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Lean in? Or think again? S


heryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is one of the most well-known figures in corporate America today. In the male- dominated world of business, where


only slightly more than 4 percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by women, Sandberg achieved success early and rose to the top at a meteoric rate. In her book Lean In: Women, Work, and The


Will To Lead, Sandberg offers advice about how women can advance their careers, and at the same time, asks women to take their share of respon- sibility as to why more women aren’t in more leadership positions. If they want to get ahead and make it big time, says Sandberg, women need to “lean in”: assert themselves more, put in more time, take on more tasks, be more ambitious. Yes, she says, it is a male-dominated world. So work harder! Believe in yourself! Don’t doubt your abil- ity to do it all! Make more demands! Take on more! Sandberg argues that women have to stop looking for excuses and reasons for failure or mediocrity. Success costs, and if you don’t pay the price, it won’t happen.


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In effect, Sandberg wants women to out-


work the men or, at least, work as much as suc- cessful men do. She’s advocating putting in the big hours, and making the big compromises, so that women too can succeed in the workplace. But my gut tells me that there’s something wrong with this prescription. Maybe the system is too demanding on all of us. Maybe none of us, men or women, should be eager to “lean in” because the world we are being asked to “lean into” isn’t, in the long run, worth it. I think that Lean In is an important book


and should be taken very seriously. I applaud Sandberg for encouraging women to overcome self-doubt, to be more ambitious, and to aspire to leadership. But I think that women and men need to


be cautious about uncritically embracing her advice. Isn’t it possible that rather than “lean- ing in,” all of us should start thinking about “leaning back” and start trying to find success, happiness, and fulfillment in other parts of our lives beyond our jobs?


This issue of Loyola magazine is now available for free in iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon app stores. Just search “Loyola maga- zine” and get caught up with your alma mater, wherever you are.


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Instagram.com/College365 access to excellence • the campaign for scholarships angela mahaffey


• phd candidate in biochemistry • dfi illinois board of higher education fellowship • loyola merit award


Angela Mahaffey has never


known a reality that didn’t involve science and the innate curiosity and questioning associated with it. At age five, she won her school’s science fair. In second grade, she latched onto questions to which the answers seemingly could only be found in sci- ence. By high school, she felt medical school would be in her life’s plan one day. She always felt she could use her talents to help people. “Whatever your gift may be or


TO HELP STUDENTS LIKE ANGELA • LUC.edu/scholarshipcampaign


whatever arena you are in, you have the opportunity to contribute your unique gifts for the betterment of humankind,” she says. Mahaffey fell in love with an


organic chemistry class and ended up in Loyola’s biochemistry doctoral program. She attended classes part time


while working full time but struggled to afford the coursework. Several years into the program, Loyola of- fered her a fellowship that covered tuition, offered a monthly stipend, and provided health care. That allowed her to participate in the pro- gram full time and quit her job. When the fellowship ended, Loyola Merit Awards provided similar benefits. “I am grateful to God for this op-


portunity,” she says. Mahaffey is on track to graduate in 2014.


WINTER 2014


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PHOTO: MARK BEANE


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