Friday, April 26, 2013

Lean In

I've been seeing quite a bit of press about Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In.  I did know this was a memoir-type, non fiction book about women in the work force. But, I didn't know that Sandberg was named as one of the top five most powerful women in the world, and frankly, I didn't even know who she was or what she did until I started reading.

For anyone who doesn't know, Sandberg is the COO of Facebook.  She came to Facebook from Google. She and her husband are the parents of a son and daughter, and struggle with the daily challenges that a family with two working parents faces- trying to divvy up the day-to-day tasks to keep their home running smoothly.

Part of Sandberg's book is about women at work, while part of it addresses women at home.  I'm just a few years younger than Sandberg and I can't remember growing up thinking that there were careers that were not an option for me because I am a female. Sandberg's own recollection of her childhood mirror mine.  Although our  mothers and grandmothers felt as though they were paving the way for us, creating new opportunities and helping achieve equality for us, data that Sandberg shares shows that we seem to be at a standstill.  There are still many women who must choose between career or family - simply put- there is no way for us to have it all.

I liked that Sandberg backed up her points with research. And, despite the fact that Sandberg and I are different types of people- she has found a career where she can continue to climb the ladder and be the one in charge - I have found a career in education where I enjoy working with students, not working as an administrator- I totally felt like I could relate to her.

For women reading this who are not in the work force, Lean In may seem irrelevant. But, the parts that Sandberg shares about husband/wife division of labor and marriage and child-rearing are totally relevant and Lean In is full of great advice.

I checked this book out from the library, but I thought at several points in my reading that this would be a great book to highlight and take notes on.  Lean In should be snatched up by non-fiction readers, women, and even book clubs could find plenty to talk about and reflect on.

1 comment:

Hindi SMS said...

I have been following Sheryl since finding a gem of a video on TED TALKS for women- Why we have too few women leaders. Her inspiring talk and her experiences resonated with my upbringing. I was taken care by my mother who too had to traverse through hellish obstacles in her life. Her experiences and in part her absence in my childhood development made me purchase this book for her birthday last week. What I did not expect was to read the whole book before giving it to her! This book is a treasure trove for people struggling to find the answers for what's wrong with the corporate world and to some terms in common households. At first glance it seems that the book is based on her personal experiences however it is written with references to many surveys and reports which I am sure that many of you will find informative. I suggest this book not only to women but even to men because they need to understand what a struggle is. Especially times like these where Indian women are subjugated to brutal crimes. This book will be a valuable asset to your intellect no matter your age, sex or religion. As a contemporary feminist I am very happy with what the book offers. A must buy.