Lean In Book Summary - Lean In Book explained in key points
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Lean In summary

Sheryl Sandberg

Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

4.1 (248 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg explores the barriers that hold women back from achieving their full potential in the workplace. With personal anecdotes and research, it offers practical advice for women to take charge of their careers and become leaders in their industries.

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    Lean In
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    Despite tremendous strides, we are still far from gender equality.

    In today’s developed world, women are better off than ever before, thanks largely to the women’s movement in the past century. But though at first glance it may seem like the battle against inequality has been won, there is still much to do.

    Consider compensation: In 1970, American women made 59 cents for each dollar men made in similar jobs. While that figure has risen, progress has been slow: in 2010, it was still only 77 cents. As one activist noted wryly, “Forty years and eighteen cents. A dozen eggs have gone up ten times that amount.” Nor is this problem unique to the U.S.: in Europe, the current figure is little better at 84 cents.

    In addition to being monetarily undervalued, studies show that women’s performance is also unfairly denigrated. When asked to assess the performance and growth potential of otherwise equal employees, both men and women discriminate against women.

    But surely this applies only to the ignorant and misogynistic, whereas we enlightened individuals would be fair?

    Surprisingly, the same studies show that the more impartial the evaluator claimed to be, the more they actually discriminated against women.

    This kind of “benevolent sexism” is far more dangerous than the overtly hostile kind, for the perpetrator usually has no idea how his or her attitudes hurt female colleagues and thus feels no compunction to reassess them.

    At home too, inequality lingers. For example, it is broadly assumed that it is a woman’s job to raise children. When asked whether they expected their spouse to step off their career track to raise children, 46% of the men surveyed said yes, compared to only 5% of the women.

    Despite tremendous strides, we are still far from gender equality.

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    What is Lean In about?

    Through a combination of entertaining anecdotes, solid data and practical advice, Lean In (2013) examines the prevalence of and reasons for gender inequality both at home and at work. It encourages women to lean into their careers by seizing opportunities and aspiring to leadership positions, as well calling on both men and women to acknowledge and remedy the current gender inequalities.

    Lean In Review

    Lean In (2013) is a thought-provoking book that delves into the challenges women face in the workplace and offers practical advice for empowerment. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its insightful analysis on gender inequality, it sheds light on the societal barriers women encounter, making readers reflect on their own experiences.
    • Packed with research and personal anecdotes, the book provides a comprehensive understanding of the issues, inspiring readers to take action and strive for gender equality.
    • It goes beyond gender dynamics to explore the idea of work-life integration, encouraging women to embrace their ambitions and create a fulfilling career and personal life.

    Who should read Lean In?

    • Anyone interested in understanding and remedying inequality at work
    • Anyone who struggles with the challenges and expectations of combining a career with family
    • Anyone – female or male – looking for solid career advice

    About the Author

    Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and formerly a vice president at Google as well as the chief of staff of US Secretary of the Treasury, Larry Summers. In 2011, she was ranked the fifth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

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    Lean In FAQs 

    What is the main message of Lean In?

    The main message of Lean In is that women should strive for leadership roles and lean in to their careers.

    How long does it take to read Lean In?

    The reading time for Lean In varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours to read. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Lean In a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Lean In is a thought-provoking read that encourages self-reflection and offers valuable insights into gender equality and leadership. It's definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of Lean In?

    Sheryl Sandberg is the author of Lean In.

    What to read after Lean In?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Lean In, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
    • First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
    • Lean Out by Marissa Orr
    • Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
    • Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute
    • Super Human by Dave Asprey
    • Never Get a “Real” Job by Scott Gerber
    • Unapologetically Ambitious by Shellye Archambeau
    • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick M. Lencioni
    • The 3.3 Rule by John Briggs