Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, has written a provocative, and some would say controversial, book titled "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead."
Apparently, women need to “lean in” at work and assert themselves more. The old adage "nice girls finish last" comes to mind. We need to succeed! We need to have a career! We need to lead!
Don't get me wrong, assertiveness is a good thing! Lets face it though, in our North American culture, successful and assertive women are often labeled as witches with a capital B. Yet men who possess these same traits are described as driven, good leaders, and inspirational.
What the heck?
I agree that there are not enough women in leadership roles in the world. Whether it is corporately or in government, we are sorely underrepresented. The good old boys club is a hard one to get into. If you do want a career, then go for it! Ignore those who say that if you are a career woman then you must be neglecting your family or offer other criticisms. Do what is right for you and your family; only you know what this is and it is no ones business but your own.
The advice in this book may be just for you. By all means, lean in, and don't feel guilty for it!
But, what if you are really happy in your current position? What if you don't want to climb the corporate ladder? What if you want to devote yourself to raising your children and being with your family?
I say, don't let books like this make you feel like you need to be anything you don't want to be. For too long, women have been told we should 'have it all;' a happy marriage, perfect children, a big and fancy home, and a career (not a job, but a career).
Well, that is fine if that is what you want. But, if you are happy with something else, don't let anyone or anything make you feel like you are "less" because you don't want a big career!
Most of all, I wish for all women to be happy and fulfilled! And that means different things to different people. Look within yourself and find out what that means for you.
For more from Anne, check out Maternity Corner.