Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is the #1 Bestseller on Amazon in Books and on the Kindle. It has caused a sensation, inspiring hundreds of articles and blog posts, buzz in the social networking world, and has been featured as a hot topic on the Sunday talk shows. Written by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, this book clearly has struck a national nerve. This is especially true with International Women’s Day celebrated recently, and continuing controversy over Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, policy to suspend work from home. Other gender battles such as the fight for the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act (highlighted by the Obama campaign in the 2012 general election), and continued realities women face, highlighted in the 2012 article published in the Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” highlight the baffling persistence of the gender gap. We know women are power achievers, but at a certain level of achievement rewarded by pay and prestige, there is a clear disconnect and women are seen rarely at such levels.
As the Los Angeles Times, writes:
“Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ offers a feminist view from the top…Sandberg, with her rare view from the top, is naming and attempting to redress the double standards, entrenched attitudes and regressive catch-22s that drive women into ruts of self-doubt, lowered expectations and accommodating self-sacrifice.”
Clearly we as a planet are missing out according to Ms. Sandberg:
“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half of our countries and companies and men ran half of our homes. The laws of economics and many studies of diversity tell us that if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our performance would improve.”
Men also need to lean in, according to Kunal Modi, in a piece written for Policy Mic. He states:
“As men, we need to create our own circles and community to encourage other men to talk about career equity, domestic responsibility and gender dynamics. We all have to work together to change the norm around how and where these issues are discussed.”
He goes on to poignantly express why men also have to be part of the call to Lean In:
“I want my son to have a choice to fully contribute in the workforce or at home and I want my daughter to have the choice to not just succeed, but to be liked for her accomplishments…How good are we as managers of our companies and corporations if we see men reaching for opportunities more than women?”
Some Things Don’t Add Up:
Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives.
Her work tackles institutional gender discrimination head on. The Los Angeles Times article points out that, contrary to some critics of the book, she does in fact bring together
“…reams of studies about gender dynamics in the workplace, showing how men are promoted based on potential, women on accomplishments; that a woman who explains her qualifications in a job interview is less likely to be hired.
The facts that Lean In recounts are damning and point to why achieving financial independence, personal freedom and fulfillment is even more crucial for women:
“I am fully aware that most women are not focused on changing social norms for the next generation but simply trying to get through each day. Forty percent of working mothers lack sick days and vacation leave, and almost 50 percent of working mothers are unable to take time off to care for a sick child. Only about half of women receive any pay during maternity leave…. Too many talented women try their hardest to reach the top and bump up against systemic barriers. So many others pull back because they do not think they have a choice.”
In presenting the facts to maker her case, Sandberg uses Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead to examine why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower… More >>