, there’s much to learn from these women as we take chances in our own careers, start our own businesses, and learn how to stand in our beliefs when the cards are stacked against us.
Whether or not you’re looking to break ground in one of these fields, or you are just looking for a new female role model, here are six inspiring AF books to read from women who disrupted their industries.
Chances are, if you’ve ever set foot in a mall, you’ve walked by The Body Shop. But you might not know the story behind the company and the founder. Anita Roddick, author of the book Body and Soul: Profits with Principles – The Amazing Success story of Anita Roddick and The Body Shop, became a controversial and groundbreaking figure in the cosmetics industry when she became the first company to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals. She was also one of the first to promote fair trade with developing countries.
Her book dives into how to start an ethical business that not only makes the world a better place, but makes the industry adapt and adjust their ways, too.
Most of us know Barbara Corcoran from the popular TV show, Shark Tank, but the real estate mogul is best known in her industry as one of the top female leaders, who used her go-getter personality and a $1,000 loan to turn herself into a billionaire.
She wrote the book Shark Tales to teach people how unconventional business lessons helped her build a $6 billion dollar business.
While it can be tempting to fill your closet with chic, yet accessibly priced clothing made in a giant overseas factory, Greta Eagan is out to change that mindset.
She’s best known as a sustainable-living and fashion expert who started the online platform Fashion Me Green, a website that promotes style, sustainability, and sacrifice.
Her book, Wear No Evil, not only disrupts the fashion industry by shining a light on the ethical issues that circle fashion, but also helps inspire women to regain power with every purchase, so that they can support the causes and conditions that they stand for in other areas of their lives.
In a world where Photoshop and photo-correcting away so-called “imperfections” has overflowed from the modeling industry right into our everyday lives on social media, model Ashley Graham is out to change the norm when it comes to what the public sees on magazine covers and on advertisements for top brands.
She’s one of the most visible champions of body positivity, and her book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, helps other women learn the importance of being strong over being skinny, and sets a new standard of beauty for others to follow.
The finance industry has long dominated by men. But for entrepreneur Amanda Steinberg, it’s been a world she’s eager to break down for women so they can make smarter decisions with their money.
She founded the website DailyWorth in 2009, and wrote the book Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms to help redefine the relationship women have with their bank accounts.
If you’ve ever found yourself binge watching a season of Grey’s Anatomy or Scandal, and loving every second of it, then you have a woman named Shonda Rhimes to thank.
Rhimes and her production company, Shondaland, have been behind smash-hit TV shows like How To Get Away With Murder and Private Practice. She continues to break barriers within in the industry and recently became the third black woman inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
Her book, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person, helps empower people to step out of their comfort zones, try something new, and most importantly, learn to trust themselves.