Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

If I were to describe this book in two words, those two words would have to be: Girl Power.

I felt so encouraged and proud to be female. (I may have wanted to pop in my SPICE girls CD after reading this book. Actually it was already in my car. Don't judge.) Not that I have ever felt belittled or held back in my career for being a female. Perhaps I am not at that level in my career to really face those types of issues. I think more it has reassured me that because, one day, I plan on may be having children (still undecided) I don't have to hold back in my career.

The husband and I have been married for a little over two years and, of course, the topic of starting a family of our own has come up. We both would find it beneficial if one of us stayed home/ worked part time while the child is a baby. I think there has always been an assumption that it would be me that would be the one to stay at home. But this book has gotten me thinking a little differently. If I had a job that I absolutely loved and wanted to keep working, and say my husband be the one to stay home, that would be okay. I shouldn't feel any less of a "mom" because I choose to continue working. I am pretty sure if I asked my husband if he wanted to be the SAHD and maybe work part time, he would be OKAY with that. Haha. I know he would be great at it as well! But the truth is, we are not there yet. Yes, we have talked about it but are certainly not trying yet. In the meantime, I can still push forward until that time comes. She talks about this in the chapter, Don't Leave Before You Leave.

Some of my take aways from the book:

Sit at the Table - Being the introvert I am and sometimes lacking in confidence, I am notorious for not "sitting at the table". I try to get in an area where I won't be called on for thoughts or questions. But I shouldn't be intimidated and I should sit at the table.

It's a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder - Looking at my career as climbing jungle gym where there are different way to climb up versus the ladder which allows for only one path. This is something that my job encourages, being flexible to move into new groups, positions and acquiring new skills and knowledge. Sometimes easier said than done, of course.

Working Together Toward Equality - She comments that a lot of times, the biggest challenge/barrier/criticism women face in the work force come from other women! Folks, this stuff doesn't just happen in middle school/high school but it happens in the work environment as well. Then she adds the oh so often friction between SAHMs and ideal workers, which honestly in this economy I really didn't think would exist as much. I mean I feel like for most families, it's a necessity to have a two income family. That was until I started attending the church I go to now and realized how many SAHMs there are that home school their children. I've also experienced the unsaid tension between the two. So important to respect the decisions that every one makes with relation to this and understand that every one is different.

I am fortunate enough to work for a company that is a huge supporter of Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In movement. Our CEO recently hosted a webcast interviewing her and did an amazing job. He made a great point in his intro to their discussion stating that this is not just a gender issue but can be applied to all groups of diversity. Heck, even Sheryl herself asked if she could have a copy of that intro to listen to again because it was and is so true! It was a great discussion and increased my girl crush admiration of her, times one hundred!

So, yes, loved the book. There are so many great talking points throughout the book that if I tried to discuss, this blog post would have been entirely too long. All I have to say is, read it. Whether female or male, this book is encouraging and enlightening for everyone. Part of the reason I began this blog was because of this book. I want to Lean In as much as I can! Great read.

Oh, plus, there is a website full of more resources. It doesn't need stop at the end of the book!


"You will find something you love doing and you will do it with gusto. Find the right career for you and go all the way to the top." - Sheryl Sandberg

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