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.

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