Lean In – Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Let’s Start Talking About It

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to go through life - Sheryl SandbergSandberg addresses gender bias in the workplace in Chapter 10, similar to the topic covered in her TEDTalk. She stated that although gender is not openly acknowledged or talked about in our day-to-day lives, it is usually lurking below the surface. Sandberg encourages all of us, men and women, to talk about it. “We need to talk and listen and debate and refute and instruct and learn and evolve.” I appreciated the advice and issues raised in this chapter because I have witnessed differences between men and women in the workplace before and I am sure you have too (whether you have noticed it or not).

“Most people would agree that gender bias exists… in others. We, however, would never be swayed by such superficial and unenlightened opinions. Except we are. Our preconceived notions about masculinity and femininity influence how we interact with and evaluate colleagues in the workplace.” – Sheryl Sandberg

What are you doing to eliminate gender bias? Are you aware of it? Take a moment everyday to be cautious of how your preconceived notions influence how you evaluate your colleagues. Are women required to “fit in” to workplace norms built around masculinity? (Sandberg references a deep-sea fishing trip at one company). Are women given equal space at the table? Does this include the opportunity to speak up and credit for their ideas? Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, acknowledges that men and women are more likely to interrupt a woman and give credit to a man for an idea first proposed by a woman. Are successful women at your workplace labeled as not well-liked by peers? Maybe that is because success and likeability are negatively correlated for women (as found in the Heidi/Howard case study). Sandberg suggests always asking yourself if the successful female is paying a gender-based penalty.

Opportunities and access for women have improved tremendously, but there is still progress to be made in all areas of society, including the workplace. That’s why Sandberg’s writing on this topic is an important addition to ongoing dialogue.



This post is part of a series on Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

TNF Locals

I am very excited to share that in August I became an official ambassador for The North Face brand!

Invitation to join TNF Locals

I am ecstatic about the opportunity to be part of this program and look forward to representing The North Face as an ambassador. My Athens Road Runners shirt is one of my favorites – comfortable and lightweight – and it is The North Face brand so I look forward to testing out more of their products.

Chandler at Sweat Hope 5K

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more about the program and my thoughts on the Thermoball jacket I received last week! If this post peaked your interest, I think they are still accepting applications – apply through the link on their Twitter profile.

Do you have any gear from The North Face for running? What would you recommend? I need to add to my current collection!


Lean In – Chapter 9

Chapter 9: The Myth of Doing It All

Does it appear that everyone else has their lives together and you are the one running around trying to pick up the pieces? Do you run out of time to get all of the things done on your list? Do you wonder how super mom manages her job, her kids, and her life so perfectly? Sometimes my life feels this way and this dilemma is what Sheryl Sandberg discusses in Chapter 9 of Lean In.

No one has it all. But it’s easy to think that everyone else does, especially when we get most of our information about someone’s life from their Instagram or other social media posts. Learn to make the most of what you have and maximize your time for the most benefits and what makes you happy. Sandberg included this quote by Sharon Poczter, Professor of Economics at Cornell, in Chapter 9:

“The antiquated rhetoric of ‘having it all’ disregards the basis of every economic relationship: the idea of trade-offs. All of us are dealing with the constrained optimization that is life, attempting to maximize our utility based on parameters like career, kids, relationships, etc., doing our best to allocate the resource of our time. Due to the scarcity of this resource, therefore, none of us can ‘have it all,’ and those who claim to are most likely lying.”

Do what makes you happy. Make time for things that you want to do. I used to give up on working out when I was busy with work or school. Now I always make running or working out a priority by trading it off with other things. Does the house always have to be clean? Do I need to respond to this email right now?

The most valuable lesson I learned about doing it all and deciding what mattered happened in graduate school. (Any of my CSAA professors should stop reading right now). At the beginning of my graduate program I insisted on reading every assigned article and chapter very carefully while taking notes. This often caused me to say no to spending time with friends and miss out on opportunities for connections and networking. Throughout the 2 years I learned to discern what was important and what was not. I learned to skim some of those chapters, and I learned above all, as the quote below explains, what mattered and what did not. I was not a “perfect” student that read every single word of every assignment, and I still have a master’s degree!

Every day we make choices about the amount of time we are going to spend perfecting something and where our priorities lie. Dr. Glimcher (quote below) stated for her this meant getting home at a reasonable hour but not spending that time at home making sure the house was clean.

I had to decide what mattered and what didn’t and I learned to be a perfectionist only in the things that mattered

What should your priorities be today? Are you wasting time perfecting something that does not need to be perfect? As Facebook’s wall so proudly displays: Done is better than perfect.


This post is part of a series on Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

LinkedIn for the #SAsearch

There is a high possibility that you are currently job searching in higher education OR you will be job searching at some point in your life. Because of this, you need to have an updated LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn can help in many ways. If you are job searching, the hiring manager and other people interviewing you will probably Google you during the search, make sure they find accurate information by providing it yourself on LinkedIn.Maximize your job search with Linked In

Additionally, job searchers should use the LinkedIn feature to be anonymous and look up the profiles of staff at the institution before interviews. I did this during my last job search and it was tremendously helpful to know background information and previous jobs of the individuals interviewing me. Prepping for day-long interviews is stressful and overwhelming but LinkedIn definitely makes the process easier. Here’s are some LinkedIn profile tips to make sure you do:

  • Use a professional photo, not a cropped one. Ask a friend to take a photo of you if you need a LinkedIn headshot.
  • Update your profile with positions you have held (the experience section). A description or bullet points is not necessary but the more information you provide, the better.
  • Write a summary – this is a way to introduce yourself to others at the beginning of your profile and say whatever you want to say about your interests! I used Joe Ginese’s advice about storytelling when preparing mine, thanks Joe!
  • Ask your previous supervisors or colleagues to recommend you, and pay it forward by recommending individuals that impressed you with their products or services. Recommendations add value to your profile and really show your worth.
  • Join groups related to your professional area. This is a great way to stay updated on new ideas and ask questions of others working in similar positions. These groups are also often used to share job postings.

A few other tips

  • Personalize the message when connecting with people, especially if it is someone you have never met – why should they connect with you?
  • Take advantage of the “Find Alumni” feature, a great way to reach out to alumni and connect with them, especially if they are doing what you want to be doing. (Thanks for the tip, Amber!)
  • Only connect with people you know. I’m torn on this one. I have not followed this advice and usually accept every invitation I receive. The flip side is when someone asks me “How do you know so-and-so or will you connect me with so-and-so” and I have to say, oh I really don’t know them.

Updating your LinkedIn profile is free and something that can be tremendously beneficial for your career. Set aside 1-2 hours and get your profile started up today! I’ve heard various grumblings that “LinkedIn is pointless” or “there is no reason to have a LinkedIn profile”. My question to the naysayers is, how will it hurt you? Drop that attitude today and take charge of your professional presence!

What are some other tips for using LinkedIn in higher education or student affairs? Has LinkedIn helped you be successful in a job search? Make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn and lets continue the conversation. Good luck in your current or future job search.