Lean In – Nearly the End

Women-Friends-Laughing[1]I was glad that Sandberg spent some time on the inequality/equality topic.  Not that long ago, as a new manager,  I straddled the likability fence.  I wanted everyone to like me, but found that it was hindering my ability to do my job.  When I found out that, because I was actually supervising, some of my employees didn’t like me.  That hurt, but I had to get over it.  Would those who were upset by me have reacted differently if I was a man? Were my expectations different because I supervise mostly women?

Is there a gender gap?  Does Sandbergs’ advice help you as you make your way up the jungle gym?

Sandberg finishes the book with the idea of working together toward equality. She suggests that the struggle between stay at home moms and working outside of the home moms needs to end.

“None of this is attainable unless we pursue these goals together.  Men need to support women and, I wish it went without saying, women need to support women too…As obvious as this sounds, women have not always worked together in the past.  In fact, there are many discouraging examples where women have actually done the opposite. (p.160.)

How can we work to encourage this cooperation?  What are the barriers?

womenSandberg mentions that everyone likes a fight, but catfights are even more fascinating. For so long we women have been battling the “mommy wars” – moms who work outside of the home vs. those who stay at home and work.  In the end both sides feel judged by the other and guilty.  On page 168 she states, “We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us.  so let’s start by validating one another. Mothers who work outside the home should regard mothers who work inside the home as real workers.  and mothers who work inside the home should be equally respectful of those choosing another option.”

Do you believe that this is possible? Is it possible to project a united force?

I leave you with her thoughts.

“Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. (p. 160.)

The Jungle Gym

jungle gymSo much of what we have been taught regarding getting ahead in the business world deals with “moving up the ladder.”  I found Sandberg’s example of the jungle gym so relevant to my “progress” in my chosen field.  Rather than the dream of moving constantly upward the idea of moving side to side, and up and down in order to get where you want to go is freeing.  What do you think?  How have you moved up?  If you’re stuck where you are and don’t see a way to move up after reading this chapter have you pondered how the jungle gym approach may be more helpful?

I have a friend (lets see if this resonates with you) who isn’t sure where she wants to end up.  She’s pretty sure that, while she’s finally gotten where she wanted to be in her company, it’s not where she wants to stay.  Disappointed that her dream job just isn’t that she’s feeling stuck.  I’ve discussed with her what she’d really love to do, and encouraged her to dream big.

I love the paragraph on page 55,

” A long-term dream does not have to be realistic or even specific.  It may reflect the desire to work in a particular field or to travel throughout the world.  Maybe the dream is to have professional autonomy or a certain amount of free time.  Maybe it’s to create something lasting or win a coveted prize.”dream

If you could dream big what would you dream?

I’ve recently taken a job that required a cut in pay, but would eventually give me more free time and the ability to enact positive chages.  It’s more work than my last job and more fulfilling – I’m NEVER bored and really trust my supervisor.  For me that’s a win-win.  What would you give up to move to where you want to be?

I think at this point we need to revisit the “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Can you truly dream big when you’re constrained with just trying to get by?  My decision was a tough one because it required some major belt-tightening and has left me worried from time to time about paying the bills.  But it was worth it! .

What would you love to do?  Share it with us!

Lean In – Discussion/Thoughts

fearOn page 35 Sandberg says ”

“One of the things I tell people these days is that there is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around.”

One of the criticisms of the book is that there is a disconnect between the reality of a wealthy working woman, a woman with a solid support system, and that of a woman who has neither.  What do you think?

Sandberg discusses the effect of fear – “What would you do if money weren’t an issue?” Is it easier for some to disregard this fear? Is fear the same for someone who might take a risk and not be able to feed her family or might lose her home?

On page 35 Sandberg discusses the incident at the end of her lecture where the men in the audience kept their hands up. “Even though I was giving a speech on gender issues, I had been blind to one myself.” She does indicate that women must do a better job of keeping their hands up, but that institutions must be aware of the gap and make strides to adjust for compensate.  What else might be done to bridge the gap? Should we as women be more mindful of other women who might need the proverbial leg up?

Lean In – Controversy?

Just a gentle reminder to come in a pick up your copy so you can get started reading Lean In. If there isn’t a copy available ask a Reference Librarian to get one for you.

