Friday, September 12, 2014

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg (audio)

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

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. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. 

Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.

My thoughts:
Third time is the charm, I started this book twice before this, but the due date at the library always came up before I finished it and it was never able to be renewed.  This time I tried it on audio and listened to it in a couple of days.  It brought up a lot of good points for both men and women and about changes that still need to be made in the workplace and in our minds to encourage a better future for everyone.  Pitching a new client and asking to use the restroom, only to find out that the man who has worked at this site for months doesn't know if there is a women's room or if a woman has ever been at a meeting there in the past year, being the first person to suggest expectant mother parking at Google, being brave enough to set hours that are family friendly and advocating for oneself and others are all example Sandberg uses. 

Not only do women shy away from tooting their own horns, but they are looked at worse than men if they do.  They are damned if they do and damned if they don't/  I loved the story about four powerful women who ate lunch together regularly and then talk up each others achievements, so they advocate for one another and let people know about the great thing they are each doing, but without falling into the bossy, arrogant unliked woman trap.

How does society go about changing the perception of women with power and start judging them the same way men are judged?  How do we make fair family medical leave for both men and women that doesn't come with unfair repercussions?  How do we allow women and men to be comfortable with their family decisions and what works for them, who stays home or doesn't stay home, how long a maternity or paternity leave is taken and how do we stop judging each other? 

How do we all learn to come to the table together and sit together and accept one another, to find a mentor or become a mentor to someone regardless of gender, to make sure the best person for the job gets the job without prejudice?  I am afraid that there is still so far to go, but I hope that as our children come into the work force that changes have been made and continue to be made so they can have a whole world of opportunity open to them and not just bits and pieces of it.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385349949
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/11/2013
  • Pages: 240

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