From Our Blog
I grew up in a relatively poor family, got a job as soon as it was legal, and paid my way through a great public university by selling overpriced clothes to rich women and doing homework between 10pm and 2am. I talked my way into an internship at an organization I just wanted to work for and kept asking for the next job, the next project, the next promotion. A dozen years and four organizations later, I am a Managing Director and yes, I can afford flexible child care. This makes me viscerally aware that the deck isn’t stacked against me anymore, but it is for the vast majority of families. People who say that the system has to change are right — the status quo is ludicrous — and I will help fight for that change. Show me where to sign, who to call and which candidates to back.
I had not yet finished reading Lean In when these subtle—almost subconscious—processes began to kick in. Recently back from a four-month maternity leave after the birth of my first child, Pau, I was sitting on a call conference in our Barcelona office. In the room with me was my boss’s boss (a woman) and on the phone was a Director from our Madrid HQ (another woman). We discussed briefly the matter which originated the call and then the two went on to discuss other issues. I was about to signal that I was leaving the room and then I remembered what I had read so far in Lean In. I stopped short and nailed myself to the chair, smiling pleasantly as I listened to the call. My boss’s boss didn’t seem to mind my staying in the room. And then it happened. Towards the end of the call, one of the issues discussed needed insight—which I was able to provide. Whew! It was nothing big, but it was clearly an example of sitting at the table, leaning in to the discussion and, literally,of not leaving before you leave. All of which we as women tend to not do—unfortunately more often than we realize!
My husband and I raised our three children — Sheryl, David, and Michelle — to believe that they could achieve any dream as long as they were willing to work hard. I am proud of what each of them has accomplished.
Sheryl’s book Lean In has important messages for all women, not just those with careers. It’s a call for all women to become stronger, more confident and more empowered. It urges all women to raise our voices to support each other’s choices—to remain single or marry, have children or not, work in the home or outside the home.
The message to find something you “love doing and do it with gusto“ rings true for me both professionally and personally. Recently, I decided to study Talmud and celebrate my 70th birthday by having a Bat Mitzvah ceremony 57 years after my brothers had theirs. It’s never too late to lean in.