Advertisements

Lean In

29 May

81ByyJ2+rpL._SL1500_(PICK IT)

Author: Sheryl Sandberg

Genre: Nonfiction

First Published: 2013

Page Count: 172

Type: Hardcover

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Sandberg’s book is the call to arms for the war on gender equality that the women of the 21st century have been waiting for.

__________________Positives__________________

*Excellent Research References     *Personal Stories     *Wide Variety of Topics

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Limited View

“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.” Women may be able to vote, drive a car, wear what we want, and own property, but even the modern woman of the 21st century is still far from being seen as an equal compared to the opposite sex. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg goes beyond the topic of the glass ceiling to illustrate how in the home, in our relationships with our partners, and in the raising of our children, women still get the short end of the stick. She cites important studies and famous examples, but also poignantly uses her own personal stories to illuminate how common it is for women to encounter instances where they are treated as if they are not on the same playing field as men.

I had never heard of this book and was completely oblivious to all the discussion about it on social media and in the news. However, as I started reading, I understood how this book could inspire so much talk. Sandberg sprinkles factoids throughout her book, like this little gem from a survey of a Princeton class in 2006, where 62% of women predicted having a work life balance conflict if they had kids, but 46% of the men who also anticipated a work life conflict from having children expected that their partner would drop their career to raise the kids. The studies and cases presented in the book inspire a lot of pent-up, deep-seated anger because it is something I can relate to, something that I deal with everyday of my adult female life, and something that I’ve felt helpless to change. Then you add her personal stories, things ranging from crying at work to hearing her son cry out for the nanny instead of her, and that final barrier is broken where I mentally fell to my knees in awe of how accurately she has captured the fears and struggles of every modern woman, of someone like myself, in this book. She doesn’t just talk about the struggles of women in the work place; she covers what feels like every aspect of life in which a woman might feel a lack of equality compared to her male counterparts.

If I had to have any qualm with this brilliant book, it would be that it is still limited in fully detailing all the real struggles of woman in this century. It’s limited by her age; for example, as a millennial there is a lot of pressure to do so much before you get married (let alone procreate) that isn’t even related to work. It’s as if you are less of a person if your Instagram profile isn’t well stocked with vacation photos from every country in the world as you joyfully immerse yourself in exotic cultures.  Even as a COO of a huge social media company, I think Sheryl has narrowly avoided the pressures that come with growing up in the MySpace/Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram era that I’ve navigated as a young adult. The book is also limiting because, as she admits, she lives a lifestyle where she can afford great child care, etc. Living in Northern California myself, the cost of living is a huge barrier that prevents mothers (or fathers) from “making it home for dinner every night.” Being able to afford a house while also juggling the cost of child care and every other expense is one thing; there’s also the fact that most people’s commutes here can easily be an hour plus in the Bay Area. Living in the Bay Area and I’m sure in other places around the country has become a complex balancing act since this book was written. Between braving 2 plus hour commutes to work 5 days a week roundtrip, long work days, high cost of living, and no money left over at the end of the day to hire help around the house, most people’s free time is spent catching up on whatever housework falls through the cracks during the week. And that’s without throwing kids into the mix. It’s incredible men or women have not gone bonkers with what is on their plates in this day and age. Asking for flexibility in any shape or form in your career feels more daunting than ever because we can’t afford to lose that job or be seen as less committed than our coworkers, even though that flexibility is sorely needed by all.

This book has given me so much insight into my own inner struggles as a woman moving through this world and a lot of confidence that I’m not alone in my feelings or observations. It gives me hope that things might change and gave me the slap on the wrist I needed to realize that I’ve got to do my part to continue what Sandberg has started with this book and many other women have done before her. This eye-opening book should be read by all men and women as a first step in trying to make all our lives a little easier and to make our world a better place.

Advertisements

Feel Free to Leave a Reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: