I met with a good friend and mentor a few weeks back. It was nothing too big, just a chance to see what we had been up to in our own circles. I shared and she loved it, she shared and I couldn’t get enough. You see she is the Vice President of Staff & Cultural Development at my university. Needless to say that’s a step or two above my title, for now. In the years that I’ve been here I’ve watched her growth at the school, less in terms of title and more personally. To see her today she just glows. She’s found her happy place.
When we sat down I was more than ecstatic to hear that she was sharing that experience. She started a “book club” of sorts. Not a new book every week but a focus on one title: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I don’t know where I was when it was released because I missed the storm. Critics called it a “vanity project” and some said she was far too harsh on women facing challenges and yet soft one the institutions that challenge them.
Love it or hate it I think the book is extremely valuable. As I went back and read discussions from the Times and the Post I can see that it caused tremendous discussion. As a woman, one of the best things I could have is someone discussing my value. As long as they are looking, I can fight my case.
Not a lot of the topics covered in the book are new and that’s good and bad. The good is that we have leaders who refuse to let these inequalities get swept under the rug.
I’m proud to be a part of a company that isn’t afraid to let female leaders use their platform to address our challenges and I was happy to let her know that “I’m in”.