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Lean In Again?

Posted November 5, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Networking Buzz
Last week I facilitated a women’s discussion group for an organization of which I’m a member. It was our kick-off session, so it felt fitting to use Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ 2010 Ted Talk as our discussion topic. I watched Sandberg’s presentation again to prepare for the session and found myself feeling the same anxiety and indignation I felt the first time. How did I not know about this?

Sandberg kicks off her presentation by revealing a few statistics:

  • Of 190 heads of state, only 9 are women
  • Of all the people in parliament, 13% are women
  • Female corporate c-level and board members top out at 16%
  • Even in the world of non-profit, which is considered a female dominated field –80% of the leadership are men

And, these numbers have not moved since 2002.

That exact phrase slapped me across the face the first time I heard it and again, the second time. Evidently, I lulled myself into a false sense of comfort because frankly, I thought we had progressed further than this. I suspect we believed things were better because most people talked the right talk. Anecdotally, it APPEARED things were better, but the data told a very different story. Since then everybody and their mother formed an opinion about Sandberg, but this discussion is not about her. It’s about women.

Sandberg reopened a much-needed dialogue about a woman’s place in our society. If you’ve never seen her talk, watch it. Or if it’s been awhile, watch it again. And, more importantly, share it with a woman you know.

About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.