‘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!


The benefits of being a breadwinner AND a caregiver


What is is about

This video is a personal account by Anne-Marrie about making tough choices between success in her career and success in her home life. This is a heartfelt video of personal insight in prioritising what is most important.

Why is this different

Anne- Marie  takes the personal and makes it political and uses her own personal experiences to re-define for her,  the feminist narrative.  Anne-Marie challenges the notion of equality between men and women in the workplace as simply women accessing the same jobs as men. Don’t get me wrong, she values this as an important goal in its own right. However, she feels and, I must say I agree- real equality is wider than this. Real equality as she defines it is about  a range of choices weather its to work, be a home maker or be both. All choices should have equal value.  She says and I also agree again, we need to ‘make caregiving cool for guys’. Men that stay at home, women that stay at home or those that go to work or all number of combination that is right for each family should hold equal weight. This is a worthy call to action.


How this will help

This  video is thought provoking as it challenges us to conceptualise caregiving in a different way. She points out some interesting observations that are relevant and important in a modern high speed networked  global workplace:

  • Individuals who are breadwinners and who are also caregivers are more resilient, have greater empath, greater creativity and have a wider range of contacts
  • Organisations with family friendly polices have more engaged employees at work, they are more loyal and have less stress
  • Economies that have the highest level of family friendly practices and infrastructure  (e.g Norway, Sweden and Denmark) rank high on the OCED global competitiveness league tables

This is some interesting and important food for thought- enjoy!