Leaning in with Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is leading the working women’s revolution and shattering the glass ceiling.

As the token obstacle for women in the workplace, all of us have heard of the glass ceiling, and a few of us have even broken through it.  You know what I’m talking about. In male-dominated fields, there’s this unspoken rule that only select women get to squeeze through the cracks of corporate America and hang with the boys. In the worlds of technology, finance and politics, just to name a few, men seem to rule the workplace.

Facebook COO and power woman Sheryl Sandberg knows that there’s only one solution to this dilemma, and she’s shouting it from the rooftops: We need more female leaders in the workforce! So polish up your resume and break out your power suit, because Sheryl is calling on you to help her lead the charge.

Sheryl may have broken through the glass ceiling a long time ago, but she’s far from content sitting in her cozy California office. With so few women leading today’s major companies, it can be lonely at the top, so she’s giving you the secrets to her success in her groundbreaking new book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” This month, she spoke with Dress for Success about the revolutionary message of “Lean In” and where exactly you fit in.

Just a few weeks after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, Sheryl came into the world destined to take one giant leap for womankind. Graduating with a degree in economics from Harvard University in 1991 and later earning her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1995, Sheryl skyrocketed past her male classmates to climb the corporate ladder.

In 1996, Sheryl served as the Chief of Staff to then U.S. Secretary of State, Larry Summers, a former professor of hers at Harvard University. After four years in the White House, Sheryl joined Google, Inc., working as their vice-president of global online sales and operations. Finally, Sheryl teamed up with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer in 2008, landing her on Forbes’ list of the top 100 women who run the world.

Today, “Lean In” is inspiring women everywhere to be their own boss and call the shots in their career. Since its release, more people than ever are talking about whether men in the workplace are truly recognizing a woman’s worth, but not everyone thinks the way we do business needs to change. After all, women started working outside of the home long before Rosie the Riveter said, ‘we can do it!’ So, do we really have anything left to achieve? Dress for Success certainly thinks so, and Sheryl is inclined to agree.

“I admire Dress for Success’ Professional Women’s Group (PWG) program. The goals of Dress for Success and ‘Lean In’ are well aligned given our shared interest in offering women encouragement and support to build thriving careers.”

Just as our Professional Women’s Group gives the fierce female professional the guidance she needs on her journey to success, the messages of “Lean In” apply to women looking for their big break in any field. “I believe the messages in ‘Lean In’ are universal. Women need to own the power they have, learn how to negotiate for raises, and get the pay they deserve,” Sheryl told us.

Not only is Sheryl giving women the tools to start their careers off on a strong note, but she’s also giving them her full support. Through Lean In Circles, women can create a group of 8 to 10 friends who they’d like to join them on their path to personal and professional growth. Circles give women a chance to network and bond with each other about the tough obstacles they may face, amazing accomplishments they’ve made, and all the priceless lessons they’ve learned along the way.

“Circles are small groups that meet regularly to share and learn together. Lean In provides an online space that makes it easy for your Circle to get organized and stay connected. I encourage you to make your circle your own and decide what works best for you. All Circles are motivated by the idea that we often achieve more in groups than we do as individuals.”

Circles are a great way to connect with other women who are on the hunt for the perfect job, looking for that extra boost to jumpstart their career, or simply wanting to reach out to fellow women in need of a helping hand.

Sheryl explains that “Lean In Circles can benefit women of every background and stage of their career. It is an opportunity for women to come together in small groups to share stories and discuss topics to help you achieve your own goals. Connections built on trust and the value of meeting, sharing and learning transcend socioeconomic barriers and can help all women move toward more fulfilling careers.”

And, more fulfilling careers lead to more meaningful lives. But, how do we get there? LeanIn.Org wants to help you every step of the way. The website not only gives women the support of their own Circle, but also the inspiration, education, and expert advice we’ve been searching for ever since we first heard that cherished lyric: “anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you.”

As a wife, mother, and one of the most influential people in the world, Sheryl is redefining the work experience for every woman, challenging us to lean in to our ambitions with full force, and reaching out to women like you to put an end to the man cave in the workplace. Through international organizations like Dress for Success and Lean In.Org, we’re reminded that, while many women struggle to overcome life’s obstacles alone, together we can get back on our feet and affect change not only in our careers, but in the world in which we live.

For more on Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In,” check out our Book Shelf column or visit the Lean In website!

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