Book Review: Lean In

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Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg has been on my reading list for a long time now, and I finally had the chance to read it last month. In Lean In, Sandberg explores the very important topic of women in the workplace and all that that seemingly harmless idea entails.

Even if you don’t work in a professional environment, this book will give you new insight as to how to achieve both personal and professional fulfillment, and what men can do to support the women in their lives achieve their professional goals.

I really enjoyed this book because of the amount of data that Sandberg provided. Each chapter contained not only personal stories and stories from family or friends, but data to back up all of the facts she shared regarding the number of women who stay in professional fields after marriage, the increase in female CEOs over time, and how the demographic changes within organizations makes them more effective and successful. Translation: hire more women! There were also a ton of book recommendations sprinkled throughout each chapter, so I was eagerly adding more to my TBR as I read.

Some of the topics she discusses are the leadership gap, the concept of sitting at the table, success and likability, mentorship, partnerships, and the myth of “doing it all.” I would have to say that my favorite chapter was about the modern day career path which is no longer a ladder, rather, a jungle gym. There are many ways to “get to the top” and it is entirely normal and acceptable to go in different directions in order to get there. It isn’t uncommon for people to start their careers in one field, switch to another, and bounce back and forth a little while they get their footing. In fact, Sandberg says it is now almost expected. I found that to be especially encouraging.

I can’t say that I have had to overcome significant boundaries so far in my career, especially since I work in a female-dominated field. However, that made it all the more pertinent for me to expand my view of women in the workplace through reading this book. Reading Sandberg’s own experiences from high school all the way to working at Google and Facebook have given me a lot to think about, and I know that I will be recommending this book to everyone who has an interest in furthering their careers through personal development.

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