Friday, March 22, 2013

Lean In and Gender Differences

The Nytimes wrote in A Titan’s How-To on Breaking the Glass Ceiling about Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
"Ms. Sandberg wants to take women through a collective self-awareness exercise. In her book, she urges them to absorb the social science showing they are judged more harshly and paid less than men; resist slowing down in mere anticipation of having children; insist that their husbands split housework equally; draft short- and long-term career plans; and join a “Lean In Circle,” which is half business school and half book club."

"Ms. Sandberg’s chief critic has been Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton professor and former top State Department official, who published an Atlantic Magazine article titled “Why Women Can’t Have It All,” last year arguing that feminism — and Ms. Sandberg — were holding women to unattainable standards for personal and professional success."

I at least often use the work on the gender differences I found in competitiveness (see here, here and for an overview here), self-confidence, choosing challenges as telling my female students that it looks like there is this gender difference, we should just be aware of it, to make sure we make  choices we are happy with. Furthermore, given that competitiveness seems to be important even for career choices (see here), thinking about whether alternative ways to structure those choices could reduce the importance of competitiveness is a worthwhile task.

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