Sheryl Sandberg Wants Us to "Lean In"

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Sheryl Sandberg Wants Us to "Lean In"
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Mon, 03-11-2013 - 3:57pm

There is a lot in the news regarding Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book, "Lean In", in which she is trying to empower women to be more aggressive in the workplace.   It's interesting to read the different viewpoints on the debate, ranging from ABC News to CNN and the New York Times.  

From an iVillage article:

But time is exactly what's holding many women back. The time investment required for women to move ahead in their jobs at all levels -- not just the C-suite spots -- is a deal breaker for many women who aren't willing to sacrifice those hours with their family. All of Sandberg's brilliant plans for redefining how working women are viewed and how they network hinge on the point that women need to want these jobs. And if the current formula of working longer and harder for career success doesn't change, many women won't. 

http://www.ivillage.com/sheryl-sandberg-will-women-want-lean/6-a-526612

The articles discuss various issues that have been debated here before, such as if women can truly have it all and why women aren't as aggressive as their male counterparts to get what they deserve in the workplace.  Detractors feel that with her work history, education and success, she's unable to understand the average working woman, she's not up against the same obstacles.  

What do you think needs to change in the work place in order for women to succeed, and maybe find an easier balance between their work and home lives?  Do you think that encouraging more women to be aggressive about moving up the corporate ladder is realistic?  

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 4:33pm

I thought she rejected the whole "career ladder" paradigm in favor of a "jungle gym" where different people are moving around and everyone can see the whole picture, instead of the ladder, where all you see is the person ahead of you's butt and you step on the hands of the person under you.

I think there HAVE been a lot of workplace changes in the last few years that make it easier for both men and women to balance work/home life.  In my field, for instance, we routinely have a seven year tenure clock -- if you don't make tenure within seven years, you are fired and your career is essentially over.  But about a decade ago, maybe longer, it became possible to "stop the tenure clock" for a year when you become a new parent or have another kind of life altering event to deal with.  It was seen as a "woman's issue" in that in academia, if you are going to have kids, you probably should do it in the first seven years after grad school - you are typically at least thirty when the PhD is awarded, and waiting until tenure is awarded could mean no kids at all.  But over half of the tenure clock stoppages are for men, and it works in everyone's favor.  Stuff like that.  Now the challenge is keeping and extending family-friendly benefits.  Or in education/academia, making sure tenure itself survives current challenges to the system.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 5:34pm

Do we tell men they can't have it all? Men move up the ranks and nobody blinks an eye, SAHWs are just a part of the package, But heaven forbid we take SAHDs to task when the same is mentioned about women, Two income families will always be compared to homes that have a SAHP, And while that's not what you're saying it is important to realze that moms who work and want families can't have it all b/c men that work don't have it all, Somebody is there to pick up the slack you can't. There is plenty of opportunity for women to move up the ranks, Some women just don't see it, Every single principal at my childrens' school is female except the middle school and mal/efemale college professors and deans alike are in positions they want to be in. Rumor has it that PhDs fight fire with eachother more than anybody b/c they place too much emphisis on the the "pile high explicitives" behind their names, Lol.

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>Do we tell men they can't have it all? Men move up the ranks and nobody blinks an eye, SAHWs are just a part of the package, But heaven forbid we take SAHDs to task when the same is mentioned about women, Two income families will always be compared to homes that have a SAHP, And while that's not what you're saying it is important to realze that moms who work and want families can't have it all b/c men that work don't have it all, Somebody is there to pick up the slack you can't. There is plenty of opportunity for women to move up the ranks, Some women just don't see it, Every single principal at my childrens' school is female except the middle school and mal/efemale college professors and deans alike are in positions they want to be in. Rumor has it that PhDs fight fire with eachother more than anybody b/c they place too much emphisis on the the "pile high explicitives" behind their names, Lol.</p>
What is an "explicitive"?  I probably should know, but I looked behind my name, and there wasn't one. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 6:35pm

bordwithyou wrote:
  What is an "explicitive"?  I probably should know, but I looked behind my name, and there wasn't one.

It's questions like this.  Why bother?  Does it matter?  Did you miss the rest of her interesting post ~ for me her post generated some interesting ideas in my mind. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 6:39pm

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>Do we tell men they can't have it all? Men move up the ranks and nobody blinks an eye, SAHWs are just a part of the package, But heaven forbid we take SAHDs to task when the same is mentioned about women, Two income families will always be compared to homes that have a SAHP, And while that's not what you're saying it is important to realze that moms who work and want families can't have it all b/c men that work don't have it all, Somebody is there to pick up the slack you can't. There is plenty of opportunity for women to move up the ranks, Some women just don't see it, Every single principal at my childrens' school is female except the middle school and mal/efemale college professors and deans alike are in positions they want to be in. Rumor has it that PhDs fight fire with eachother more than anybody b/c they place too much emphisis on the the "pile high explicitives" behind their names, Lol.</p>

