‘Lean in’ and Lead

What is it
This is a talk by Sheryl Sandberg – Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and, is quite a famous talk now. Sheryl talks about how lucky we are as women given the progress been made on gender equality. But, and a big but. The numbers tell us that women are not making it to the ‘top’,  the leadership levels, anywhere. She asks how do we fix this? How do we change these numbers at the ‘top’.

How is it different
To change the stats, Sheryl wants us to focus on what we can do as individuals. What messages we tell ourselves. This for some is a controversial statement given the role structure plays in inequality. Sheryl takes a decidedly different tact and chunks the equality challenge down a couple of notches. She does this by asking what practical steps women can take in their day to day lives to become leaders. This talk is different for me because, rather than just talking about the problem, she also talks bout what she sees as the solution.

How it can help
Sheryl calls women at work to action- to aim for the stars, to ‘lean in’. To push ourselves. She breaks down ‘leaning in’ into three aspects:

  1. Sit at the table – no one gets the promotion if you don’t own or understand your successes.
  2. Make your parter a real partner – make equality in the home a priority. Share the responsibility. (It also leads to happier marriages according research she cites).
  3. Don’t leave before you leave- when you decide to be a mother. Don’t stop going for the promotion. Keep striving. Remember, to leave your child at home, your job better be worth it.

Enjoy leaning in!

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