Sandberg's 'Lean In': Women's Biggest Barrier to Success? Themselves

Facebook COO's new book 'Lean In' rekindles debate on equality for women in the workplace.

Why are so few women in senior management? According to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, it's because women haven't taken enough responsibility in advocating their own success—and it's about time they stepped up and got themselves out of this "stalled revolution." In her newly released book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Succeed, Sandberg argues that when it comes to climbing the ladder in corporate America, women are their own worst enemies.

"We've ceased making progress at the top in any industry anywhere in the world," Sandberg writes. "In the United States, women have had 14 percent of the top corporate jobs and 17 percent of the board seats for 10 years. Ten years of no progress," despite the fact that women now earn more bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees than men.

Sandberg's advice to women? Don't get a mentor if you want to excel—you need to excel first, then you'll get a mentor. It's a philosophy that has sparked a significant debate, especially since her viewpoint relieves many organizations of the responsibility of promoting equality in the workplace and advocating cultural-competence education, writes Barbara Frankel, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor, DiversityInc.

As a woman who has fought for three decades in the workplace for a place at the table … I agree with Sandberg that too many women give up too easily as the challenges of family and work become overwhelming. But her simplistic solution of urging women to take control of themselves and join "Lean In Circles" to bolster each other ignores the reality that most workplace inequities aren't caused by the victims, but by the institutions and those in power who benefit from continuity."

Read the rest of Frankel's reaction to Lean In in this column.

Read these reviews and reactions from other top news outlets—then share your thoughts with us in the comments below:

Sheryl Sandberg Inspired and Offended on 60 Minutes [with video]

Sandberg says she's not blaming women, but there are a lot more factors to success that women can—and should—control.

SHERYL SANDBERG: Women Need to Get More Comfortable With Power

This overview of Sandberg's book breaks it down into seven lessons, including "women should not ask for mentors" and "having it all is a myth."

'This Week' Roundtable on Sheryl Sandberg

Do men outnumber women when it comes to ambition for leadership? Panelists discuss controversy surrounding Sandberg's Lean In.

Lean In, Read On: 21 Perspectives on Sheryl Sandberg's Book

Sandberg is a "PowerPoint Pied Piper in Prada ankle books," wrote Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize recipient.

10 Things Sheryl Sandberg Gets Exactly Right In Lean In

Despite criticism, you can't ignore that Sandberg hits the nail on the head: Men still rule the world.

Gen-Y Responds to Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In

What do 20-something's think about Sandberg's book? Here are some first-hand responses on Lean In.

Sheryl Sandberg: On a Mission to Elevate Women

Is Sandberg too rich, too successful to lead a women's movement? The Facebook COO won't back down despite criticism.

Facebook's Sandberg Says Women's Revolution Has Stalled

CBS News' Norah O'Donnell interviews Sandberg.

60 Minutes: Sandberg on Mentoring

Sandberg details the insecurities she still has about her success and about the mentors she had along the way.

One in 10 Irish People Think Men Should Not Vote in Ireland Abortion Referendum

A most conservative country when it comes to abortion rights begins to wake up to the logical conclusion that if your gender can't bear children, you should probably stop mansplaining and man-deciding.

Presiding Officer Carmel McBride prepares the polling station for the referendum on liberalizing abortion law . / REUTERS

Ireland is one of Europe's most socially conservative countries, with one of the world's strictest bans on abortion. Residents went to the polls on Friday for a "once in a generation opportunity" to decide whether to liberalize or maintain the country's abortion laws.

For Americans, conservatives trying to control abortion rights using religion sound all too familiar.

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Salma Hayek Calls for Male Stars to Get Pay Cut

"We all have to be part of the adjustment. That's one idea. I'm going to be hated for it. I hope I can get a job after this!" Hayek said.


(Reuters) — Mexican American actress Salma Hayek, a vocal campaigner against sexual harassment in the movie industry, said on Sunday male stars should get less pay as way to even things up with chronically underpaid women.

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Michelle Obama: 'I Wish that Girls Could Fail as Bad as Men Do and Be OK'

The former first lady says women execs need to "really shake it up" when they get a seat at the table.

At the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles on Saturday, former First Lady Michelle Obama talked with actor and activist Tracee Ellis Ross, star of "Black-ish," about gender equality.

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Golf Club That Called Cops on Black Women Members Faces Business Backlash, Potential Investigation

"It is appalling that someone would call the police for a non-violent incident where the only crime was being Black on a public golf course," State Sen. Vincent J. Hughes said in a statement.

After the co-owner of Grandview Golf Club in York County, Pa., called the police on five Black women members for allegedly golfing too slow, the club's business vendors are beginning to bail and a state senator is calling for an investigation.

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Golf Club Calls Police on Black Women Members for Allegedly Playing Too Slow

The five women, one a local NAACP president, say it's a clear case of racial and gender discrimination.

Myneca Ojo / FACEBOOK

Five Black women, members of the Grandview Golf Club in Braddock, the oldest public golf course in York County, Pa., decided to meet on Saturday for a round of golf. The outing ended with the club co-owner, who is white, calling the police on the only Black, female players on the course because they allegedly played too slow and did not want to cancel their membership and leave.

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