The Workplace Equity Recommended Reading List: 52 Books for Building Better Workplaces

| November 12, 2023 | 9 min read
52 workplace equity books to read this year

The field of workplace equity is multi-faceted and ever-evolving — there’s always a new finding or perspective that even the most experienced HR or DE&I professional can learn from. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 52 books related to workplace equity, ranging from business books on how to improve inclusivity, accessibility, and belonging at the organizational level, to management guidance on becoming a more inclusive and inspiring leader, to psychology texts that deep dive into the mechanisms that drive unconscious bias in our work interactions. 

Books are a gateway to improved empathy, deeper understanding, and a wide horizon of new ideas.  Gain a new perspective by reading the stories of people who have faced discrimination and obstacles in the workplace. Get advice on how to have more open, challenging conversations and how to become a better ally and advocate. Stay up to date on the latest research about various workplace inequities, and get expert advice from academics, researchers, and business leaders.

Browse the workplace equity books below to find some to add to your reading list.


Books for building more equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplaces


The Equality Machine workplace equity book coverThe Equality Machine: Harnessing Digital Technology for a Brighter, More Inclusive Future

by Orly Lobel

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Equal Pay for Equal Work book coverEqual Pay for Equal Work: A practical guide to implementing a successful pay transparency program

by Anita Lettink

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Inclusion Revolution workplace equity book coverInclusion Revolution: The Essential Guide to Dismantling Racial Inequity in the Workplace

by Daisy Auger-Domínguez

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What Works book coverWhat Works: Gender Equality by Design

by Iris Bohnet

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MeToo in the Corporate World book cover#MeToo in the Corporate World: Power, Privilege, and the Path Forward

by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

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UNBIAS book coverUNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work

by Stacey A. Gordon

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Getting to Diversity book coverGetting to Diversity: What Works and What Doesn’t

by Frank Dobbin & Alexandra Kalev

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Diversity Intelligence book cover

Diversity Intelligence: How to Create a Culture of Inclusion for your Business

by Heidi R. Anderson

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Belonging at Work book coverBelonging At Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate an Inclusive Organization

by Rhodes Perry

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The Diversity Gap book coverThe Diversity Gap: Where Good Intentions Meet True Cultural Change

by Bethaney Wilkinson

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Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives

by Minal Bopaiah

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Alphabet Soup book coverAlphabet Soup: The Essential Guide to LGBTQ2+ Inclusion at Work

by Michael Bach

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Gender Diversity and Nonbinary Inclusion in the Workplace book coverGender Diversity and Non-Binary Inclusion in the Workplace

by Sarah Gibson

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Hidden Disabilities and Conditions book coverHidden Disabilities and Conditions: Creating an Inclusive Workplace

by Ted Smith

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Success Through Diversity book coverSuccess Through Diversity: Why the Most Inclusive Companies Will Win

by Carol Fulp

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Pay Up book coverPay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It’s Different Than You Think)

by Reshma Saujani

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The Culture Map book coverThe Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

by Erin Brown

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Winning with Underdogs book coverWinning with Underdogs: How Hiring the Least Likely Candidates Can Spark Creativity, Improve Service, and Boost Profits for Your Business

by Gil Winch

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Books on becoming inclusive and inspiring leaders and managers

Intentional Power book cover

Intentional Power: The 6 Essential Leadership Skills for Triple Bottom Line Impact

by Lisen Stromberg, JeanAnn Nichols & Corey Jones

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Women Mean Business book coverWomen Mean Business: Over 500 Insights from Extraordinary Leaders to Spark Your Success

by Edie Fraser, Robyn Freedman Spizman & Andi Simon

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The Leader's Guide to Unconscious Bias book coverThe Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias: How to Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connection, and Create High-Performing Teams

by Pamela Fuller & Mark Murphy with Anne Chow

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Champions of Change book coverChampions of Change: How CEOs and Their Companies are Mastering the Skills of Radical Change

