Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Succeed, by Sheryl Sandberg (2013)

Genre: Nonfiction
Interest Level: Adult
Lean InAnother self-help business book that I picked up on the recommendation of a colleague at a conference. This one is by the CEO of Facebook, or rather co-written by her, along with Nell Scovell. Sandberg is also a former Google leader, and launched her career with the U.S. Treasury. She has the chops for this one – for her entire career, she is one of a handful of women at the table. That’s her point. Despite the many strides women have made in the workforce, we are still underrepresented in the power circles of business, and in many ways we have only ourselves to blame. You might be surprised to learn I don’t disagree. One of my former bosses (a woman) referred to this as the limits we set on ourselves, the horizons that limit us. “I can’t apply for that job – I’m nowhere near qualified.” “I need more experience first.” “I’ve only been here a year; I can’t leave yet.” Stats show that women will apply for a position when they meet 70% of the qualifications; men will give it a shot with about 30%!! Sandberg encourages us to sit at the table, and lean into the conversation; and thereby lean into our careers. She addresses everything from balancing careers and home lives to how to manage emotions at work. She acknowledges the need for partners (at home and at work) to step up, but focuses primarily on the steps individual women can take to direct their own careers. It’s a lightweight treatment, and made lighter still by an over-reliance on statistics. But she makes her point with the intended audience, and her writing is clear and accessible with an easy pacing.
More reviews and discussion of this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16071764

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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