BOOK REVIEW: LEAN IN – WOMEN, WORK AND THE WILL TO LEAD

This is a guest post by Nora Palladino,Regional Marketing Manager at NXTP Labs.

I think this is a book for “intrapreneurs”. It is “the” book for women who work in tech startups and  large companies. These entrepreneurs, instead of founding companies, make an impact from within their organizations. It is important to note that the author, the fabulous Sheryl Sandberg, is “the” intrapreneur for excellence.

The book covers issues encountered by those who are following a corporate career and feel an internal call to reflect on their gender. The is not feminist work, it is just a big tractor that pushes us forward to recognize our healthy differences. Like it or not, women historically have less time in the public life than men and what is “natural” is masculine. The book covers issues such as pregnancy, wage differences, leadership styles, external and internal barriers from cover to cover or pixel to pixel. Sheryl writes in the introduction, “The promise of equality is not the same as true equality,” and that’s what this book is about.

In my opinion, this book has three main points:

  • “Sit the seat“: A big challenge implicates that, as women, we be aware that we must take the lead in our areas. This is directly related to what I learned at Vital Voices, that women can not be absent women at decision tables. You have to sit in the chair, taking the seat beside men in the corporate life and in entrepreneurship.
  • “Let your partner be a real partner”: I think this has a lot to do with the fact that paternity is changing. For the more egalitarian societies, we need partners that are really like that. Maternity changed, and now we need men to advance in changing paternity and the concept in the public eye, so that everyone is more equal. They also have to take the lead in their home and with their children. As women, we are the agents of change for this, and we can not let this pass us by.
  • “The have-it-all myth”: No one is exempt from choices in life. This means that we can not have everything. We can have what we choose, so women and men must knock down the myth of the perfect life and be aware that the negotiations we must make are between our personal and professional lives. Superheroes do not exist.

Reflection is worth it, but so is distance. Many problems that are expressed in this book are unique to American society and I’m even encouraged to say Silicon Valley, as a distinct space from the rest of the northern country. However, our Latin American countries continue looking at the Valley and use it as a model to follow. Silicon Valley has its own renowned figures, and Sheryl is one of them. She studied at Harvard Business School, and worked at Google since it was a prominent SME, until it became a large multinational company. She later joined Facebook before it went public. Those details, brands and company sizes are not as easy to find in Latin America. So, thanks for the tips Sheryl, we will see how to tropicalize them.

You can purchase the book here (there is also a Spanish version)

Biography of the author: Nora Palladino graduated from the University of Buenos Aires with a degree in Communication Sciences and has a Masters in Political Marketing from the University of El Salvador. She was a university and tertiary teaching fellow at the Gino Germani Institute at the University of Buenos Aires. She has ample experience in communication and public relations in technology. She worked in the communication development of the Technology District of the City of Buenos Aires and the Investor Service Center. She was selected for the National Program for Emerging Leader Mentorship of the NGO Vital Voices in 2011. She joined the NXTP Labs team in 2011 and now is the Regional Marketing Manager of the most active fund in Latin America.