Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Gail was leaning in

Gail Rebuck (Photo credit: Random House)
I haven't read the book yet, but when the publicity first began around Sheryl Sandberg's new book, Lean In, I immediately signed up to the website. Similarly, as soon as the Guardian announced their new Women in Leadership network, I signed up straight away. Both set out to inspire, embolden, and fire up women to step up and take a seat at the top table.

I've blogged in the past about what I believe stop women from doing this (stepping up/leaning in). I write this blog just after two of the publishing industry's top female executives leave their posts: it's almost shocking that this news in itself is shocking; would it have been such a big story if they were not female? It's the fact that there are so few women at the top table that makes it such a big deal, and that is incredibly...well, shocking!

I wouldn't say I'm an all-out feminist. But I would say I want to know I've got just as much chance of reaching my potential as any male colleague would. There was a fantastic article with Gail Rebuck in the Times at the weekend, which is now pinned up on my fridge and will stay there for the foreseeable future. At just 38, she was made CEO at Random House. Whilst I can say with complete honesty that I don't see a CEO position in my future, I do see a long and exciting career ahead, and this article was a good reminder of what is possible for a woman in publishing. Gail managed to balance a home life and a successful career. It doesn't have to be one or the other. It's a shame there are not many more examples of successes like this within publishing; there just aren't enough role models.