by David A. Nadler & Mark B. Nadler

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Inclusify book coverInclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams 

by Stefanie K. Johnson

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How to Be an Inclusive Leader book coverHow to Be an Inclusive Leader, Second Edition: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive

by Jennifer Brown

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The 7 Simple Habits of Inclusive Leaders book coverThe 7 Simple Habits of Inclusive Leaders: A Guilt-free Guide on How to Boost Innovation and Performance by Involving Others Equally

by Melissa Majors

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Bridging Differences for Better Mentoring book coverBridging Differences for Better Mentoring

by Lisa Z. Fain & Lois J. Zachary

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We're All in this Together book coverWe’re All in This Together: Creating a Team Culture of High Performance, Trust, and Belonging

by Mike Robbins

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The Remix book coverThe Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace

by Lindsey Pollak

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A New Kind of Diversity book coverA New Kind of Diversity: Making the Different Generations on Your Team a Competitive Advantage

by Tim Elmore

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Chief Inspiration Officer book coverChief Inspiration Officer: How to Lead the Team Everyone Wants to Be On

by Val Ries

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Creativity Inc. book coverCreativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

by Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace

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Books for exploring lived experiences of discrimination in the workplace

Nevertheless She Persisted book coverNevertheless, She Persisted: True Stories of Women Leaders in Tech

by Pratima Rao Gluckman

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Disability Visibility book coverDisability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century

by Alice Wong

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Diversity in the Workplace book coverDiversity in the Workplace: Eye-Opening Interviews to Jumpstart Conversations about Identity, Privilege, and Bias 

by Bärí A. Williams .

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Whistleblower book coverWhistleblower: My Unlikely Journey to Silicon Valley and Speaking Out Against Injustice

by Susan Fowler

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In the Land of Men book coverIn the Land of Men: A Memoir

by Adrienne Miller

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Grace and Grit workplace equity book coverGrace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond

by Lilly Ledbetter & Lanier Scott Isom

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Divergent Mind book coverDivergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed for You

by Jenara Nerenberg

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The Power of Disability book coverThe Power of Disability: 10 Lessons for Surviving, Thriving, and Changing the World

by Al Etmanski

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Books for changing your thinking to overcome bias


The End of Bias book coverThe End of Bias: A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias

by Jessica Nordell

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Blink book coverBlink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

by Malcolm Gladwell

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Books for having conversations that build connections 


Thrive book coverThrive: The Facilitator’s Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings

by Dr. Mark Smutny

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Breaking the Silence Habit book coverBreaking the Silence Habit: A Practical Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations in the #MeToo Workplace 

by Sarah Beaulieu

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I Never Thought of It That Way book coverI Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times

by Mónica Guzmán

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So You Want to Talk About Race book coverSo You Want to Talk About Race

by Ijeoma Oluo

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Belonging book coverBelonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides

by Geoffrey L. Cohen

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DataStory book coverDataStory: Explain Data and Inspire Action Through Story

by Nancy Duarte

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Books for becoming better allies and advocates


Allies and Advocates book coverAllies and Advocates: Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Culture

by Amber Cabral

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Good Guys book coverGood Guys: How Men Can Be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace

by David G. Smith & W. Brad Johnson

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Allies at Work book coverAllies at Work: Creating a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Inclusive Work Environment

by Dr. David M. Hall

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The Wake Up book coverThe Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change

by Michelle MiJung Kim

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The Savvy Ally book coverThe Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate

by Jeannie Gainsburg

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Better Allies book coverBetter Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces (2nd Edition)

by Karen Catlin

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Don’t stop there! Check out our history and heritage month series for more reading recommendations: 

52 Books, Documentaries & Movies to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

52 Books, Documentaries & Movies to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

52 Books, Documentaries & Movies to Celebrate Pride Month

52 Books, Documentaries & Movies to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

52 Books, Documentaries & Movies to Celebrate Women’s History Month

52 Books, Documentaries & Movies to Celebrate Black History Month

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