43% and Rising: The Strategals’ 2024 “read, watch, listen” list

If you’ve not already listened to the latest episode of 43% and Rising with Earnest’s Strategals, what are you waiting for? Check it out now.

The Strategy Team (otherwise known as The Strategals) here at Earnest got together recently to explore some of the big topics for women in marketing. 

We tow the line between wisdom and waffle, debate the reality of imposter syndrome and discuss ways in which to save our colleagues from falling off the glass cliff. 

But as well as this, we offered up some of our top content recommendations for women wanting a bit of advertising inspo, or simply anyone looking for a little insight into the world of marketing as it exists for women. 

So, if you’re looking for some inspiration to get you geared up to take 2024 like a boss, you’re in the right place. 

Work Like A Woman by Mary Portas

A must-add to your 2024 reading list is Work Like A Woman, a book in which Mary Portas challenges traditional workplace norms, advocating for a more inclusive and empathetic approach to leadership. 

Qualities that are traditionally associated with femininity – collaboration, emotional intelligence and compassion – are all valuable to the business world, and can indeed lead to more successful (and fulfilling) workplaces. 

“It’s a really excellent book. It’s all about why the workplace is designed by men, for men – but also, quite practically, what we can do about it.” — Bea Alabaster, Strategist and Host of 43% and Rising

The Glass Cliff by Sophie Williams

The second read on the list comes from Jen, who shamelessly (and rightfully) plugged her friend Sophie Williams’ book, The Glass Cliff. Due to be released in March 2024, you’ll have to settle for a pre-order link for now. 

The book explores the phenomenon where women and minority leaders are more likely to be appointed to leadership positions during times of crisis. Delving into the challenges faced by individuals in underrepresented groups in leadership roles, Williams discusses how they are often placed in these positions when there’s a high likelihood of failure. It encourages the reevaluation of leadership stereotypes and the growing need to provide equal opportunities for successful leadership. 

The book offers plenty of things for us all to think about to change the narrative and, hopefully, change the world of work for future female leaders. Plus, it’s packed with research, what strategist doesn’t love that?!” — Jen Law, Senior Strategist

A Big Life in Advertising by Mary Wells Lawrence 

This book tells the first-hand account of Mary Wells Lawrence, the first ever woman president of an advertising agency and the first woman CEO of a company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Starting out as a fledgling copywriter, she progressed her advertising career, rising up the ranks, shattering the glass ceiling and becoming a Madison Avenue legend. Her agency, Wells Rich Greene, created ads that “etched indelible phrases into the public imaginations” according to The New York Observer. 

“She came from the Mad Men era of advertising, and this book reflects a lot on that. It’s a brilliant read because she’s a brilliant storyteller.”Chrissie Smith, Strategy Director and Brand Lead 

Whitney Wolfe Herd on the Diary of a CEO podcast

Whitney Wolfe Herd’s appearance on Stephen Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO podcast is one that’s not to be slept on. Wolfe Herd, founder of Bumble, talks through the factors that influenced her to create a dating app that empowered women to make the first move.

She talks about Bumble’s success and how it proves the importance of championing women’s need in the dating world, and that building a more balanced dating environment is incredibly important. The theme of leadership is also discussed, with Wolfe Herd citing empathy and openness as key traits of successful leaders. 

She articulates herself so well, she talks about confidence, her style of leadership, and she says that she just does what she feels is right — she follows her gut. She’s one of the people I have in mind when I think about the new way of leading.Natalie Plowman, Senior Strategist

Mad Women on Channel 4

For those after a little light watching as we ease back into the 9-to-5 grind, check out Mad Women. This hour-long documentary interviews women in advertising as they talk us through their part in some of the biggest and most influential ad campaigns they ever worked on. 

It tells the story of the women who pioneered the iconic TV ads that changed the world — from Levi’s to the Flake girl to the Lynx effect. 

“There’s a notable progression from how these women felt working on sexist, outdated ad campaigns to how they feel now. It really shows how far the industry has come.”Em Lowes, Content Writer and Content Strategist

Brutally Honest: No Bullshit Strategies to Evolve Your Creative Business by Emily Ruth Cohen

The fourth and final book on the list is a comprehensive guide on whipping your creative business into shape. It’s jam-packed with advice, insights and best practices for everything from business development to proposal writing and everything in between. 

It aims to inspire readers to look at their approaches in new ways, and its pages include several case studies and endless action-oriented tips geared towards business owners and businesspeople alike. 

“It’s the most beautiful book, every chapter has different page colours — it’s wonderfully designed. It gives best practices on communication, talking about how to stop beating around the bush and getting to the point.” Katie McConville, Associate Strategy Director

Some additional resources

Looking for some more specific training-related resources to get help you hit the ground running in 2024? We’ve got you covered there too. 


Want to know more?

We’re always up for a chat, whether that’s about strategy, content, digital… you name it. Get in touch and let’s see how we can help you meet your 2024 B2B goals.

(Photo by Brian Kostiuk on Unsplash)