We’re totally behind the powerful phrase “you can’t be, what you can’t see”, because how can women be inspired to do amazing things if there aren’t empowering stories and real-life examples that demonstrate our true potential?

That’s why it’s oh-so important to forever champion and highlight the success and progression of women both from the past and present, and there’s no better way than to learn about female game-changers than via some super-inspiring reads.

In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day’s #pressforprogress call, here are three books all about awesome women who have shaped our world.

For inspiring interviews

The Female Lead by Edwina Dunn

The Female Lead is a not-for-profit project that aims to make women’s stories more visible in a bid to celebrate their achievement, endeavor and diversity and provide a positive role model for future generations – nurturing confidence and ambition in all girls and women.  

This book, in support of the wider project, features interviews with 60 women

who’ve led their professions, broken new ground for others, or inspired real change. Not only is it packed with fascinating stories from a diverse set of women from firefighters to film stars, it looks pretty gorgeous too with an arresting gallery of portraits shot by the renowned French portrait photographer Bridgitte Lacombe. This one’s for the coffee table.

“The focus is not on leading others, but on taking the lead in shaping a life of one’s own.”

For powerful political stories

The Women Who Shaped Politics by Sophy Ridge

Whether you love them or hate them; Teresa May, Nicola Sturgeon, Hilary Clinton and Angela Merkel are proving that women in the political world have never been so high on the news agenda and play a vital, powerful role in democracy.

In this illuminating read about the women who are winning elections, changing countries, and shifting the political landscape, author and Sky News presenter, Sophy, reveals the shocking truth about the sexism that is rife among the House of Commons both in the past and today, with sometimes astonishing, and sometimes amusing anecdotes on how the challenges and gender bias confronts women in government on a daily basis.

“We are at a critical moment in women’s history.”

For brilliant bios

Modern Women: 52 Pioneers by Kira Cochrane

If you’re having a lame, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life kinda day, this enlightening and uplifting book is great for giving your can-do attitude a boost. Because really, you can do anything, right? From suffragettes to scientists, activists to artists, politicians to pilots and writers to riot grrrls, Modern Women is a celebration of 52 influential and extraordinary women throughout history who we can thank for battling the barriers of sexism and paving the way for the future successes of women. The important stories of these kick-ass pioneers need to be read and passed on pronto.

“Women always have to fight, nothing is easy for us.”