Trying to ‘Lean-in’ has made a difference to my life

When Sheryl Sandberg’s book was first published I refrained from buying it on the basis that a CEO of a multinational would have nothing to say to an ordinary woman like me. What could I posssibly have in common with a woman who is worth millions and lives her working life on a 24 hour clock? However, after some missed opportunities at work I decided to give it a read and I can safely say that my initial analysis was wrong.

‘Lean-in’ is a wonderful literal and a metaphor for the way women hold themselves back. My favourite quote from the book is: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” This quote has proven to be a font of inspiration for me. There were many things that I had considered as Plan B career options but had never articulated them in a constructive manner. I now have a two page list.

Another favourite quote is: “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder”. We are all taught to think in a vertical manner when it comes to career progression and, yet, life does not work that way all the time. Being freed from the strait jacket of vertical though has allowed me to be far more bold in my plans.

The biggest leap forward has been in the way I have managed to convince my daughter to ‘Lean-In’. She was at a debate forum recently where volunteers were needed. She tells me that she remembered to ‘Lean-In’ and was the only girl who put herself forward.

I am seriously thinking of starting a ‘Lean-in’ circle in South London for mothers. If anyone is keen please email me at:


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