Leaning In Requires Sacrifices

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, a bestseller by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, is the tech icon’s “feminist manifesto,” one she hopes will end a 10-year stall for women in top positions, as well as change stereotypes. Perhaps incidentally, the book comes out in the 50th anniversary year of Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique.

Sandberg is highly respected in Silicon Valley, and she’s very direct about the state of American women in upper management.  She raises a question why women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that affect our lives.

Though some critics have called her an elitist giving advice that is not relevant to most women, some of her suggestions are pertinent to everyone. She advises women to stop trying to “have it all.” Being a working parent means making adjustments, compromises and sacrifices every day.

During her first weeks at Facebook, she followed  Mark Zuckerberg’s practice of working into the night. In doing so, she gave up several dinners with her kids. She later decided to leave at 5:30 PM every day, no matter how important project she was working on. She discovered that she could, and her work didn’t suffer.

Sheryl Sandberg believes that when a woman excels, she may be viewed as too aggressive or not a team player, while men who behave in the same way are considered to be good leaders.

It has definitely been challenging to balance parenting three children and a career, but I meet amazing women who are not afraid to take on this challenge, every day. In addition, I am raising a daughter who believes that women can excel at anything and become effective leaders.