Lean In By Sheryl Sandberg: An Analysis

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As an executive at Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is uniquely positioned at the forefront of modern business and working women. Her 2013 memoir, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead serves as both an examination of her ups and downs in the business world and a motivational guide for women who seek to follow in her footsteps. Central to her message is that women need to lean in, to be “ambitious in any pursuit” (p. 10). Her determination and quest for women’s equal rights in the workplace is astonishing and inspiring. Fittingly enough, perhaps, Sandberg opens with an incident from her first pregnancy, while she was working at Google. This is the single most fundamental difference between men and women biologically, but despite the significant gains made by women in the workplace, it is still largely a man’s world. Sandberg claims that she has witnessed events “from a…show more content…
Perhaps. Women, young women especially, need to know that success is not a dirty word, neither is “ambition” or “career.” Sandberg does clearly point out that the idea of having it all remains a balancing act, but one that is not impossible to achieve. Merely very difficult for most women. Anne-Marie Slaughter (2013), writing in the New York Times noted that the book is replete with “slogans that ambitious women would do well to pin up on their wall” (¶9). The newspaper further criticized Sandberg for concentrating only on the internal obstacles that women face on the road to success, rather than the structural problems in Corporate America. Paige K. Turner (2013) writing in Women & Language, wonders whether the world into which Sandberg urges women to lean in is “a club to which we wish to belong” (p. 82). The book, she argues, is well suited towards women like Sandberg: “white, college-educated, corporate, heterosexual” (p. 82). Indeed, both of these reviewers are correct: Sandberg is preaching to the choir, providing motivational cat posters to potential

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