There’s a remarkable amount of discussion going on, just now, of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sandberg is COO of Facebook. Her book attempts to explain why women have stalled out in their march on the executive suite and “offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.”
In this discussion, I’m much closer to the view of Jody Greenstone Miller. Miller is the author of a recent Wall Street Journal piece: The Real Women’s Issue: Time — Never mind ‘leaning in.’ To get more working women into senior roles, companies need to rethink the clock. She correctly, in my opinion, points out that many great women don’t lack the skills or aggression to advance in large corporations. They ‘stall out’ or bail out, rather than “‘lean in’ because they don’t like the world they’re being asked to lean into.”
Amen — but . . .
But even Miller is missing the boat somewhat when she frames this discussion as primarily a gender issue. Women working for large corporations may have lead the charge on big-corporate work values for a few decades but they are hardly alone any more. That movement has become much deeper and more pervasive.
Why isn’t anyone talking about the fact that the same ‘problems’ that have impeded women in some workplaces for the last few decades are exactly the same ‘challenges’ that Gen-X and Gen-Y employees of both genders are presenting to employers? Read the rest of this entry »