I have heard fellow business students speak about Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In” over the past semester and knew I had to read it. I am not sure if it is the fact that the business world is evolving and women are taking more risks, or if it is because I attend an all women’s day college, but the popularity of this book is making its mark. I have lofty goals and know the glass ceiling still exists in many ways for women. As soon as my semester was over, I dove into this book. The main concept that is discussed in this book is the fact that women tend to steer clear of the table, when they should be willing to sit down, even if they are the only woman, and “lean in.” It is necessary for women to become more involved in the business, the dialog, the negotiations, and to not fear discussing important topics.
Sandberg even goes as far as discussing the need for women to speak about their family choices such as having a baby, and to not turn down opportunities because they think their pregnancy or children will affect it. Instead, they should determine the choice they make based on their desires. I have seen how women limit themselves, and I am a shining example of this as I have always put others ahead of myself, until recently. I think Sandberg makes an important point because women tend to remain silent when they should be speaking up! It is crucial for women to know where they are going and what they want.
As more equality is found in the workplace, more fathers will need to step up, and I have seen this happening as well. My husband is incredibly supportive, and while I can nitpick and say he is not taking on enough housework, he takes on a great deal of the work with the kids. I assume that as I work more outside of the home, he will step up even more and take on housework. Sandberg shows the unfortunate seclusion men face when they become the primary caregivers for their children, and this dynamic also needs to change if women are to rely on them more. The important thing is for the dialog to continue so changes can be made. Women need to “lean in” because their opinions and challenges matter. Without an equal say, there cannot be an equal society.
Sandberg brings up important topics, some of which are already widely discussed, but her overall message is important to the development of women in the workforce. There are many things I will take away from this book, but more importantly, when I find myself backing away from a situation because I am one of the only women, or I am nervous, I will “lean in.”