Now back to my regularly scheduled post!

staff-fighting-3-bw-web[1]I thought you might want to read some of the bantering back and forth that has been occurring since the publication of Lean In.

An attack on Sheryl Sandberg and her Lean In manifesto from the New York Times? A Titan’s How-To On Breaking the Glass Ceiling by Jodi Kantor. “Ms. Sandberg “does what too many successful women before her have done: blaming other women for not trying hard enough,” wrote Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, a consultant who works with companies to improve their gender balance, after watching a video of Ms. Sandberg speaking on the topic at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. “Every resistant man on the planet will be able to quote her” saying that women simply must become more ambitious, Ms. Cox continued. (Ms. Sandberg writes that she focuses on internal barriers because the external ones get more attention.)”

The response from The New Yorker on March 4, 2013  “Maybe You Should Read the Book: The sheryl Sandberg Backlash” by Anna Holmes. “Kantor’s piece, which detailed Sandberg’s plans in a tone of subtle disdain, was notable less for what it did say than what it didn’t.”

I would like you to think about the concept of these articles before you begin (or right now if you’ve already begun the book.)

Thoughts from the PepsiCo CEO:

Can women have it all?  

Come on now you know you have an opinion.


Sheryl Sandberg Bio

Sheryl SandbergBasic information about Sheryl Sandberg

According to the database Biography in Context“:

  • Born: August 28, 1969 in Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Nationality: American
  • Occupation: Chief operating officer

John H. Williams prize, Harvard University.

Sheryl Sandberg is an American businesswoman worth $ billion as of 2014. Her positions have included working as the chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department, acting as the vice president of global online sales and operations for Google, Inc., and serving as the chief operating officer of Facebook. Sandberg has also dedicated much of her time to issues of gender equality and serves on the board of Women for Women International. She published her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead in 2013.

To access more of the article please visit jericholibrary.org and follow the links to our databases.  You can find Biography in Context either alphabetically or by following the “Biography” listing on the right hand of the screen.  You will be prompted for your Jericho Library card – please enter all of the numbers (no spaces.)

For more about the Lean In initiative please visit leanin.org




Lean In

Ok, when I chose Lean In as our next selection I thought “female empowerment what could be wrong with that?”  What I’ve found out is that, as with most things, there are varying opinions about “leaning in.”

I hope that you will share your opinions – they are all valid and welcome here!

About the book:

lean inIn response to Sheryl’s 2010 TEDTalk (I’ll Post that next) on the ways women are held back—and the way we hold ourselves back—viewers around the world shared their own stories of struggle and success. This overwhelming response inspired Sheryl to write this book. In Lean In, she shares her personal stories, uses research to shine a light on gender differences, and offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals. The book challenges us to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do, and serves as a rallying cry for us to work together to create a more equal world.

Happy New Year – Happy Birthday to JPL’s Book-In-A-Blog!

birthday_cake[1]I cannot believe that it’s 2015, and JPLs Book-In-A-Blog is almost a year old!  Things started off January 28, 2014 with just a little about how this endeavor was going to work.  Quickly followed by our first pick Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.  For those dying for information about the possible movie being made with Jennifer Lawrence there isn’t much news IMDB still is listing it as “in development.”  I loved the book and feel as though there is potentially a really great movie in there.  Let’s start a movement and tell them that they need to get a move on.


I thought he might be funny, but he’s actually pretty creepy – no?

I do hope that you have been enjoying the book club as much as I have enjoyed facilitating.  I’d love to hear from some of you – I know you’re out there I can see when you stop in.  NO big brother isn’t watching!  I don’t know who you are but I do see when you stop in.

I truly would like to get some feedback or suggestions as to what you might want to read.  I’m a facilitator not a dictator. Tweet me, comment on the blog, send me a message on Facebook, comment on a pin – I’m here for you.

OK enough begging.

Elmer_fudd[1]For all of my faithful followers you get a sneak peak at our next selection (shhh the next newsletter isn’t out yet.)

I’ve decided to step away from fiction this month and delve into non-fiction.  Don’t panic I’m not asking you to read Herodotus.  For January stop in and pick up a copy of Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.  I’ll post more information this week about the book.