A survey by the small business social network Manta revealed that 61% of the 1,089 female small business owners who responded were either indifferent to or disagreed with the premise of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s recent book Lean In.
Perhaps because Sandberg wrote from the perspective of an executive who had climbed existing ladders, rather than as a founder, entrepreneurial women don’t find her advice particularly resonant. If you’re there all the time anyway, “first in, last out” hours are meaningless.
Or maybe in the world of start-ups, a woman needs a different approach for success:
“there’s also the perspective that in the fast-paced (and often cutthroat) race for scale and success in the startup arena, that leaning in long and slow might not get women to the table fast enough. Maxine Manafy, founder and CEO of digital and mobile ad platform Bunndle, says that rather than “leaning in,” her approach has been more of the “barge in” variety. She’s encountered firsthand the bias shown to females in the workplace, and eschews the shrewd, political networking approach favored by the Sandberg movement for a louder, more intrusive, “I’m here, respect me and my talents” approach, which she credits with winning her the respect of the Silicon Valley boys club. The year old company has raised just shy of a million in seed funding from SoftTech VC and 500 Startups.”
One size does not fit all women, and neither does any single path to career success. Isn’t one of the points of the women’s movement a broadening of the definitions of what it takes to be a professional, a leader and an executive?
Laura Abrahamsen, May 21, 2013