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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Downloading a Kindle copy today of the new book by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg today felt like my birthday, only instead of cake and getting older, I felt inspired and lighter. Even though I’m an author and love book reviews on my work, I rarely take the time myself to leave a review. Today was different. I felt it important to write a review of “Lean In”. If you’ve read the book let me know what you think!

Kindle & Hardcover Available on Amazon. My Kindle highlights and notes are online as well.

Sheryl Sandberg Lean InMy review:

Listen, not everyone is going to like this book. It may make some people uncomfortable either with themselves or their environment. Some people may claim that this book is all about making women feel they haven’t pushed far enough into board rooms or into C-Suites. I have read this book, and as a highly successful solo-business owner that ditched corporate to rise higher, it **really** hit home. Not every woman WANTS to run a company (big or small) or even work outside her home, but every woman needs to have the right to be a leader in every capacity she wants. The book’s message above all else is that no matter your background, education, upbringing or position of power in the workplace or your family is that as women we NEED to know that any choice we make will be met with the same enthusiasm and respect that our men counterparts enjoy.

There was a perfect mix of research data, personal / professional stories from Ms. Sandberg, and other professional women’s stories at all levels of leadership. While the author is in a much different professional position than I am, I still found the content very relatable as I too identify as a ‘geek’ that has ignored (or been naive to) the obstacles in my way – either externally or by my own doing. I also appreciate her request that men also read the book to understand the struggles that modern women face everyday that, even with the best of intentions, men often don’t recognize. Men and women are not the same, she as well as I admit this, but in the workplace and the world the idea that each person be allowed to work and lead to their best capacity and contribute EQUALLY to our environment.

I bought this on Kindle so I could start reading it immediately, but I will go back and purchase the hardcover because I see myself making a lot of dog-eared pages and notes in the margins – and then passing it along to other women in my network to act as a catalyst and inspiration to all who read it.

- Lynette Young (Owner, Purple Stipe Productions | Founder, Women of Google+ | Author, Google+ for Small Businesses)

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The Women of Social Media Report – Digital Women Influencer Study

No surprise here! Women are the dominant force using social media channels today and marketers are taking notice! This report issued by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research highlights some of the key statistics in social media use and purpose by North American women today.

Recent research from Pew Research Center found that the percentage of female Internet users who use social networking sites well exceeds that of men (75% vs. 63%, respectively) and women are also more active in their use of these sites. Women are the “low-hanging fruit” of social media today and deserve closer attention from marketers.

The Women Of Social Media

The Women of Google+

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Makers Documentary from PBS & AOL

As women, we strive to make a difference in the world from our own personal lives to the global view. While Women of Google+ isn’t involved in this program, it looks to be a brilliant documentary for everyone to watch.

MAKERS.com is a dynamic digital platform produced by filmmakers Dyllan McGee, Betsy West, and Peter Kunhardt, developed by AOL, showcasing hundreds of compelling stories from women of today and tomorrow. This historic video initiative features exclusive access to trailblazing women – both known and unknown.

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Announcing the Women of Google+ Community

I’m happy to announce that Women of Google+ finally has a place we can come together as a community, meet one another, have conversations, and explore Google+. Of course I stayed up until 2am to get the Women of Google+ Community up and configured! In a matter of hours (and in the middle of the night) we have well over 100 members already.  Click on the logo below or here to be taken to the G+Community. You wil need a Google+ account (of course) to join. Membership is public and open to all, but I am moderating / approving entries. I have restricted it to women only and have started to publish a few ‘rules’ so please be mindful of them.

Women of Google+ Community Guidelines

Women of Google+ was created on a spark of an idea and has quickly turned into a much more than just a way to discover brilliant women using Google+. Women of Google+ has evolved into a destination to learn, share and explore what it takes to thrive on social networking platforms both personally and professionally.

