By: Sheryl Sandberg
My name is Macy Burkett, and I’m Jacob’s wife. Jacob and I are both book lovers, so I’ll be helping him blog from now on. We read very different books, so I’m hoping that both of us posting will add some diversity and a new perspective. I’m excited to be an official blogger of Burkett’s Book Blog, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of Lean In by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Lean In is the story of Sandberg’s struggles being a woman in a man’s world. This book derived from a TED Talk Sandberg made in 2010 called “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders.” In both the TED Talk and the book, she thoroughly discusses the importance of women leaning into their careers, even when we think it’s a good time to step back. One of the most important points of the book for me was when Sandberg pointed out that women are taught from childhood that it is nearly impossible to have a successful career and spend time with your children. She gives great tips for having exactly what you want in life–whether that’s a career, a career and a family, or a career in the home taking care of your family.
Sandberg also highly encourages women to sit at the table when it comes to their professions. She shares an anecdote about a business meeting she ran. As she was pitching to this potential client, she noticed that the only people sitting at the table in the meeting were men. There were women in attendance, but they chose to sit in chairs at the side of the room instead of at the table. According to Sandberg, it is crucial for women to sit at the table in order for us to achieve the life we want and equality in the workplace.
Finally, a point in the book that I found appealing was not only making sure our daughters know they can do anything, but also teaching our sons that they can do anything, too. Daughters are encouraged from childhood to be caretakers and loving. Sons are encouraged to be competitive and powerful. We should be teaching our children that they can be successful in any field, including telling our sons that it’s okay for them to be stay-at-home dads one day. This also goes for maternity and paternity leave. Sandberg states that the professional world has a long way to go until women receive enough paid maternity leave, but it has an even longer way to go until men receive enough paid paternity leave. Equality means equality for both genders–not just for women.
There are countless meaningful examples and anecdotes like the ones above in the book. I recommend Lean In to everyone. Not just women, not just people in the corporate world, but everyone. There is something meaningful in it for everybody. This book opened my eyes to ways that women and men seem to be conditioned since birth. We need to break these norms and lean in to change and equality.