Episode 16: Leaning in

April 12, 2013

Finally, the great debate: The Broad Experience is leaning in. 

"I went into the book with very negative expectations. I had read...articles...that suggested she came from a privileged point of view and didn’t have anything to say to the masses. But I felt completely the opposite after reading it." - Yvahn Martin

"There are two people in this book who are not white. One is a Hispanic male and one is an African-American male...She never talks about how non-white women have totally different experiences on top of what she's described." - Stacy-Marie Ishmael

"She’s not risking a ton by writing this book…but once you realize this is not my best friend Sheryl telling me what she thinks, there’s some good stuff in there.” - Dora Chomiak

(Standing up, left to right: Yvahn Martin, Dora Chomiak, Stacy Marie Ishmael.
On sofa, l to r: Ashley Milne-Tyte, Gaea Freireich, Rebecca Jackson)

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's book 'Lean In' was famous - or infamous, depending on your point of view - before it was even published. Once it came out, it shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. This week six women from Generations X and Y gathered over a glass of wine to debate the merits of Sandberg's advice, and discuss how the book plays into the whole debate about male and female roles at work and in the home. Views are varied and unvarnished. 26 minutes (well you can't have six women in a room and edit it down to 15, can you?)

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Show notes: my guests were the intrepid Dora Chomiak, Gaea Freireich, Stacy-Marie Ishmael (who you may remember from episode 7), Yvahn Martin, and Rebecca Jackson

Here's Anne-Marie Slaughter's review of Lean In from the New York Times Sunday Book Review. And you might like to check out this male take on Sandberg's message on the Harvard Business Review blog. (In short, the author says women should *not* have to be more like men. I don't think following Sandberg's advice means they do, but that's another story. This piece is yet another example of how people read this book through an incredibly personal lens.)

And as I said in the podcast, for inspiring stories of women in science, check out Stories from the Field, from the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Episode two: men and equality, women and leadership

In the second episode of The Broad Experience I talk to Catalyst's Mike Otterman and Jeanine Prime about men and equality (hint: the more equitable your relationship, the better your love life). And I meet Tiffany Dufu of The White House Project, who reveals how her childhood led to a career promoting women and girls. We also discuss which qualities make for good leadership. 

Episode one: welcome to The Broad Experience

In the first episode of The Broad Experience we discuss why so few women write opinion pieces, and why doing so can help their careers and their confidence. Check out The OpEd Project to learn more about this - I'm about to take my first class. Also, various studies show that women negotiate less often then men and that many of them loathe doing so (me included). We look at how the negotiation-haters can improve their skills and get the raise they want. Anyone interested in this topic should read Ask For It by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. It will leave you agog and quite possibly change your life.