**YOUR PROFILE MUST BE POPULATED – NO EMPTY OR ABANDONED ACCOUNTS WILL BE APPROVED.**

PROMOTION posts: Sales pitches or spamming will get you kicked out. If you would like to promote your work, event, business, etc. feel free to place it under the PROMOTION category. Just don’t abuse it, thanks!

INTRODUCTION posts: With everyone jumping into G+ Communities, there will be a lot of introductions going on. Please see to post yours under the INTRODUCTION threads, thanks!

For now, all I can moderate is English. I don’t have the ability to start separate groups for other languages, nor do I want to manage other moderators. Please feel free to start a community of your own in your own language.

Women of Google+ Community

About Google+ Communities

From photography to astronomy (and everything in between), Google+ has always been a place to crowd around common interests and meet new people. What’s been missing, however, are more permanent homes for all the stuff you love: the wonderful, the weird, and yes, even the things that are waaay out there. With Google+ Communities there’s now a gathering place for your passions, including:

  • Public or private membership to support all kinds of groups—from topics and interests to local neighborhoods to regular poker nights
  • Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most
  • The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members
  • The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web

To find out more about G+Communities be sure to visit the official announcement from Google.

 

 

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Tech & Your Daily Routine

I think we can all admit that (computer) technology can be both a blessing and a curse. As professional women we use tech to help us get just one more thing crammed into our day. Calendars. Texts. Alerts. Reminders. Emails. Facetime / video chat. Oh, and actual phone calls too. I don't know exactly how it happened, but we are somehow expected to respond 24/7 to anything that comes to our phones or tablets. Respond to text messages within 30 minutes. Emails within an hour.

Right now I'm sitting pretty (not really) with almost 2,000 unread messages across all my accounts. That's stressful. I'm sure I look to be non-responsive but in reality it would take me all day, every day to deal with messages alone. I have been pretty good at separating myself from my devices during the times I do not wish to be tethered to them. My husband gets twitchy when he sees I get an alert on my phone (usually a Twitter @ or DM) and I don't JUMP up to read and respond to it. Too bad so sad! Dinner time is dinner time. I know a lot of women people may try to cling on to this illusion of dealing with everything all the time and coming out ahead, but I know I work, function, and think better when I can single-task my efforts.

So, ready to think about all the time you spend with your cell phone or tablet in your hand?

1. Check your phone / tablet before you get out of bed?
This one is easy, don't keep your devices next to your bed. If someone calls or messages me late at night it can (yes it can!) wait until the next morning. Besides, I have a handset of my home phone in my bedroom. If someone calls me at 2am on my house phone – someone has either died or wound up in jail. NO ONE calls a house line that late at night without a reason, but plenty of people will call a cell line that late (drunk / butt dialing anyone?)

2. Check your phone / tablet during your commute to work?
Let's hope you take the train). Not to mention how dangerous this can be it's highly unlikely you will be able to type coherent responses to emails or messages during your drive. Part of the requirements for the car I bought last year was that it had built-in Bluetooth for my phone for hands free talking. Those ear pieces just never worked for me. Sadly taking business calls in my car with my kids is hard because they can hear the entire convo – and my caller can hear my kids. Hindsight is 20/20.

3. Check your phone / tablet during a meeting?
Stack 'em if you've got 'em! I highly recommend suggesting to the entire meeting that they place their phones and tablets on the table during a meeting. Fun twists – the first person to take their phone brings coffee for the next meeting. When I've done this meetings go quicker and stay on target because twitch people really twitch want their devices back quickly.

4. Check your phone / tablet while on another phone call?
I'm guilty myself of being on a Skype / land line call and fiddling with my cell phone. Heck, I can even put a cell call on speaker or use Bluetooth and surf ON my cell phone. Don't. Confession time – I've accidentally hung up on someone and conferenced in another number. 

5. Pretended to GET a call / text to get out of a situation?
Yes and YES. Thinking back, this tactic would have been amazing in 'boring date' situations when I was younger, but cell phones (or at least ones you didn't have to bolt into your car) didn't exist yet. While I haven't used the idea, I've thought about it during discovery / sales meetings where it was clear I needed an 'out'. 

6. Pretended to MAKE a call / text to get out of a situation?
Professionally I've postponed 'catch up' phone calls to continue a great meeting I happened to be in at the moment. The reverse also holds true – feigning a scheduled phone call is an excellent way to keep meetings or other calls on time and on track. Having a 'hard stop' time keeps things from dragging on too long. Most times I really DO have a hard stop time and really dislike being late. Besides, it just ripples down the line and makes me late for everything. I set audible reminders and alarms on my phone to keep me an honest lady. Also, pretending to call Santa, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy is funny as hell. Sadly my mom thought of this first so apparently my kids think only she has Santa on speed dial.

I know I've left the house with my cell phone and not my wallet. I know I've answered calls or messages when I should have been paying attention to my kids at dinner or a person on the other end of the call. 

I love technology just as much as the next person, probably more, but learning to juggle and drop it into my life when needed has made me much more productive, focused and happy.

You??

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What benefits are there to having more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering…

What benefits are there to having more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields?

Sometimes I wonder at the 'battle' to get more girls and women involved in STEM fields and keep us there. Devil's advocate here (not necessarily my opinion or feelings) — WHY do we need to gender balance these fields?

Off the top of my head I'm going to guess that nursing is a gender-heavy field for women. I don't really see a push to include more men or recruit them from high school. My guess is that boys are more likely to be encouraged to become doctors

Women have traditionally been seen as 'nurturers.' Men are seen as 'fixers.' To me they are actually the same thing… fixing problems is a way to take care of people and nurturing is a form of assistance.

Are we fighting for something we don't even want or need?

Some quotes from the article:

It is believed that women are more drawn toward professions that can improve society and individuals’ lives.

Young women often comment that they want a career where they can help make things better; this being the case, then engineering should be the ideal career choice.

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Attempted gender balance in engineering – The Manitoban
The U of M engineering faculty still sees disappointing numbers in female enrollment, despite numerous efforts to even the gender balance. Only one in every six engineering student is a woman. At a sc…

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Women Solve Problems Differently & Purchase Differently

We argue differently than men. We solve issues different than men. We make decisions different than men. It goes to reason we also make purchases different than men. As a woman, I look at this a common sense, but now there is a bit of scientific proof.

From the She-conomy article by +Stephanie Holland:

Women have larger areas of their frontal lobe, responsible for problem-solving  and decision-making. They are indeed  planning ahead, visualizing multiple solutions and using that female brain processing to put more time and effort into a decision or problem solving process. (aka, taking a long time).

We also see that the limbic cortex, responsible for regulating emotion, is larger in women. Women have more connections to the emotional centers of their brain. They tap into that emotional center when making decisions (aka, leading with their emotions).

I think this not only helps marketers take a different approach to selling to women, it explains a lot within husband/wife marriages on why it is a difficult process to make certain household purchases (like the home itself or possibly a car). Knowing this, why on Earth would a marketer choose to communicate generically across the board?

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She-conomy » Men & Women Solve Problems Differently. Therefore, They Shop & Buy Differently
We love how you solve problems. The rabbi describes the way his wife tackles obstacles as full of drama: She rages, she cries, she internalizes everything. Her system of problem-solving takes a long t…

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Do you invest in the industry you work in?

While the article starts out a bit crass, I completely agree with the author's ideas that women should be helping women fund and start their companies. Why whine to men that they need to help us? We are quite capable of working and helping ourselves thank-you-very-much.

Something I like to remind people of is that your time is worth something – so investing that to a startup that needs talent, help and guidance could actually be better than cash. Sometimes…

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Women in Tech: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. | TechCrunch
Apologies in advance to everyone I’m going to offend with this post, men and women included. If I appear to be moronic, self-centered, or sexist… it’s only because I am (I’m a guy). Still I believe …

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