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I've studied both psychology and management science and I have often found that people who work in management but who don't study psychology or sociology, have a superficial understanding of why things are the way they are in the workplace.
This being the case, I was a bit sceptical at the start of this audiobook, because I thought it wouldn't demonstrate a deep understanding of why women are so underrepresented in the upper levels of management. The first couple of chapters didn't go into much depth, but as I made my way further into the book, I was really impressed by the insight Sheryl Sandberg brings to the fore, backed up with statistics. I expected her to be more of a handmaiden... but she's really not.
She has been very brave to write this and she expresses aspects of feminist theory with such clarity. It means this is a very approachable book and I really didn't expect her to have read people like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem.
I was massively impressed. I will definitely be quoting things Sheryl has said, particularly chapter 11 where she talks about women internalising the idea that they are second class citizens (because we are all subtly encouraged to hold this view) and then by upholding this way of thinking, they become unwitting proponents of a value system that holds them back.
Really great book, highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sheryl Sandberg had me at, “I gained 70 lbs!”
I had heard a lot about this book, but I really wasn’t sure that I could relate to this woman. At all. I expected a book by a carefully made up, wealthy, privileged woman with an excellent education in a token leadership position. I expected someone with a lot of help who could “do it all”, with little – if any – credit to the people who helped her do it.
I, on the other hand, joined the Army for the college benefits, and I put myself through law school. I don’t aspire to manage a corporation. In fact, indirectly, I work for one of the people she mentions in her book. I am an attorney, and I want to be the best litigator I can be. I am also the proud mother of two teenagers, and I worry that I shouldn’t have worked outside of the home – but that wasn’t a choice I had.
I was wrong about Sandberg. Like me, and the rest of us, she is real. Sandberg’s a sociologist, a critic, a coach, a realist. Sandberg gives props to important leaders from Warren Buffet to Betty Freidan, and to her administrative assistant and her friends. Bravo! Sandberg, get out your pom-poms - Tip O’Neil is calling from the grave.
Sandberg doesn’t mention “Games Mother Never Taught You” by Betty Lehan Harrigan (1987), but that is analogous to some of the tactics she recommends. Yes, it would be better if we (women) didn’t have to bend to the (male) rules, but we do. Harrigan’s book is a guidebook, and as helpful as Freidan’s “The Feminine Mystique” in some ways.
There is a hysterically funny tale involving an eBay corporate jet and an itchy child’s head, but for real fun, skip to Chapter 6 (7 on audible) and listen to the first minute. Sandberg reminds us even while we should do what we would do if we weren't afraid, motherhood keeps us grounded.
Oh, and did I mention – Sandberg is the COO of Facebook – and she really does know what she’s doing?
This book is fantastic. Lean In!
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541 of 565 people found this review helpful
Full disclosure: I'm a guy.
Wow, if women in corporate America have been walking around with these insecurities for the past too many years, there is a lot of repairing to do. Sandberg lays out a wide range of sensible solutions to pick from; all designed to allow women (or men) to perform at their highest level. If enough folks read this book and are able to bring its solutions to the workplace, we could probably add another percentage point or two to GDP growth! Narration is great.
35 of 37 people found this review helpful