Men’s guide to Ultimate Power – Chapter 2: Lean Out

Here is my Introduction to Chapter 2 from my upcoming book. I also list the 10 strategies in that chapter to get you excited about reading it. I welcome any feedback!

“Men’s Guide to Ultimate Power -50 Strategies to Hold Women Back (Or Not)”

Introduction to Chapter 2: Lean Out

 Leaning In is not enough

In her recent best-selling book “Lean In” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, identifies many of the barriers that hold women back at work and in business. She recounts depressing statistics about women stalling mid-career up corporate ladders and being held down by the glass ceiling. She notes that discrimination and sexism are still alive and well, however, rather than attacking the institutional barriers she, like many before her, urges women to be tougher, stronger and more courageous if they want to stay in and become leaders.

Unlike Ms Sandberg, I do not ask women to become better climbers. I ask them to look at the ladder and to question why it is so hard for women to climb.  Why does it hold so many women back and yet propel so many men to the top? Although it does help to empower women, history shows us, that this is not enough – and it may actually slow progress. As women go about “leaning in,” the bigger and more resistant barriers facing women remain untouched. Not only do corporate institutions and policies flourish, but by continuing to call it a “women’s issue” rather than a societal or corporate issue, we burden women with both the responsibility and burden of trying to make things better. We expect them to change themselves when there may be nothing wrong with them at all.

This section identifies ten barriers that hold women back at work and in business.

Chapter 2: Lean Out

Table of Contents

  1. Deny the existence of the glass ceiling
  2. Tell women it’s just a matter of time (blame the pipeline)
  3. Hide the reasons why women leave
  4. Pay and promote woken less than men
  5. Make excessive and inflexible work hours the norm
  6. Blame women for self-sabotage
  7. Deny discrimination and sexism exist
  8. Pretend sexual harassment is a compliment:
  9. Limit access to mentors and the boys club
  10. Don’t provide family and life supports



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