Last night I attended a semi-impromptu gathering of women to discuss Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s best-selling “Lean In”. Some commenters have called her book a ‘reboot’ to feminism.
The title comes from the author’s concern that too many women don’t ‘lean in’ and claim a place at the table when it comes to their careers.
While her book is her opinion, it is extensively backed up by research. Perhaps the most compelling research involves a case study of “Heidi” and “Howard”. A Columbia University professor gave his business students a case study written by a successful entrepreneur named “Heidi” and then gave the same case study, but said it had been written by “Howard”.
The business students both agreed “Heidi” and “Howard” were equally competent, everyone liked “Howard” more and didn’t necessarily trust “Heidi”.
In men and women, likability and success are correlated differently. It’s harder for a woman to be perceived as both likable and successful.
In the gathering last night, we shared stories of our lives, where we saw both sexes supporting women’s success, and where we saw the opposite.
Each of us committed to a challenge to incorporate some lesson from the book in our lives. One woman committed to supporting her neice find her way in the world. One woman committed to finishing her Ph.D. One woman committed to mentoring any woman who asked her for advice.
I committed to writing about the evening and the book.
How will you support another woman or girl in achieving her dreams and goals this week?
And may you all pursue your path with passion, purpose, power and peace.
P.S. If you’d like to see a short video of the radio show I did last week, please go to: