Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

Posted April 1, 2013 in Career Management, Communication, What We're Reading

Book Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead by Sheryl SandbergBy: Sheryl Sandberg

Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Overview: 30 years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions. In Lean In, Facebook COO and Harvard graduate Sheryl Sandberg combines research, data and personal insights to explore the reasons why the gap remains. The book sets the stage by pointing to an “ambition gap” between men and women and then through each chapter explores various barriers (perceived and real) that contribute to holding women back. The book is a quick read at just over 150 pages and provides lots of food for thought for both female and male readers alike.

The Bottom-line: Frankly, there isn’t really much new in Lean In that we haven’t heard or read about before. What is refreshing about this book is the tone of encouragement that can be heard through Sandberg’s voice. She comes across as credible in her desire to encourage women to step up to leadership and her personal reflections throughout the book certainly triggered many of my own. As well, she’s not shy to call out the elephants in the room that often prevent women from advancing (aka: other women) and even treads into the marriage territory (since lack of support on the home front is often a bigger cause for the glass ceiling than the workplace). Regardless of your gender, there are many practical strategies that readers can take away to help them “lean in” to leadership.

Roundtable Rating: For any women in leadership or for any man working with women, this quick read is probably worth the two hours of your time it will take to zip through.

Check out the book and learn more by visiting www.leanin.org and watch the TED Talk that started it all.

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