Leaning In With Sheryl Sandberg

Editor's Notebook

getty images

By Jane Eisner

Published March 06, 2013, issue of March 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

It’s so tempting to deride Sheryl Sandberg for her new, self-appointed role as the leader of a social movement to bring more gender equality to the workplace.

She must be one of the richest, most successful working mothers on the planet, and in her new book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” her attempts to identify with ordinary working moms seem comical at times.

To illustrate that she, too, has found herself in unexpected situations as a parent, she describes a time when she discovered her children had head lice. What parent can’t relate? Except that Sandberg was on her way to a Silicon Valley business conference. On a corporate jet. Owned by the CEO of eBay.

Nah.

Most of us are not able to personally thank Gloria Steinem, Arianna Huffington and Oprah Winfrey for encouraging us to write a book. And most of us don’t have a massive marketing apparatus ready to sell our work (the publication date is March 11) all the while urging readers to create Lean In Circles and join the Lean In Community that, not coincidentally, is hosted by Facebook, where Sandberg is the chief operating officer.

Yes, it’s tempting to deride Sheryl Sandberg, and already many have, because her central message — that the movement for equality in the workplace is stalled partly because women are not ambitious and determined enough to “lean in” to their careers — is uncomfortable and controversial. But many of those sniping about her haven’t actually read the book. I have. And I found it surprisingly nuanced, persuasive and brave.

She uses her gilded bully pulpit to say the things that others are not able or willing to say.

It’s a message that should especially resonate in the organized Jewish community, where women remain poorly represented in leadership, are routinely paid less than their male counterparts, and are generally discounted — and discount themselves — as thought leaders on the national stage.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.