Book Review: The Glass Wall

There are many books for business women out there. Around 10 of them are currently sat on my Kindle, resting in various percentages. However, there’s something different about The Glass Wall. It really struck a chord with me.

The Glass Wall is a manual for the working world – I would say that it’s not just women but men too who need to read it. Each chapter gives advice on a particular topic, from being ambitious, to showing creativity, to using your anger to help and not hinder you, it has themes that most people will encounter at work.

Sue Unerman and Kathryn Jacob, the authors of this book, have worked with a large number of women from all kinds of backgrounds, to help them in their careers. Although many other authors may have this experience as well, each chapter is laid out as such:

Description of the challenge

Detail of the strategy (with real world examples)

What you should do if you’re “on your way up” facing this challenge

What you should do if you are a manager and can see this challenge in front of your team

A real world story of someone who had overcome this issue

The amount of real world examples was really helpful to me – they didn’t all have the “Sarah had this issue and then did the strategy and then it worked” storyline, some show when women have made mistakes and what they should have done instead.

There is noting pretentious about this book. It’s so easy to read and has lots of points where you can dip out for a bit (which was great for me as I often zoned out, thinking about how I would implement these strategies). To compare it to another book I’m reading right now, Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office, The Glass Wall really does spell out actions that you can be using right away, as well as advice on what is unacceptable in an office and where there is a serious issue. Nice Girls also has good advice, but the chapters are much shorter, contain a lot less information, and don’t really give strategies you can implement right away.

There were so many times when reading this book that I cried out in joy that they were able to firstly understand an issue I have but also help me. At one point, one quote in the book made me cry, it felt like the authors were watching me and were telling me exactly what I should be doing in a particular situation.

I’ve selected a couple of my favourite quotes to share:

“Ask for the job you want. Ask for the help you need. Be clear, and don’t take any setbacks personally” – a theme in the book is not taking things personally. They touch upon it again when it comes to the chapter about asking for a pay rise.

“Ask yourself what you want to be famous for”. What do you want to be known as? I want to be seen as knowledgeable and helpful – I want to be the go-to woman for people wanting help in work. To be respected in my field and be known as an ideas person.

“Corporate cultures have a life of their own, and negotiating them can be tricky. Quite often we commit to joining a new organisation on the basis of less than a few hours’ interaction and our gut feel of whether we think it would work. The reality of what we’re really signed up for can be a surprise.”

“The crucial skill needed in getting the career you deserve is taking ownership of everything that you can find a way to fix.”

On a sidenote, if you’re the type of person (as I am) who reads Kindle books and likes to use the highlight feature to mark good quotes, this book has the “flip through” feature – there are some books out there without this feature and it makes it really hard to go back and check things you’ve marked.

I highly, highly recommend this book. To ambitious women, to ambitious men, to managers. Go rad it, be awesome.

Got a good business book recommendation? Let me know in the comments!


  1. […] of the best things I picked up from The Glass Wall is that men will stand around and chat, which, to women, seems like time wasting and laziness. […]

  2. […] that this is something I do and so, combined with the message I was reading (at the same time) from The Glass Wall, I made the decision to do much less […]

  3. […] this year is that I realised when I didn’t have to bend over backwards all the time. I read The Glass Wall, and realised that we women often take on far too much just because we feel that we have to make […]

  4. […] joined another quote I heard from Sue Unerman, co-author of my favourite business book to date The Glass Wall. I’m paraphrasing a bit, but she […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: