One of the most talked about books in recent years is Sheryl Sandberg's bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sandberg is a Harvard Business School grad, a former assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, and currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. A few years ago, Forbes magazine named her the 5th most powerful woman in America, one spot ahead of Michelle Obama!
In her book Sandberg calls on women to reach their full potential as women, as human beings, and as leaders in society. During her years in government and the marketplace she has discovered that all too often women hold themselves back; they stifle their dreams, their ambitions, their careers, and even their personal lives. They do that because they're afraid.
They're afraid that if they are too smart or powerful or capable they will intimidate the men in their lives. They're afraid that in order to have a successful career they have to give up on a happy family life, or vice versa. They're afraid they might fail, or look foolish, or disappoint someone else's expectation of them. So Sandberg calls women out and challenges them to "lean in" to their ambitions, their dreams, and their talents. To take risks, to stretch themselves, to try something new. "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" she asks her readers.
As you might expect, her book has stirred a lot of conversation and a bit of controversy. An equally accomplished woman named Rosa Brooks, a professor at Georgetown Law, argues that the problem isn't with women but with society, which continues to expect women to bear the brunt of household responsibilities and child rearing even as they pursue their careers and dreams. Her recommendation is for women to "lean back," ...
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