“Lean In”

So this month I did something I should have done 6 months ago. I purchased Sheryl Sandberg’s book titled: LEAN IN-WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD

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I found it so disturbing how my emotional breakdown was contested (by a woman) after reading all those statistics in the book. I feel that if you are a woman or a man and read the first few pages in the book and you are not somewhat moved by the statistics and how painfully unequal our world is; then you simply cannot be an individual who is conditioned for greatness.

Mrs Sandberg writes about the time when she was heavily pregnant working at Google, she says she never received reserved parking until she requested it.This situation gave me yet another reason to back up the many reasons I have regarding why I firmly believe women belong in the corporate world.  Sheryl said the parking space for women who were with child was non- existent because none of the women in the company had requested for it to be created. So what does this tell us? Women give up before they have even tried. We have been conditioned to fear being characterized as a nag and so we settle… because we do not want to ruffle any feathers. We sacrifice our comfort, our wellbeing, and sometimes we even sacrifice our happiness.

Sheryl reiterates an important lesson that God has beeeeen telling us- ask and you shall receive. We somehow think that the only receivers are men, or that maybe they are the only gender allowed to make requests because anything we would probably ask for is “stupid, soft and doesn’t benefit the company at large” .Remember that the corporate playground is filled with many little men.  Google is run by men. What can they possibly know about trimester pregnancy and the nausea? What can they possibly know about swollen feet? If we never bring it to their attention, they actually will never know what our needs are because WE DON’T TELL THEM and secondly BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT WOMEN? We’re busy sulking at home while we breastfeed, pointing fingers at all these unfair situations and the things we believed caused them instead of looking for opportunities to level the playing field, no matter how small the change is. Change is change and we need it, like Sheryl said, the revolution seems to have taken a halt, we need to get this ball rolling again ladies.

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Another thing I simply cannot understand is why women and men should have different reasons and levels for ambition. Why should a woman be labeled as bossy, power hungry and selfish if she puts her career first and a man as: strong, good leader, responsible, great provider and focused when he puts his career first? As parents, did we both not consent to having a child? So then why am I the one who will permanently change nappies, put the children to sleep, and give up MY whole damn life and dreams and AMBITION for OUR children???? Why. Why is it automatically the woman who should stay at home? Is it because men do not feel a woman’s ambition is great enough to support a family? Or wait, maybe it’s because he is the selfish one, he is the bossy one and he cannot stand you being great. His ego is too fragile to be with a woman who earns more than him, who does better than him, so instead of pushing you to greatness and helping to even out the playing field; he stifles your growth, calls you a housewife and turns you into a baby making machine.

Women believe there is no place for them in the corporate world because it is untouched territory for the great majority. We walk into the office feeling grateful and undeserving. I just do not understand how as a woman you cannot want what you rightfully deserve. How can every fiber of your being be okay with 77% out of the 100% that you deserve? You deserve 100% but sorry Nancy, we can only give you 77%; because you’re a woman any you know how it’s a man’s world (NO I DON’T KNOW!!!!!).  why is it that as a student when your mark has been miscalculated you take the necessary steps to get that sorted out yet when you get in the workplace and you are faced with some sort of adversity you cannot take the necessary steps to change that? It is the same thing.

The world will keep on giving us 77/100. This situation, the inequality, will never work itself out. We need to stop disqualifying ourselves, belittling ourselves and selling ourselves short. Women are smarter than men. It’s the truth, we are. We can lead. We can be working mothers (THERE IS NO SHAME IN THAT, THERE ARE WORKING FATHERS.). We were not born just so someone can make us feel significant by marrying us. YOU ARE ALREADY SIGNIFICANT….WITHOUT A MAN, WITHOUT A MARRIAGE. There is more to a woman than her ability to populate the universe and have a body shaped like a “coke bottle”. I just wish we all knew this so we could stop making a man our plan and start making our lives our plan.

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