What I’m reading: Lean in: women, work, and the will to lead

After reading Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me? I was inspired to continue my theme of women in the workplace.  After having Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg recommended to me a few years ago, I decided I was interested to hear what it was about.

I am a women in her early 30’s in the workplace, this book was extremely relatable and the statistics floored me, –and yet I got it, every word and every chapter I could see, understand, and was even living.  Some of the topics that really stood out to me were:

1.) When she originally decided to join Google she was concerned because her job description was not laid out and she wasn’t sure of what exactly she would be doing.  When discussing it with someone they said “When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters. He told me, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.” Its an interesting concept to look at, but basically if you see that a position has fast mobility, its best to take that into account.

2.) Don’t beat yourself up for not “doing it all”.  Working full time and balancing family is hard.  Working full time and balancing family with kids is harder.  You can’t do it all and you can’t be expected to.  You need to make trade offs in your life, and at work.  Don’t beat yourself up over if the laundry is done, or the kitchen table is a mess, get your work done, but don’t kill yourself over it.  A part that really was a sore spot for me here is that your spouse needs to be contributing equally in order for you to stay balanced.

What I found interesting was that when I told a friend that I was reading this book, he said “Urgh really whyyy?!” I was kind of surprised for the reaction, I googled to find there were hundreds of feminists that opposed her viewpoints and thought that this book was out of touch and unrealistic.  This really bothers me because many of the things that she states are backed up by research.  She is really just a voice giving concerns that there is a problem with gender bias and sexism towards working women.  I know because I have seen it first hand.  I think the most important take away is that your perspective is individual to yourself, and you need to take inspirational topics to apply them how they fit your own life.

This book had a strong message that was filled with research, and numerous studies to back up the main points.  It also gave a lot of personal perspectives and some deep vulnerable examples to voice with first hand accounts.  I really recommend this book not only to women in the workplace but to women who are in college so they can understand what challenges are still very relevant today.  I also recommend it to men in the workplace so they can have a new perspective on the challenges their colleagues have to prevail.

With that, I leave you a gender bias comic I found on facebook, its so true, and so sad.


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