Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
The book was given to me by someone with the best of intentions following a recommendation from someone else. This book apparently “changed” this person’s whole life, so that was a ringing endorsement. I dug in.
However, unless you are a woman who is actively leaning out, there might not be a lot in this book for you. Are you a woman who actively thinks about the amount of maternity leave you might get when taking any given job? Great! Are you a woman attended an Ivy League School and are therefore particularly well-connected, but you are wasting your education? Awesome! Read this book. It’s going to tell you to stop dicking around and make the most of the opportunities with which God has seen fit to bless you.
Conversely, are you a woman whose financial situation means you can’t afford to pay for child care, and you therefore must leave your job to take care of your kids for a few years? Then this book is not for you. Sorry.
Are you a woman not at risk of leaning out because you are not having children? Not for you, unless you needed the message to work harder (did you?).
Are you a woman who is working her heart out, but opportunities don’t seem to come for whatever reason? Maybe because you are a minority? Again, not for you. (You’re already leaning in, kiddo, but careful — you might fall off the cliff.)
In short, there are some poignant bits of wisdom in this book, a few one-liners you want to print out on note cards and tape to your computer monitor at work. But I was already a woman who didn’t need to learn to balance children and career, already a woman determined to succeed and already a woman ready to leap at every chance I got. According to Sandberg, I should be working at Google by now.
But I don’t know, what did you think? Did you read it? Do you feel like you are changed for the better?