Closing the Influence Gap: A practical guide for women leaders who want to be heard

Closing the Influence Gap: A practical guide for women leaders who want to be heard

Author: Carla Miller
Review by: Jo Twiselton

The hard-hitting introduction of this book perfectly summarises the harm that the Influence Gap is having, not only to women in the workplace but on organisations globally. And it’s this challenge of gender inequality that the author aims to help women to navigate through this practical and punchy guide.

The introduction sets the scene perfectly, exploring the disparity in senior management roles held by women and men, how women are focused down narrower paths while their male colleagues are encouraged to ‘claim their space’ as leaders. The author highlights how judgements are made about women in leadership, the struggle they have with being heard and, quite simply, how women are trying to succeed in a working culture and system designed for men, by men.

Women end up feeling like imposters – they don’t feel they belong. Mirroring male behaviours doesn’t work either (and feels awkward) so they end up stuck and unheard. It’s not a female problem – this lack of gender diversity directly impacts profitability too.

Through the five parts of this book, Miller helps readers to build their view of themselves as a leader and make sure others see them as one too; develop skills to increase their influence and impact; increase their visibility and ability to speak up as well as taking control of their career and finally, a Troubleshooting section packed full of useful questions and resources.

This is a powerful and helpful guide. I read it in one sitting and took LOTS of notes – it covers topics from self-doubt, self-compassion and Inner Critics to managing mindsets, stress and energy among many others. Every part of this book is designed to equip and support women in becoming effective leaders with straightforward guidance, exercises and examples that clearly shows what common experiences women share.

This amount of detail could feel overwhelming, but the author’s approach of gradually building progress from changing our own view of ourselves, through to skills development, feels very manageable.

Activities are broken down into steps to follow, top tips (all actionable) and coaching tools to try as well as signposts to other relevant sections of the book dotted throughout. And, once you’ve read the book, completed all the exercises and reviewed the resources links, you have an invaluable, self-coaching guide to refer back to as and when needed.

This book will help any woman – at whatever stage of their career – to realise they have all the skills they need to become the leader they really want to be.

Published by Practical Inspiration Publishing

Jo Twiselton, Change coach & consultant, founder of Twist Consultants