The "Lean In" Controversy

Because it is Spring Break for Seminarians at Drew, I have had the luxury of indulging in one of my vices;  watching TV.  This is a good week to watch TV: the Papal Conclave and Facebook CEO, Sheryl Sandberg’s book launch “Lean In.”

While I am having a lot of fun posting statements on Facebook about the conclave.  I am persuaded to briefly comment on the attention CEO Sandberg is getting on her book.  While the attention her book is getting is in part because she is one of the few 4.2% of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies; the critics are not holding back.  Some of the flack she is getting it is because the approach she is suggesting seems to be received as elitist, as is coming from a place of power.  (I have not read the book yet) But, I too, am tempted to point out to all the reasons SHE in particular was able to rise to the top of the FB empire.

However, in listening to the side conversations that have risen as a result of her book, I want to thank CEO Sheryl Sandberg for writing her book.  To this day, I have yet to hear in mass media serious consideration and thoughtful conversations about women in the work place and in positions of boardroom leadership.  Yesterday, it was refreshing to hear a reporter say, “Please, let’s go beyond the question, Can women have it all?”  The female reporter challenged her panel that this viewpoint has been cyclical and unproductive. Yes! Agreed!

In working at Girl Scouts in leadership development programs for girls, I know some of what she is saying has some standing. So let’s not dismiss all of her “manifesto”.  Moreover, let’s keep the conversation going.  This is especially important while we witness a cloud of old men dressed in red garments make decisions on an institution that has 721,935 members in their women’s orders.  

In the mean time, let’s keep the conversation going and progressing, we owe it to our girls!

Links:

Today Show
NPR
LeanIn.org

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