The essay on Sheryl Sandberg “Why I Want Women to Lean In”
The essay by Sheryl Sandberg “Why I Want Women to Lean In” (2013) provides an insight into the reasons why women subside their professional ambitions and not become top leaders and offers valuable suggestions as to how to overcome public and, more importantly, mental obstacles. The author draws attention to the fact, that although today woman are well-off and outpace man in educational achievements, those are still men who “run the world”, as woman occupy only a small percentage of top positions, which include taking major decisions (Sandberg 471).
The author states that women must confess that despite a long history of emancipation revolution, the world is far from being equal. The main reason for it, according to Sandberg, is the message, which women receive since their very childhood and, thus, internalize. The acquired belief that it is wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, and more powerful that men make women pull back when they should lean in. Thus, though it is important to surmount real obstacles women face in the professional world, internal barriers should be tackled first (Sandberg 471). The author suggests three examples demonstrating how women can lean in, naming them “Don’t Leave Before You Leave”, “Success and Likability”, and “Stop Trying to Have it All”.
The first issue the author considers is that anticipation of work/family conflict prevents women from career ambitions from the very beginning of their professional activity. Sandberg emphasizes that “without even realizing it, women stop reaching for new opportunities” (472). This way, women tend to make small decisions in favor of easier ways leaving room for children before they actually arrive. Returning to the workplace after the birth of a child, a woman feels less fulfilled and unappreciated and restrains her ambitions even more. The author demonstrates due respect to the importance of child care, telling that only a compelling, challenging and rewarding job can trigger the heartwrenching decision to leave the child in someone else’s care. The point, according to Sandberg, is that the time to lean back comes when it actually comes, that is when the break for a child care or for any other reason is needed, and anticipation of such break should not affect women’s ambitions at work.
The second issue is different standards applied to the male and female colleagues. The author’s example demonstrates that people’s attitude to successful men and women are different. A successful man receives appreciation from both men and women, while a successful woman tends to be perceived as “too aggressive” and “difficult”. Therefore, such bias is another important reason why women hold back. The suggested solution is making everyone aware of the situation to tackle biased attitudes (Sandberg 472).
The third trap set for women is an attempt to have it all. Women should take it for granted that compromises and sacrifices are inevitable both at home and at work. Thus, instead of focusing on what they are …