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?)

Squarespace sponsor offer: For a free trial, go to Squarespace.com/broad, and if you do decide to continue past the offer period, you can get a 10% discount on your account by entering the offer code 'broad4' below the pricing options.

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 13: When women ask women for a raise

March 4, 2013

In this show we look at women and negotiating, but from an angle I'd never thought about until recently. What happens when a female employee asks a female boss for more money? Many women claim female managers recoil when they ask them for a raise. Why? And we return to the topic of women in technology. Why do so many women who work at tech companies perform 'emotional labor' roles rather than technological ones? 14 minutes. 

Show notes: here's the full story behind Ashley Welde's attempts to get a raise from her female managers (including details of who finally gave her a raise, un-asked). One thing I couldn't fit in the story is that Ashley's experiences have put her off female bosses. She prefers men because she believes they are likelier to advocate for her. Forbes Woman contributor Susannah Breslin feels the same way about male bosses, though for different reasons. Thoughts?

Sara Laschever is co-author of two books on women and negotiating and travels throughout the US giving workshops and talks on this topic.

Here's the piece in Dissent magazine about ex-Facebook worker Katherine Losse and the culture of Silicon Valley, which got Lauren Bacon thinking. Losse's book is The Boy Kings. And here's Lauren's blog post, 'Women in Tech and Empathy Work', which spurred our conversation.