The Lean In Alternative

Why leaning back also works for women in business

The release of Lean In, the new book by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, has sparked a firestorm of attention from the media and folks around conference room tables throughout the country. Sandberg’s assertion that women in business should “lean in” and make more of an effort to lead is one that has garnered both nods of agreement and adamant disapproval from men and women alike.

Vickie Milazzo, a successful businesswoman in her own right, acknowledges that women should absolutely do everything they can to take on leadership roles in the workplace. But in addition to “leaning in,” she says women in the workplace should make “leaning back” a priority.

“To me, ‘leaning back’ means bringing other women with you as you achieve,” says Milazzo, author of the New York Times bestseller Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman.

“Though women in the workplace have come a long way, we often still make less than men who do the same jobs as us. We are still systematically overlooked for promotions, even when we’re more qualified than the man who ends up with the job. And though it’s becoming less uncommon to see a woman heading up an executive team or running her own business, I think those of us who do reach success have a responsibility to bring women into our own power teams as we achieve big things.”

Milazzo has a great deal of experience on which to base her observations. As the founder and CEO of a multi-million dollar company, she didn’t achieve her current level of success by going it alone. In fact, she is recognized as a trusted mentor and dynamic role model by tens of thousands of women.

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