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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 11, 2013
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The best message to take from this book is to be aware of what is going on in the workplace. Take the opportunity to change the inequality. Don't wait for someone to "fix" things for you. When opportunities present themselves jump on them if it's what you want. Take control.
With the power of technology, innovation, and education, the model she advances is becoming- and arguably has become- obsolete. Her approach already feels outdated and it's hard to see how "Lean In" will inspire a revolution. Her call to arms seems to be, "hang on to the jungle gym bars and and claw your way towards something that resembles 'power' so we can claim victory when the face of 'power' looks more equal." To my mind, increased power and victory for women will not come solely from playing nice within existing empires, but from building empires of their own.
Every role model I have has "taken the off ramp" (in some cases quite early) and, through ingenuity and grit, created her own highway. They haven't had to elbow for a seat at the Old Boys Club table. They've built their own damn table.
For well-educated women entrenched in and committed to transforming behemoth institutions: "Lean In" is the roadmap for you. Godspeed. But for creative, enterprising, scrappy, imaginative, restless, optimistic women of every stripe eager to carve out a fulfilling career look elsewhere. Swiss Miss/Tina Roth-Eisenberg's list of over 300 women entrepreneurs is a good place to start. They aren't leaning in. They are leading the way.
Why do I call myself "underprivileged":
1. I came to the U.S. when I was 22 years old, speaking broken English. Today, I still feel that my options are limited because of my English :)
2. I don't have any family connection in the U.S. When I arrived the U.S. for the 1st time in my life, I didn't have any friends.
3. My parents are no where near the term "privileged". They don't have money, power, or connections.
4. I didn't graduate from prestige schools like Harvard - I wish I could. But I am still proud of my 2 Master's degrees in science. I earned them through hardworking. I had to work a full-time day job + a night job + going to school full time so that I could pay for the out-of-state tuition, support my parents and my brother, and keep my legal status
Today, I am a senior manager in IT industry- not nearly as sucessful as Mrs. Sandberg. But you can see why I relate to her in many ways:
1. Like Mrs. Sandberg and her husband, my husband and I are full-time working parents with 2 young children
2. Like Mrs. Sandberg and her husband, I plan kids' parties and my husband manages family finances. My husband and I divide our family duties
3. Like Mrs. Sandberg and her husband, my husband and I insist on having dinners with our children everyday and share the favorite part of the day and the worst part of the day - cannot believe they do this too!
4. At work, I always sit at the table - just like her
5. I often feel guilty about not spending more time with my kids or not knowing all the details about my kids' daily lives - Mrs. Sandberg did it, too
6. When at work, I compared myself with working men. When at home, I compared myself with stay home mothers - just like how Mrs. Sandberg did at one point! Thanks to my husband who pulled me out of this self-imposed unfair comparision - just like how her husband supported her all along!
7. My kids had head lices and I had to stop working to pick them up from school. Treating head lice was not fun. But guess what? Mrs. Sandberg had to go through that, too! Head lices don't discriminate against so called "privileges" after all... :)
8. Maybe I shouldn't admit this publicly... But yes my kids have slept in school cloth so that we can save 15 precious minutes in the morning. My parents couldn't afford PJs when I was a kid. And trust me, not wearing PJ at night is't the end of the world
9. I cried, once, in front of my male boss. Such a relife to find out that she cried, too!
10. After my maternity leave, my male boss put me in a shared office with a male co-worker... I couldn't pump! I went to HR and told them that I should have the same single office as I had before my leave because my productivity didn't go down just because I had a child! I got my office back. And they found a small room for other women workers who don't have single offices to pump. Didn't Mrs. Sandberg ask for parking spots for preganent women because of her pregnancy? - way to go! Workplaces should be sensitive to these women issues.
11. At work, I am facing the same exact struggles she has been through. On top of it, I fear that females who came from other countries are much less represented at the tables...
The list can go on and on... I found myself in every chapter she wrote. I feel that her advices directly address my insecurity and help me find strength to move on to bigger and better things.
So, Do NOT let those "privilege" arguments get in your way. Do read this book and allow yourself be inspired by her. And ask ourselves this: If a "privileged" and highly successful women like her admits that she cannot do it all, why should we, "underprivileged" women burn ourselves out trying to do it all? I found this liberating.
The issues Mrs. Sandberg talked about and the advices she gave don't apply to all women. But they apply to ALL AMBITIONS women.
Mrs. Sandberg helped many women. I'll try to do the same - I am going to share this book with my junior colleagues just like how Mrs. Sandberg shared this book with all of us.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easy to read, clear and concise.