Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lean In time

Finally had time to read Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead during my break in Asia. A fantastic read and easy to see why the book is flying off the shelves. On my trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo it was everywhere. As a writer (and career-loving parent) who has covered gender diversity and discrimination for more than a decade, Sandberg does go over a lot of data/research that has been widely reported but it's information worth repeating. (Basically, women rarely get to the top anywhere in the world.) Where Lean In gets really good is when she talks candidly about internal obstacles, the mistakes she has made and the mistakes she sees other women making in their working lives. Chapter 'It's a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder' about ways to rethink career paths; 'Are You My Mentor' about the myths and realities of mentoring and 'Seek and Speak Your Truth' are powerful new perspectives on ways that women really can 'sit at the table' and take part in leadership roles all across society. Just as she explores the women's success outside the home, she also looks at the barriers to men embracing home/family life and issues around divisions of labour everywhere.
Sandberg's call for the end of complacency over gender discrimination is long overdue. I've nerded up and have joined 137,000 others in a new Facebook Lean In community. The whole Lean In trajectory started with this fab TED talk. Check it out...

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