Lean In Book Review

Now I always classed my self as an equal opportunity’s person when it came to women in IT, I had always worked with women and the majority of my bosses and PMs for projects for major client have always been women ( I prefer women as PM’s in large clients as there is normally less chest beating and more getting on with the job) but recency I have discovered that I had far less of an understanding than I thought I had and to truly work well with the other 50% of mankind you have to do more than think of them as men in dresses you have to see the world and it problems from their point of view, this was down to a number of friends enlightening me and to attending things like the nerd girl talks at IBM conferences.

I realised I lacked some understanding, so when This week in tech mentioned “Lean In” by sheryl Sandberg” I figured I would give it a read and see if I could learn something.

And indeed I did, I gained a much better understanding of woman’s issues both from a work and from a home life point of view and how to assist with these. how simple decisions that feel like common sense arn’t and in fact re-enforce social stereo types (both male and female) and a bit of empathy can go a long way (this last I already knew)

But much to my surprise I took away far more than just this, I took away,

  • Practical tips on how fathers and husbands can help (not just the obvious ones)
  • How to balance work and home including a wonderful viewpoint on why its not your clients job to ensure you have a home life.
  • The things that as a male I have to be on the look out for to stop unconscious stereotyping from slipping into my decisions.
  • and that “Sorry you can have it all, aim for happy not superhuman”.

The book is not perfect, the first and last chapters really have to be battled thought, and the first feels like it is written by a cross between and hippy and a 80’s power manager, but give it time and once Mrs Sandberg gets to the meat of her experiences you will find it most enlightening.

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