“Woman do not frequently become famous in Silicon Valley: Gotta lean in a little harder, gals!” Alexander Nazaryan writes in a Newsweek article about the darker sides of Silicon Valley: its humourlessness, money-drivenness, insane prices of housing and the fact, that tech and entrepreneur woman are being marginalized.

This side remark “Gotta lean in…” was tough. It was meant to be cynical, but it points strongly to Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean in”: her book has a good intention encouraging woman to take a stand for themselves, but there is another, counterproductive message: you are not leaning in hard enough, gals. For me, this sounds cynical and so disregardful of the efforts, performance and value woman contribute every single day, without getting the adequate rewards and shares.

And it suggests something that just is not true:  woman would not become more famous or renown if they just leaned in a little harder, on the contrary: no matter how hard they lean in, they won’t get there, most probably. I am convinced woman can get what they want, but for sure not (only) by leaning in harder!

So maybe gals, you should not lean in harder, but claim your rights and make use of the situation, that great talent is very rare right now and hardly seeked after. Companies, esp. in Silicon Valley are forced to take action on attracting female talent. Don’t make it too easy for them, tell them to lean in a little harder!

P.S.: Speaking about woman and tech and coding, which is attributed to male nerds and maybe nothing for woman… Well, coding used to be a woman’s job, badly paid and not considered very difficult or valuable. Like typing maybe. And then men took over, the salaries rose, the valuation as well and woman were marginalized read the article.


PPS The guy on the pic taken in the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. It shows a sculpture of the an Olmec, the first major civilization in Mexico from around 1.000 BC. I chose the pic intuitively, it somehow expressed what I had to say in this post 🙂