[Book Review] Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

The book ‘Lean In: Women, work, and the will to lead‘ by Sheryl Sandberg was quiet an intersting book. It was on the top recommended reads for women on Amazon so I thought the book must be full of truth about how women should lead their lives for maximum self achievements. I brought it home and read it very fast.


First, I want to mention my sincere condolences for Ms. Sheryl Sanderg. I was reading the book during the spring of 2015 and her husband had an accident at the same period; which sadly caused his death. It felt a bit awkward to read her book with such a context, considering how much she loves her husband and praised him in her book as a very good life partner. Even if I don’t know him, this book made me conscious of him as a good man and I really feel sorry for her lost.

Second, I want to give some context about this woman. She has a great career and is definitely one of the most powerful ladies in this world. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Facebook and before her jump to fb, she was working at Google as VP of Global Online Sales and Operations. She also worked as chief of staff at the US Treasury Department. She earned her B.A in Economics Harvard University and her MBA from the Harvard Business School. Based on Bloomberg, she has a net worth of $1 Billion.


Ok, here we go about the book. This book is about feminism, about how women’s place did not evolve as much as it is expected to. The author starts off by sharing her hands on experience when she was unable to realize what are women needs until these needs happens to her (such as needing a parking closer to the office after she got pregnant). She offers her opinions on how women has the tendency to stand back and minimize the space they take during an event while males are happy to share their achievements and talk way more freely (even bragging a lot). She says that a majority of her well educated female friends after finising college choses to get married and become housewives, even if they have what it takes to lead a successful career (remember that she comes from Harvard).

First of all, it is quiet obvious it is easier for her to say she wants women to have more power and they can have more power if they tried a little bit more. She is one of the most successful people in the world and had a top Ivy league education. It is definitely harder for her to visualize the struggles other people like myself may go through. It is also probably easier for her to land a great job and make her opinions matter more. However, in reality, often, women do not have the privileges to share their thoughts wherever they want and may even get bad consequences when trying. Even if it is not apparent. We will be labelled as that lady who doesn’t know her place. Hence, I am understanding to the women who choses to stand in the back and take a spot away from the spotlight. Of course, if you are a lady who is passianate and confident over her ideas, then please do take the time to express yourself under the spotlight. You will then become a great example to others, both male and female.

Second, although I am all for the women who is strong, productive, efficient, I think it is wrong to force women to multitask so much. Multitasking is labelled nowadays as women’ forte, what they excel in. In fact, most recruiters are happy to hire women who can take multiple projects at the same time and will often remind them of that expectation. Husbands often praise their wives by saying they are wonderful humans who easily juggle babies, works and social life. I think that all that is way too much expectation. Yes seriously. Men are getting away from responsibilities by saying women are doing house chores better than them, but still manage to get the bread winner image for themselves. As if, even if being a mother is a lot of work, it is not as important as a career that can get you a 6 digits salary. It just sounds very unfair that women are working so hard, sacrificing so much because they are forced to do so by society BUT they do not get the credits they should have. And I don’t think it is right to force women to take on even more responsibilities (i.e. have an amazing all star career) just so they can be on par with the men. Some women chose to become housewives and I think this is a very beautiful and strong choice. It just feels wrong when feminists are trying to shame these ladies for not chosing their career above anything else.

Third, pregrancy. I am going to slide a few words on that issue. I think pregnancy is a beautiful event in women’s lives and they should be proud of it. Instead of the stereotypes that it is painful and you are going to get fat, think of it as a wonderful event that is going to change the world, your world. I don’t think women should use their pregnancy break to work even more, to find work at home to do to stay relevant to the work place. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy life and giving birth, to take a few months away and to take care of a baby. Women nowadays are forced to come back to the office as soon as possible and hence cannot really enjoy motherhood. Also, people says that pregnancy causes them to lose opportunities and promotions. I think women should get their fair amount of pay. It is not for women to work harder when they are already working like crazy, but instead for the men to recognize their work and reward them accordingly. Just my two cents.

Finally, I just want to say that I am only covering my main opinions about feminism by comparing it to Sandberg’s book. It is my own opinions and I definitely did not cover everything in it. In general, it is a great book that encourages women to stand up for themselves. I just thought it would be nice to share my thoughts and to contrast the ideas of a book that is so aclaimed: we don’t have to always follow the society’s pressure over gender.

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