Lean In Review


A good bordering on great book, underrated as a result of overly contentious discussions about Sandberg’s privilege. This is true even given her recent comments after her husband’s death. I wonder how many critics actually read the book. The book is clearly meant for a particular audience, but isn’t everything?

Take this section from the introduction, for example.

Some, especially other women in business, have cautioned me about speaking out publicly on these issues. When I have spoken out anyway, several of my comments have upset people of both genders. I know some believe that by focusing on what women can change themselves — pressing them to lean in — it seems like I am letting our institutions off the hook. Or even worse, they accuse me of blaming the victim. Far from blaming the victim, I believe that female leaders are key to the solution. Some critics will also point out that it is much easier for me to lean in, since my financial resources allow me to afford any help I need. My intention is to offer advice that would have been useful to me long before I had heard of Google or Facebook and that will resonate with women in a broad range of circumstances…

I am also acutely aware that the vast majority of women are struggling to make ends meet and take care of their families. Parts of this book will be most relevant to women fortunate enough to have choices about how much and when and where to work; other parts apply to situations that women face in every workplace, within every community, and in every home. If we can succeed in adding more female voices at the highest levels, we will expand opportunities and extend fairer treatment to all.

Overall there was a lot of clear thinking for both men and women in the workplace and interesting data. I especially like the detailed sections on the challenges of childbirth and childcare, on being more assertive in the workplace, and on learning not to be too hard on one’s self.


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