Deeper Insights: DRIVEN’s Resources for Women’s History Month

This photograph shows a 14-year-old striker (left), suffrage and labor activist Flora Dodge “Fola” La Follette (center), and social reformer and missionary Rose Livingston during a garment strike in New York City in 1913.

March is Women’s History Month, and this year, DRIVEN’s exploration will include a varied and cultured collection of mostly current resources to immerse yourself in, covering suffrage & equality, feminism, women’s place in historical events, women in leadership roles, breaking the glass ceiling, Black women’s history, and other compelling categories, past and present. Take this journey with us by studying the books, articles, TED Talks, movies, interviews and more, for which we have provided safe links. Additional media will be added to this lagniappe each Tuesday throughout March 2021.


Women’s History

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963): In a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Friedan’s book captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives.

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (1949): Beauvoir’s groundbreaking masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of “woman,” and a revolutionary exploration of inequality and otherness. Translated from French.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911: The deadly NYC factory fire from a century ago took the lives of 146 workers, most of whom were immigrant women and girls, and led to a whole new era in workplace safety laws. This documentary on the tragedy from The American Experience puts the story into perspective.

New Suffrage Monument in NYC: In summer 2020, sculptor Meredith Bergmann unveiled Central Park’s first statue to depict real women: a 14-foot-tall bronze monument paying homage to Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton all of whom were at the forefront of the national suffrage movement. See the monument in-person or listen to this WBUR radio segment on the project.


Black Women’s History:

A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross: A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our country.

Ms. Magazine’s Required Reading: Ten Books on Black Women’s History: As Claudia Jones argued in her classic 1949 essay, Black women are uniquely positioned to address the problem of inequality. Expanding community knowledge of Black women’s history is therefore an important step in the fight for equality in the United States and abroad. It is with this sentiment that compiled a list of the most important books examining Black women’s history in the US:

When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America

Paula Giddings (1984)

To Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors after the Civil War

Tera W. Hunter (1998)

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday

Angela Davis (1999)

Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision

Barbara Ransby (2005)

Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching

Crystal N. Feimster (2009)

Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism and the Making of Black Left Feminism

Erik S. McDuffie (2011)

At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power

Danielle L. McGuire (2011)

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

Jeanne Theoharis (2015)

Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray

Rosalind Rosenberg (2017)

Sex Workers, Psychics and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy

LaShawn D. Harris (2017)


Women in the Workplace:

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (2015): This book, which likely needs no introduction, led to nationwide and worldwide discussions about how women can better navigate the workplace.

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman (2014): Why do so many women, even the most successful, struggle with feelings of self-doubt? The authors of the book explain neuroscientifically how we can all choose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our brains’ physical wiring.

The Confidence Gap: And here’s the Atlantic article to supplement Kay & Shipman’s book. It discusses how women are less self-assured than men, and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence.

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (2005): Drawing on brain and behavioral research, the author shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well. These factors, which include self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy, add up to a different way of being smart, and are essential tools for women in the 21st century workplace.

Fresh Air interview with New York Times reporter Claire Cain Miller: This vital discussion centers around Miller’s recent NYT article The Primal Scream, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has left many American families without childcare and in-person schooling, and how those new household burdens have largely landed on the shoulders of women.

The Glorias: Based on Gloria Steinem’s autobiography, “My Life On The Road”, this 2020 film weaves a compelling, non-traditional tapestry of the most inspirational figure in the modern women’s movement.


Women in Leadership

Fearless Girl Faces Charging Bull: Fearless Girl was installed outside the NYSE for International Women’s Day in March 2018 to draw attention to the gender pay gap and lack of gender diversity on corporate boards in the financial sector. But before that, she was physically positioned to stare down the famous Charging Bull sculpture on Wall Street. The story, though, is not what it may have seemed at the time. This Artnet news article lays it out.

How to Find the Person Who Can Help You Get Ahead at Work, a TEDWomen Talk by Wall Street Veteran Carla Harris: The workplace is often presented as a meritocracy, where you can succeed by putting your head down and working hard. Carla Harris, author and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley, learned early in her career that this a myth. The key to actually getting ahead: Getting a sponsor. Watch as she makes her case and then shows you the way.


Breaking the Glass Ceiling

RBG, a film by Betsy West & Julie Cohen: The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. This 2018 film explores her personal journey to the nation’s highest court.

Road to Power: How GM’s Mary Barra Shattered the Glass Ceiling, by Laura Colby (2015): Read the story of how Mary Barra drove herself to the CEO position of a company that steers the nation’s wealth and has also just announced its conversion to all electric vehicles by 2035! Beginning as the daughter of a GM die maker, Barra spent more than thirty years building her career before becoming the first woman to ever lead a global automaker. This book describes the personal character, choices and leadership style that enabled her to break through the glass ceiling.


Work/Life Balance, Motherhood, Family Planning, COVID

Why Women Still Can’t Have it All by Anne Marie Slaughter (2012): Slaughter was propelled into the spotlight after she penned this article for The Atlantic— a piece which garnered huge success and helped reinvigorate a national debate on the obstacles surrounding male-female equality and work-life balance.

How To Gain Control of Your Free Time, a TedWomen Talk by Laura Vanderkam: The time management expert gives a compelling argument for “busy” women to create better work/life balance by organizing our priorities.

Dr. Melissa Gilliam’s Family Planning TEDx Talk at The University of Chicago: An expert in pediatric and adolescent gynecology, Dr. Gilliam starts the conversation during this TEDx Talk about helping children, teens and women who need routine care and testing or have complicated gynecologic problems to access the family planning assistance they need without the discriminatory barrier often encountered.

Why Moms Make The Best Entrepreneurs, a TEDx Talk by Jill Salzman: Women and moms are undisputable problem solvers, innovators, and community builders. They are top-quality executives by default. In her motivating talk, featured here on, Jill Salzman shares how she built three successful businesses and why she believes moms make the best entrepreneurs.

Juggling Work and Home Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic, a resources page from Access some COVID and parenting-related challenges and topics raised and discussed by Circles, which are small groups of women offering virtual peer support during the pandemic. You will be further linked to the latest relevant and insightful articles from iconic publications.


Websites with Abundant Resources

Catalyst is a global nonprofit working with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Founded in 1962, Catalyst drives change with pioneering research, practical tools, and proven solutions to accelerate and advance women into leadership— because progress for women is progress for everyone.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg published the much-lauded book “Lean In” in 2015. The book led to nationwide and worldwide discussions about how women can better navigate the workplace. was launched to provide tools and resources for women, allies and organizations to support women in the workplace. The website is also the launch place for Lean In Circles, where women can build communities for growth, support and celebration.


Three Minutes That Will Make You Think

Why Do Little Girls, a song by Harry Chapin (1978): There are 2 things you can expect from a Harry Chapin song: The arrangement will be a little cheesy, but the lyrics will have a compelling message. On “Why Do Little Girls”, Harry poetically expressed concern about the double standard faced by girls in their upbringings, which was not something you would typically expect to hear from men in the 1970s. This Youtube posting of the insightful song includes the lyrics below the player.