As mentioned in a previous post, ‘Lean-in by Sheryl Sandberg’ is #1 on my #BossBabe reading list, and for good reasons. Lean-in was published in 2013.
Sheryl is the COO of Facebook, worked at Yahoo as well,and in her book gives us an overview of women in the workplace, as well as the challenges of balancing private and professional life.
197 heads of state, only 22 are women.
Of the top 500 companies by revenues, only 21 are headed by women. In politics, women hold just 18% of congressional offices.
She points out the need to have more women in leadership and explains how women act differently to men which ends up holding themselves back in their career.
Women have the skills, girls are outperforming boys in the classroom. There are more women graduating with a University degree in the United States than men (57% of undergrads, and 60% of graduates), And yet we still do not see women in top jobs.
Leadership position are still filled in by men, so why is that? This is the most controversial part of the book, where she got a lot of criticism from feminist groups.
She points out that ‘we’ (women) keep ourselves from advancing our careers by lacking the self-confidence and drive men seem to show so easily.
Although to be honest,
in my experience any women in the workplace who have those ‘men-like quality’ are easily called names!
How fun is that!
Heard of the Harry & Howard study?
Two professors wrote up a case study about a real-life entrepreneur named Heidi Roizen, describing how she became a successful venture capitalist by relying on her outgoing personality and huge personal and professional network. The professors had a group of students read Roizen’s story with her real name attached and another group read the story with the name changed to “Howard.” Then the students rated Howard and Heidi on their accomplishments and on how appealing they seemed as colleagues. While the students rated them equally in terms of success, they thought Howard was likable while Heidi seemed selfish and not “the type of person you would want to hire or work for.” Sandberg’s conclusion: when a man is successful, he is well liked. When a woman does well, people like her less.
She talks about mentors, how asking for someone to be your mentor makes things weird, and doesn’t work … instead she says ask people who you look up to for advice, in Senior and Junior roles. Just don’t force that relationship!
Parenting should be divided with your partner! We (women) today work as hard in the office as men do, dividing the parenting & household duties is only fair.
Raising a family is a full time job, but women today already have a full time job IN the office!
Are we supposed to pull a double shit? office work + ‘home’ work?
But Lean-In is way more than just a book, it is a movement, it is pushing women to take a hard look at their career and dare to ask for a sit at the table.
Let’s talk about Lean in Org, or Lean in foundation, is a nonprofit organization founded to offer women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals. It supports women in community, education, and circles, or small, coordinated peer groups that meet to share their experiences and learn together.
It changed the conversation from ‘what we can’t do to what we can do!’
And as part or Lean-In Org/foundation we today see very often ‘Lean-In’ groups in corporation. Bringing women together to raise these important topics, help and push each other to go for that new job, project, simply to put ourselves forward more. what we now call ‘Lean-In together’
Sheryl’s very much talked about ‘Ted talk’
if you haven’t read the book, or like me you aren’t a big reader (i do audiobook) look at this TedTalk it summarizes well a few of the important points of the book.
A few more inspirational quotes from Sheryl:
I highly recommend you read the book! Or if like me you are not a big reader, get it on Audiobook.
and just for a spoiler alert, I have already started my next #BossBabe reading