Tuesday, February 26, 2013
A Titan’s How-To on Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Before Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, started to write “Lean In,” her book-slash-manifesto on women in the workplace, she rereadBetty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.” Like the homemaker turned activist who helped start a revolution 50 years ago, Ms. Sandberg wanted to do far more than sell books.
Ms. Sandberg, whose ideas about working women have prompted both enthusiasm and criticism, is attempting nothing less than a Friedan-like feat: a national discussion of a gender-problem-that-has-no-name, this time in the workplace, and a movement to address it.
When her book is published on March 11, accompanied by a carefully orchestrated media campaign, she hopes to create her own version of the consciousness-raising groups of yore: “Lean In Circles,” as she calls them, in which women can share experiences and follow a Sandberg-crafted curriculum for career success. (First assignment: a video on how to command more authority at work by changing how they speak and even sit.)
In an interview for “Makers,” a new documentary on feminist history, Ms. Sandberg, 43, said: “I always thought I would run a social movement, which meant basically work at a nonprofit. I never thought I’d work in the corporate sector.”