Lean IN, Sheryl Sandberg on Empowering Women

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“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

~Audre Lorde

Sheryl Sanberg speaks for, and to, the power of women. Some people told Sandberg that she should not write Lean In, should not do the TED Talk “Why We have too Few Women Leaders” and not speak for empowering women. Obviously, she agreed with Audre Lorde that “it is better to speak.”

Yes, I read Sandberg’s book, from cover to cover even though I usually do not read the acknowledgements, maybe not a good thing to admit and true. Lean In made me sit up and take notice. I could see me and most of the women I know in her words — capable, strong, working to get where we want to go, and still challenged, struggling with internalized messages that  we have carried around for years. These mixed messages help us push toward our ambitions while still holding us back.

Lean In drew me in with Sandberg’s humor, well documented statistics and numerous stories.  She does speak to us women and she speaks to men as well, especially in the chapter  “Make Your Partner a Real Partner”. According to Sandberg, our partners deserve to be more responsible and empowered in the home and with the children – they deserve a more intimate connection with their young ones. Equality works both ways.

If you don’t have the time to read Lean In, check out Sandberg’s TED Talk,  “Why We have too Few Women Leaders”. It is short, sweet and to the point; not as detailed as Lean In and still full of great information.  The next step is Leanin.org to keep the momentum, encouragement and empowerment front and center. Check out the organization and maybe even join a Lean in Circle.

The empowerment of women, all women, is important. Sandberg was ridiculed by some for her TED Talk and her book, but the continued focus on women’s empowerment is well worth it. We can do it too, take Audre Lourde’s words to heart and keep speaking, even when it is something we might fear!


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