“It’s a jungle gym, not a ladder.” While there is only one way to get to the top of a ladder, there are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym. According to author Sheryl Sandberg, CEO at Facebook, and a former VP at Google, the jungle gym model benefits everyone, but especially women who might be starting careers, switching careers, getting blocked by external barriers, or reentering the workforce after taking time off.
Readers will be familiar with the oft-held perception, backed up by studies, that a woman in business is perceived as either efficient or nice, but not both. In a chapter entitled “Success and Likeability,” Sheryl Sandberg advises how a woman can negotiate for compensation rather than be satisfied with a lower offer in comparison to a man; she speaks candidly of her initial reluctance to negotiate with the founder of Facebook when she was eager to accept the first offer. In the conference room, women should be sure to sit at the table to be recognized as an equal.
The author counsels leaders to strive for authenticity rather than perfection in order to build a better team.
Readers will be interested to learn of Ms. Sandberg’s views concerning women starting a family faced with a decision about whether to remain in or leave a rewarding job, and the sharing of child-raising. Successful women at the top are enabled by partners who support them in the workplace and at home.
The reviewer listened to the audio CD of this book and also consulted it in print.