Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

03/11/2014 — Alexia McClure

‘A provocative and inspiring work on overcoming the obstacles facing women on the path to leadership.’

After four people had told me to read ‘Lean In’ I decided, with some cynicism, that I should make the time to do so. I say with cynicism because although most people who know me would readily agree that I’m a passionate believer in equality, I don’t subscribe to the idea that a person should be given a positive advantage just because they exhibit a particular characteristic.

So I found myself with a few clear hours on the ferry and got stuck into it. I was engrossed immediately. This book isn’t about women being given anything, it is about the structural and emotional challenges that women face when developing a career and it’s relevant to women at all ages and stages of life. It’s peppered with personal anecdotes and lots of statistics which are interesting and staggering at the same time. It’s also about the tools and techniques that Sandberg and others have used to overcome the challenges of getting to the top.

Perhaps most importantly for me, this book explains how the norms and attitudes within the workplace have an impact, consciously or unconsciously, on the ability of women to succeed. It also challenges women to stop being complicit in the situation they find themselves in.

This isn’t a book only for women. It’s a book for anyone who employs a woman; anyone who works with a woman; anyone who is a life partner of a woman.

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