Men Are Starting to Embrace the Whole 'Lean In' Thing

Well, this is cool. According to an article in the New York Times, businessmen have begun to really change their attitudes about powerful women in the workplace thanks largely to Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In."

As James Dominick, a 33-year-old who oversees around assets for a South Korean bank in New York, told the Times. “I don’t read a ton of business books, but I thought it was crazy that there aren’t more women in finance. I look around at my team of seven people, and one of them is a woman. That is not the right ratio. How do I fix that?”

He later added, "After reading the book, I now understand that women are promoted on achievements and men are promoted on promise, which is something from a behavioral bias standpoint just worth knowing."

Dominick was encouraged to read "Lean In" by his friend Brent Grinna (the founder of technology company EverTrue) who, after reading the book, hired a woman — Elisabeth Carpenter — as Chief Operating Officer . As he told the paper, "“I’m convinced by both Sheryl and the data of the benefits of having gender balance on a leadership team."

(The EverTrue team is still pretty far from balanced, but hiring Carpenter — along with a few other female employees — is certainly a good start.)

Dominick and Grinna are just two of a handful of men who are embracing Lean In circles and considering the best way to level the playing field of the business world. CEOs of corporations ranging from Cisco to PricewaterhouseCoopers to Red Ventures have all tried to take Sandberg's lesson to heart.

Sandberg herself says this was all apart of her mission. From the NYT:

Ms. Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, did not seem surprised at this development; indeed, she suggested it was part of her grand plan. “Early on, I was thinking of having one chapter just for men, but then I decided to have all the chapters speak to men,” Ms. Sandberg, 44, said, adding, “We have to tell men why equality is good for them, at any income level.”

A lot of this might come off more as paying lip service than enacting real change, but it's encouraging to know that people — particularly men in business — are at least thinking about gender imbalances and the best way to correct them. Who knows? It might even be the first step towards a time when we can discuss women in business without having to consult men on how they feel about it.

Page by Page, Men Are Stepping Into the ‘Lean In’ Circle [NYT]

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