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Julia Gillard, the former Prime Minister of Australia whose anti-misogyny speech in the Australian parliament in 2012 has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube, has joined forces with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former Nigerian Finance Minister and contender to head the World Trade Organisation, to write Women and Leadership – Real Lives, Real Lesson, an ‘inspirational and practical book written by two high-achieving women, sharing the experience and advice of some of our most extraordinary women leaders, in their own words’.

The title is being published by Vintage Australia in July and has just sold to Transworld imprint Bantam in the UK.  Transworld editorial director Andrea Henry acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding ANZ and Canada) from Knopf Vintage at Penguin Random House Australia. The title will be published in e-book and audio in the UK in July 2020, and in paperback in September 2020.

Women and Leadership explores gender bias in leadership through contributions from some of the world’s most powerful women, among them former First Lady Hillary Clinton; New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; former President of Malawi Joyce Banda; European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde; former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg; and former UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Vintage Australia notes that almost every year new findings are published about the way people see women leaders compared with their male counterparts.  It says: ‘The authors have taken that academic work and tested it in the real world. The same set of interview questions were put to each leader in frank face-to-face interviews. Their responses were then used to examine each woman’s journey in leadership and whether their lived experiences were in line with or different from what the research would predict.

Women and Leadership presents a lively and readable analysis of the influence of gender on women’s access to positions of leadership, the perceptions of them as leaders, the trajectory of their leadership and the circumstances in which it comes to an end. By presenting the lessons that can be learned from women leaders, Julia and Ngozi provide a road map of essential knowledge to inspire us all, and an action agenda for change that allows women to take control and combat gender bias.’

Gillard commented: “I want to live in a world where women play an equal role in decision making at every level and their leadership capacity is fairly evaluated, rather than being subject to sexism, stereotyping or misogyny. Getting there will require strategies for change that combine the best of research with real world insights. That’s exactly what our book does, and I am particularly proud that we have been able to distil all we have learned into advice about what everyone can do in their own lives to make a difference.”

At Transworld, Henry added: “Gillard and Okonjo-Iweala’s interviews with these remarkable women, their commentary and analysis, shed important light on women’s unequal access to power. What is it that makes things different for women? The book highlights why we need more women leaders—a need that much Covid coverage supports— and offers practical thoughts on how we can help to make that happen. These ideas feel timely and important, and we’re delighted to be working with Julia and Ngozi.”