12 books of 2020 all managers who want to build diverse and happy teams should order right now

Social distancing and self-isolation during the novel coronavirus pandemic is giving many people a lot more time to read.

man reading book

It's no coincidence prominent leaders from Warren Buffett to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella are known for their voracious reading habits. Keeping a pulse on the latest thought leadership helps successful people become more knowledgeable, inclusive, and creative.

In the age of #MeToo andan increasingly diverse workforce , it's important executives hear the latest thought-provoking stories and arguments for inclusion. Thankfully, 2020 brings no shortage of exciting books in this space that deserve a spot on bookshelves everywhere.

In light of social distancing and self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people find themselves with more time on their hands to read. If you're looking for a read that will make you a more effective leader, consider one of theserecently published titles or soon-to-be published books:

Portfolio/Penguin Random House

Most people think success comes from the absence of obstacles and shortcomings, but Harvard Business School professor Laura Huang has a different theory. In "Edge," Huang argues that success is really about confronting your perceived shortcomings and turning them into assets.


The #MeToo movement has changed nearly every industry in the US. Now, it's time for the movement to become more inclusive, economist and author Sylvia Ann Hewlett argues in her latest work. The book provides context for corporate leaders, reveals new data on sexual harassment in the workplace, and gives advice on how to make environments safer for marginalized people.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers/Penguin Random House

One in four Americans has a disability, yet representation of their stories especially their stories of success is largely underrepresented . Al Etmanski , disability activist, community organizer, and author, seeks to change that in "The Power of Disability." His book offers 10 lessons everyone can learn from notable figures with disabilities including Greta Thunberg, Stephen Hawking, and more.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers/Penguin Random House

In order for work environments to eliminate sexual harassment and respond to it effectively, more employees and leaders are going to have to start having uncomfortable conversations. That's according to Sarah Beaulieu , who works with companies to create safe workplaces. Her book outlines steps leaders can take to make change.


At 22, Adrienne Miller got her break in the literary world when she landed an editorial assistant job at GQ. There, she learned how to make it in a man's world. She'd then go on to Esquire as the first female literary editor, where she developed a close friendship with famed literary author David Foster Wallace. "In the Land of Men," is a moving memoir about how a young woman found success in a male-dominated workplace.

Viking/Penguin Random House

In 2017, Susan Fowler wrote a blog post detailing the sexual harassment and retaliation she experienced while at Uber. The post went viral and ultimately led to the oustingof Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and starting a wave of institutional changes within Silicon Valley tech companies. In the book, Fowler reflects on everything that happened since she went public.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers/Penguin Random House

As the US workforce becomes more diverse, more mentors and mentees may come from different backgrounds. So how does one bridge the cultural gap? Authors Lisa Fain and Lois Zachary go through examples to illustrate how to become more aware, understanding, and effective in connecting with others.


Dylan Alcott is a three-time Paralympic gold medalist, Grand Slam tennis champion, and DJ who wants to change the way the world sees people with disabilities, as well as how people with disabilities see themselves. His inspiring book shows that for any one thing you may not be able to do, there are thousands of other things you can.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers/Penguin Random House

Just because it's 2020, doesn't mean racism and other forms of prejudice in the workplace are things of the past. Sometimes bias comes out in the form of microaggressions , or indirect, often unintentional expressions of racism, sexism, ageism, or ableism. In this useful guide, Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran go through what to avoid saying and how to address microaggressions if you witness or experience them.


Jenara Nerenberg was shocked to find out that what she thought was anxiety was actually autism and ADHD. In her book, "Divergent Mind," Nerenberg examines why neurodiversity is often overlooked in women and society in general, and how we can include neurodiversity more in society.

Beacon Press

Homophobia and transphobia aren't just hurting LGBTQ communities, they're harming the economy, according to M. V. Lee Badgett , professor of economics and the former director of the School of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In her book, Badgett uses data to show how equality is good for businesses, communities, and economies.

Publish date: May 19


Management expert Stefanie Johnson describes how employees have two basic desires: to fit into a group and to stand out as individuals. "Inclusify," provides a roadmap for leaders to bring out the best in others by not just embracing differences, but including them in workplace policies, in other words "inclusifying."

Publish date: June 2

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