Really well said, Jams.  As you know from your work experience and hearing the workplace stories from your DH, the opportunities are there for men and women alike.  Everyone sacrifices.  No one can have it all and men too miss out on seeing their children all day.  Unless they SAH.  Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer (Yahoo CEO) have power jobs and husbands in ambitious fields, but nothing like these 2 women.  Who does, lol?  But I'd imagine, their husbands are willing to cut back on work for the sake of such large marital income ~ it can't last forever! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009

thardy2001 wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">bordwithyou</em> wrote:</div>  What is an "explicitive"?  I probably should know, but I looked behind my name, and there wasn't one. </blockquote></p><p>It's questions like this.  Why bother?  Does it matter?  Did you miss the rest of her interesting post ~ for me her post generated some interesting ideas in my mind.  </p>

She used a word I am not familiar with and can't find in the dictionary.  I can't respond to her post without knowing what it says.  I just asked for clarification on something I don't understand.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 6:46pm

Melissa, there there are sad stories of regret like this from (now bankrupt) Lehman Brothers CFO Erin Callan:

<<“I can’t make up for lost time,” she wrote in a Sunday New York Times opinion piece, “Is There Life After Work?” In it, Callan, who resigned as CFO in 2008, describes how work always came first for her, often at the expense of family, friends and her marriage (which eventually ended in divorce). It also got in the way of her starting a family, though she is now remarried and has stepchildren.

“I missed having a child of my own,” she writes. “I am 47 years old, and Anthony and I have been trying in vitro fertilization for several years. We are still hoping.”>>

Me: I can't imagine how much regret is wrapped up in the day-to-day of a woman going thru IVF at 47 years-old.  That's a lot of regret.  Confirming perhaps no one can have it all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 6:51pm

I love that this dialogue is going on now in places like iVillage, the newspapers and television.  It wasn't so, years ago when I quit lawyering to SAH full-time.  However, the options may still be the same ~ work full-time and have children, or SAH. 

Sheryl Sandberg is just too far ahead of her time.  Women are not ready for her yet.  To see so many *women* writers criticize her openly, is upsetting.  When it comes to being competent for the bigger and better jobs, women can fit the bill.  Education?  Check.   There are no longer barriers to women getting a top education.  A woman may have to sit in a quiet corner and ask herself if she's smart enough to go into debt, to major in computer sciences, to get a Masters even.  But it's there for the taking.  Work experience?  Check.  The professional opportunities are out there.  Companies are in the business of making money for their stockholders; any employee who can work toward that goal stands a good chance of being hired.  Not a great chance during a recession.  Hopefully that will improve.  There will always be recessions, there will always be a great demand for top-notch professionals.

I love Sandberg's Lean In theory.  A huge barrier to advancing is the backstabbing and "credit"-stealing that goes on in the workplace.  It's done by men and women.  Let women be the smarter sex and unite to end the petty bickerings.  Sometimes women can be our own worst enemies.  Let's be an example to the men and to our daughters.

As for childcare, there is no easy solution.  A good start would be a daycare in the workplace. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2013

</p><p>As for childcare, there is no easy solution.  A good start would be a daycare in the workplace. </p>[/quote]

Even then, life happens. I was up ALL NIGHT last night w/little bitty vomiting. She's got GI distress & a fever now. Odds are pretty good that all of my vomit cleaning & hair holding last night is going to reward me with a night of vomiting myself, likely tomorrow, despite my copious use of bleach & lysol. DH is out of town for work and I can not willingly expose my aging father to a stomach virus. And I certainly wouldn't expose a nanny or paid childcare worker, either. So I emailed my professor and let him know that unless she has some sort of dramatic recovery, I will not be in class tomorrow night. No amount of quality childcare is going to deal with puking kids. If DH was home, I'd head to class w/o a second thought. But he's not and chosing the sick kid over class was a no-brainer. FTR, the prof cancelled class two weeks ago b/c it hit his own house, He could not have been nicer or more understanding.

School is my work. But when push came to shove, family trumped it. I don't view this as not being able to "have it all" though. I can have family and be a graduate student. Sometimes the needs of each take from the other, but I view that as the inevitable juggling act that is life. Anyone with more than one kid understands how to juggle various needs. This is the same thing. 

On Wednesdays we wear pink.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 8:34pm
Sorry for the misspelling, you've seriously not heard that expression about PhDs? Maybe IT'S a geographic thing, Lol. My professor loves to talk about his ranking, The 8 years it took to get his "PhD", That his biases are worth their weight in gold, You don't ask if he likes or not the department dean whose PhD is just as powerful as yours until someone tells you, Not all PhDs have such inflated egos but many do.

 


 


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