I entered the workforce believing that my generation was going to have equal responsibility and equal opportunity. And it didn't work out that way.
Women are getting more college degrees, more graduate degrees and turning to workforce at every level. But in industry after industry, women are eighteen, fifteen, twenty percent of the top jobs. Women are held back by many things. We're held back by bias, by lack of flexibility, by lack of opportunity. We also hold ourselves back. We don't sit at the table; we don't raise our hands; we don't let our voices be loud enough.
I remember my first day at Facebook, driving to this new job and this hard job, and not being sure I could do it. I think about all the moments when I just didn't believe in myself: every test I was sure I was about to fail, every job I wasn't sure I could do. But it's after watching so many women quietly lean back, after watching myself quietly lean back and miss opportunities that I started to see the pattern and started to talk about it.
Why does this matter? Boy, it matters a lot, because no one gets to the corner office by sitting on the side not at the table.
This book's for women of all ages: young girls who are thinking about what their futures might be, people who might be out of the workforce thinking about coming back, or even someone who's a volunteer, and wants to lean in and take on more leadership, to encourage women to really believe in themselves and believe in their dreams, and to help men do their part to form a more equal world by making sure that all of us have opportunities based on our passions and interests not just based on our gender.
Part of what I'm hoping Lean In will do is really start a conversation in every workplace, in every company, in every school to start thinking about gender differently. I believe the world would be a better place if half of our companies and half our countries are run by women, and half of our homes are run by men.
This is about believing in yourself.