A catchphrase for empowering women
Published on 8th March 2021
This book was first published in 2013 and its title became a catchphrase for empowering women. Sandberg draws on her own experience of when she was heavily pregnant and unable to get staff parking at her workplace in Google. One day she marched in to see her boss and announced that they needed pregnancy parking which he agreed to immediately, noting that it was something he never thought about.
It was something she didn’t realise herself until then, and felt as a senior female employee she had a responsibility to be aware. She then realised that other pregnant women must have suffered in silence not wanting to ask for special treatment or even not having the confidence to insist on it.
You will find some nuggets of wisdom within the pages, the author has put a lot of research into it, backed by personal experiences and those of her family and friends. She puts forward many ideas and suggests how to make them better. The book is full of encouragement for women to pursue their ambitions and change their attitude from what they can’t do to what they can do.
She mentions the guilty feeling women get when praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy they feel undeserving as if a mistake has been made. We also feel grateful when we compare our lives to those in some Third World countries who are denied basic human rights. But knowing that things are worse elsewhere shouldn’t stop us from trying to make our own lives better.
In addition to advice on climbing the career ladder Sandberg also writes about improving home life. She explains how in the 60s and 70s it was considered a sign of weakness if a husband needed his wife’s financial help to support the family.
Sandberg is a billionaire and in the top one percent of women today, so her thinking is not for the majority. She comes from a very privileged background and was educated at Harvard. She seems to be unaware of her own privileges, casually mentioning her frequent flights, nannies etc.
Her position and experience is as rare and unique as to be irrelevant to the typical working woman. One of her quotes that I like the most is, “A truly equal world would be where women run half the companies and men half our homes.”
I would consider this a good read for anyone, male or female, trying to make their way up the ladder in their career. Also there are some principles that could fit into every woman’s life. It is a book about equality for both sexes, read it and make up your own mind.
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Submitted by Teresa in Inchicore Library.