Business, Finance & Law Lean In

Published on March 27th, 2013


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they’d feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in. The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women’s favour – of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business – looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale. She draws on her own experiences working in some of the world’s most successful businesses, as well as academic research, to find practical answers to the problems facing women in the workplace.


The Times

Sarah Vine

“Yes, she’s annoying. Yes, she earns lots of money. Yes, she’s a bossy boots. Yes, she flies around the world in private jets and lives a very privileged lifestyle. Yes, she’s annoyingly thin and pretty. But her fundamental point is a good one. If women really want to have a meaningful stake in running the world, we need to stop making excuses and get on with it. It may be an uncomfortable truth, but it is nevertheless a truth. But don’t take my word for it: read the book and decide for yourself.”


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The Sunday Times

Daisy Goodwin

“… I suspect that many of the critics will not have read what proves to be a pretty incontestable argument about the gap between notional and real gender equality … I don’t care if Sandberg wears Prada ankle boots or Birkenstocks, she has a valid point to make. There is nothing to be complacent about.”


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The New York Times

Anne-Marie Slaughter

“Sandberg’s approach, as important as it is, is at best half a loaf. Moreover, given her positions first at Google and now at Facebook, it is hard not to notice that her narrative is what corporate America wants to hear. For both the women who have made it and the men who work with them, it is cheaper and more comfortable to believe that what they need to do is simply urge younger women to be more like them, to think differently and negotiate more effectively, rather than make major changes in the way their companies work.”


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The Guardian

Zoe Williams

“If I read it blind and with all the internet startups removed, I would think she had been raised in quite a conservative household in the 30s or 40s … when she pans back to apply her approach to all women, her conclusions are often comically infantilising … This is not a book about how women can become more equal: this is a book about how women can become more like Sheryl Sandberg. You will be able to decide relatively fast how plausible a goal this is.”


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