Despite its subtitle, “Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” and its being cataloged in Amazon’s “Women & Business” category, the book Lean In, which has been perched on the best-seller list since it was published in March, is finding a significant number of male champions, some in high places. Over the summer, Ms. Sandberg discussed her message with Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, who said he was looking to encourage more women to join the work force as part of Japan’s growth strategy.
In America, John Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco, and Bob Moritz, the chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, have led efforts to bring Lean In Circles, self-organized groups that use free materials provided by Ms. Sandberg’s foundation, LeanIn.org, to their companies. The Circles cover topics like “Creating a Level Playing Field.” There’s even a father-daughter Circle.
Ms. Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, did not seem surprised at this development; indeed, she suggested it was part of her grand plan. “Early on, I was thinking of having one chapter just for men, but then I decided to have all the chapters speak to men,” Ms. Sandberg, 44, said, adding, “We have to tell men why equality is good for them, at any income level.”
In the age of the two-career couple, “I need these tools as much as my wife does,” said Matthew Slutsky, 32, the managing director of business development at Change.org in New York, who borrowed the book from his wife, Patty Pina Slutsky, senior director at an education nonprofit in New York, and was suitably impressed.
“Lean In” has also spoken to men in minority groups who say they have wanted more empowerment in company cultures dominated by whites. “It was like she was talking to the Asian community,” said Mark Feng, 32, a second-year student at Harvard Business School, who said he did not always feel as if he deserved a place in meetings in previous positions at Intel and the Boston Consulting Group.
Most men interviewed who had absorbed Ms. Sandberg’s message, however, emphasized that it was more to be on the same page with their female peers than to advance their own interests.