Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

I grabbed a copy of this book after reading the Guardian article that I mentioned in my previous post: Where are all the women business writers? I was inspired by the article to seek out more business books by women and as Sheryl Sandberg was mentioned in the article this seemed to be a good place to start. And indeed it was.

What the book is all about is women’s right to equality at work and what women can do to help themselves and to effect change. Sheryl uses ‘lean in’ to describe what we, as women in business, should be doing – instead of holding ourselves back because of a lack of self-confidence we should instead lean in and be ambitious.

I was completely hooked from the start. Sheryl writes very intelligently and coherently. She brings in her own personal experience, as well as facts and figures from research, which makes the book very well rounded. Not only has she made me more aware of the inequality of men and women in business (and the home), but she has also made me want to do something to make it better.

Honestly, I feel like I’ve had my head in the sand for the last few years. I generally only come up against sexism in a subtle way. But of course in the big business setting that Sheryl works in it’s going to be way more obvious. Things like office buildings where you’re met with blank looks if you ask where the ladies loo is. And the more serious matter of women not being given high-level jobs or being paid as much as men if they are.

I find that this is something I feel passionate about and would like to find my way of making a contribution. I hope that writing about it here is a small step in the right direction.

Rating: ★★★★★

Grab yourself a copy of “Lean In” from Amazon >

Where are all the women business writers?

I think I might have started on an interesting journey.

There are a few blogs that I follow because I really like the approach of the bloggers. When I say ‘follow’, I mean that I have subscribed to their sites and actively read the updates that land in my inbox. I know that I’ve found someone interesting when I open the email and find myself following the links to read the full article. These are people that I’d like to sit down with over a pint and pick their brains.

But, I realised the other day that all the people I follow are men. In other areas, I find that I lean towards the female – for example, I listen to more female singers than male. And when it comes to fiction my favourite authors are female. Not that I don’t like male singers and authors, it’s just that I like a strong female role model … if I’m having a low energy day then I listen to Madonna to give me some extra Raargh.

So, it suddenly felt wrong that in business I’m not following any women. After all I’m a woman and I run a business! So, I started looking for some inspiration and came across this interesting article on the Guardian website: Imposter syndrome and time issues: why women don’t write business books. And, you know what – my business library is a bit lacking in women business writers. It’s not that there’s none, but it’s a bit male-dominated.

Is it because, as the article suggests, there are a lack of books written by women, or is it because for some unconscious reason I’ve been leaning towards books written by men. Hmmm, neither explanation is very inspiring.

So, I’m actively looking for:

1. Some BRILLIANT business books by some brilliant women (I’m just finishing one now and will post a review shortly)


2. Some great blogs written by women on the subject of business / productivity / self improvement

Come on ladies, I know you’re out there.

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