Lean In is a necessary read for anybody interested in performance and how to make our society more successful. Written by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, the book contains a great deal of wisdom and interesting anecdotes about women and the workforce. For example, she is the “female” COO of Facebook, while CEO Mark Zuckerberg is just CEO. There is no such thing as “male” CEO because this is viewed as the norm – and statistically it is.
Indeed, the statistics are frightening: women account for 21 of the Fortune 500 CEOs, 14% of executive officer positions, 17% of board seats, and 18% of elected congresspeople. Perhaps the most famous, and alarming, statistic is that women make less than men in equivalent positions. The numbers are worth repeating: in 1970 women in America made 59 cents for every dollar their male counterparts made. As of 2010, through all of our society’s reform and enlightenment, women make 77 cents for each dollar men make.
40 years and 18 cents.
How much better could our society perform if all contributions were valued equally?
Sandberg graciously focuses the book less on what men have done wrong and more on how we all can make steps to correct this injustice and ineffectiveness. It is an essential read for all of us interested in a higher performing society – women and especially men.