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Oh Sheryl, Am I But a Fool?



It was a little over a year ago that the name Sheryl Sandberg popped into my twitter feed. Posted by a distant work connection, who has a love for Chanel, bags and shoes and seemed to be having a particularly Tigger time that day. She was certainly bouncing around with enthusiasm for Sheryl’s new publication: Lean in.

Although I have an interest in Facebook, I was unaware who this ‘amazing’ woman was or that she had been the 'perfect fit' for Mark Zuckerberg’s company, five years earlier. Additionally, I was introduced to the Ted power talks last year but I've only just added my tick to the 4.26 million viewers of her Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders post.

Sparked by the read of a recent magazine interview (promoting her new, improved book: Lean in for Graduates), I decided to consider Sheryl's views as a subject for my To Start the Week post. My research however, has left me feeling like I've read self-help manuals that tell me where we need to go but hasn't suggested a realistic route as to how to get there; other than driving the car over the edge of the Grand Canyon! Am I Thelma, or Louise?

I’m sure there aren't many women who would disagree that we want to be liked and we underestimate our abilities. Likewise, it is with little surprise that I read Sheryl’s suggestion that a female employee’s 'aggressive, bossy and emotional' behaviour, would be considered as ‘having high standards’, in her male counterpart.

It’s all very well when Sheryl tells us that ‘we need to learn how to be comfortable with leadership, with ambition, with power’ and adds ‘a world with more females leading it would be more productive, more peaceful, happier’ but honey,  this state of Nirvana isn't found on the Californian boarder. Is it?

I’m not wishing to sound pessimistic or detract from Sheryl’s candid and motivational goodwill – I'm just living realistically in the present tense.

In fact, the most hopeful snapshot that I've taken from this interview is one that brought a brief smile of hope to my face.

She spoke about her reaction to finding out that a workplace colleague had spoken cruelly and untruthfully, behind her back. She burst into tears and Mark Zuckerberg asked if she wanted a hug!

Don’t you think that’s a jaw-dropping, stereotype-busting insight, concerning both disclosures?

Ok, maybe not the crying – I think that I’d react in exactly the same manner. Ok, I have – but I waited to get to the ladies first!

But the disclosure that her boss asked if she wanted a hug? Boy. She really does get lucky with her bosses!

To conclude, Sheryl states that ‘we can’t get equality in our work places until we get more equality in our homes. Right now women have two jobs and men have one.’ 

To which I feel I have to respond by quoting the Oscar Wilde-esque  words of my Charlotte Street Hotel, Appletini drinking buddy … ‘no sh*t sherlock’ (but what can we do about it?!)

Have a good week y'all.
 
With thanks to wikipedia for the perficpic and The Times Weekend mag for the inspiration

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