Our picks for International Women’s Day

Celebrating books and authors we’re proud and honored to have published

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a day reserved to celebrate and reflect on women’s achievements and raise awareness about gender biases and inequities. The MIT Press has a long and rich history of publishing books by and about brilliant and inspiring women, from Ainissa Ramirez's award-winning The Alchemy of Us, which itself illuminates stories of women who made significant impacts but whose accomplishments have been written out of history, to Mar Hicks's deeply researched account of how Britain deliberately pushed women out of computing technology jobs. This year, we’re shining a light on these and other beloved books that we're proud to have published.


Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons by Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Women and Leadership

Through conversations with some of the world's most powerful and interesting women—including Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Michelle Bachelet, and Theresa May—Women and Leadership explores gender bias and asks why there aren't more women in leadership roles.

"Much-needed, frank talk from exceptional female leaders about how they've dealt with sexism in the line of duty.” —Kirkus Reviews


Data Feminism by Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein

Data Feminism

Today, data science is a form of power. It has been used to expose injustice, improve health outcomes, and topple governments. But it has also been used to discriminate,  police, and surveil. This potential for good, on the one hand, and harm, on the other, makes it essential to ask: Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind? In Data Feminism, Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein present a new way of thinking about data science and data ethics—one that is informed by intersectional feminist thought.

“Without ever finger-wagging, Data Feminism reveals inequities and offers a way out of a broken system in which the numbers are allowed to lie.” —WIRED


The Smart Wife: Why Siri, Alexa, and Other Smart Home Devices Need a Feminist Reboot by Yolande Strengers and Jenny Kennedy

The Smart Wife

Meet the Smart Wife—at your service, an eclectic collection of feminized AI, robotic, and smart devices. This digital assistant is friendly and sometimes flirty, docile and efficient, occasionally glitchy but perpetually available. In The Smart Wife, Yolande Strengers and Jenny Kennedy examine the emergence of digital devices that carry out “wifework”—domestic responsibilities that have traditionally fallen to (human) wives. Strengers and Kennedy offer a Smart Wife “manifesta,” proposing a rebooted Smart Wife that would promote a revaluing of femininity in society in all her glorious diversity.

“This fascinating exploration of AI asks what the assignment of gender of its devices says about the societies they are meant to help.” —Shelf Awareness


A Brief History of Feminism by Patu and Antje Schrupp

A Brief History of Feminism

In pithy text and pithier comics, A Brief History of Feminism offers an engaging history of feminism from antiquity through third-wave feminism, featuring Sappho, Mary Magdalene, Mary Wollstonecraft, Sojourner Truth, Simone de Beauvoir, and many others.

“A fun, accessible and educational read that will leave readers entertained, angry and with a thirst to learn more.” —LSE Review of Books


The Monopoly of Man by Anna Kuliscioff

The Monopoly of Man

A key text by Anna Kuliscioff (c. 1854–1925)a prominent figure in the revolutionary politics of her era, advocating for socialism and feminismthat remains relevant today, addressing the exploitation of women in the workplace and at home.

“A crucial text for understanding the roots of Italian feminism both in its relation with the socialist tradition and in its transcendence of it.” Ida Dominijanni, former columnist at Il Manifesto newspaper and member of the Diotima community of women philosophers in Verona

Read an excerpt from Jamila M. H. Mascat's introduction.


Carrie Mae Weems edited by Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, with Christine Garnier

Carrie Mae Weems

In this latest volume in the October Files series, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis compiles essays and interviews exploring the work of Carrie Mae Weems and its place in the history of photography, African American art, and contemporary art. Carrie Mae Weems highlights not only the importance of Weems's work but also the necessity for an expanded set of concerns in contemporary art—one in which race does not restrict a discussion of aesthetics, as it has in the past, robbing Black artists of a full consideration of their work.


Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing by Mar Hicks

Programmed Inequality

In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. What happened in the intervening thirty years holds lessons for all postindustrial superpowers. As Britain struggled to use technology to retain its global power, the nation's inability to manage its technical labor force hobbled its transition into the information age. In Programmed Inequality, Mar Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize.

“One of the best researched and most compelling examples of the negative impact of gender and class discrimination on a country's economy.” —Maria M. Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College

Read an excerpt: Britain’s Sexist Campaign to Sell Computers.


Women of Science Tarot by Massive Science 

Women of Science Tarot

A tarot deck that features inspirational women of science on the minor arcana cards, plus a guidebook with scientist biographies and other information.

“Farinelli's illustrations are truly amazing.” —Boing Boing


The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another by Ainissa Ramirez

The Alchemy of Us

In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—and reveals how they shaped the human experience.

“By explaining how inventions both exotic and mundane transformed society, Ramirez's ingenious survey illuminates the effect of science in a manner accessible to a wide readership.” —Publishers Weekly


To support publications by diverse voices in science and technology, please visit the MIT Press’s Fund for Diverse Voices