Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s first book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” hits shelves March 11, but press who’ve reviewed the book are already scoffing at Sandberg’s book’s message when she sits so high up the corporate ladder and class rankings.
In her book, the Jewish tech exec urges women to break the glass ceiling, listing reasons why women are falling behind in holding majority of leadership positions in government and industry. She tells her female readers to embrace the obvious reasons why they are judged more harshly in the work place, and get paid less than men. She tells them to slow down in anticipating having children, tell their husbands to split the housework easily, create short and long-term career plans, and join her “Lean in Circle.”
But that’s easy for Sandberg to say, critics are arguing: listed as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune Magazine and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Sandberg is using her social capital to her advantage and does not portray a fair representation of real women in America.
Perhaps her toughest critic is Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Princeton professional responsible for The Atlantic article, “Why Women Can’t Have It All,” who argued that feminists, Sandberg included, were holding women to unreachable standards, the New York Times reports.
“Sheryl Sandberg is both superhuman and rich,” Slaughter told Fortune magazine. “She’s made a real contribution with the book, but it’s only half the story.”
Sandberg has since spurred somewhat of a “mommy war” on the internet.
“Sheryl Sandberg is an outlier. I wholeheartedly believe that those blessed with great talents and power can and should use their pedestal to push for change for those that can’t. But I think that what Sheryl legitimately sees and feels in her life is just too far afield from the reality of working women everywhere,” wrote Bridget Williams on Business Insider. “By setting herself up as The Voice for keeping mothers in the workplace, but ignoring the issues that most working mothers are facing, she’s missing a much bigger opportunity.”
Renee Ghert-Zand of the Jewish Daily Forward noted that Sandberg lives in a 9,200 square foot home in Menlo Park, Calif, which she purchased for some $3 million, and has a “small army of household help.”
“Frankly, it’s insulting to the rest of us, who seem to know that what will truly make a difference for women and families — and for all of society — are structural changes like high-quality affordable childcare for all, equal pay, affordable healthcare and the like,” Ghert-Zand writes.