politico

CALL IT the Lean In effect. The impact Sheryl Sandberg’s book is having, with evidence clear that there has been an “immediate impact,” which has been felt across journalism, but also in corporations, which male executives starting to write about the importance of companies to Lean In.

It can be argued that the Politico piece yesterday on Jill Abramson by Dylan Byers shouldn’t have run at all. I joined the chorus of political analysts of the female persuasion that were disgusted by the predictable anonymous sourcing, which included characterizations of Jill Abramson that could only be directed toward a female in a leadership position, because no man would have to put up with this crap.

Consider this part of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In effect. It’s something I mentioned yesterday in my piece, which is manifesting elsewhere, too. Like when Ben Smith of Buzzfeed recently wrote about how editors are seeing more female journalists stand up and demand better pay. From Smith’s piece in early April:

It’s been less than a month since Sheryl Sandberg published Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” and I’ve already had two women bring up her name in salary negotiations.

I’m not alone: Other editors whom I asked this week told me that women who worked for them had brought up the book ““ its broadly empowering message, and its specific advice on pushing for a raise. It’s a concrete, if anecdotal, suggestion that Sandberg’s high-profile effort to start a movement is having real consequences on a dynamic that’s well known to managers and backed by volumes of research: Women often ask for less money than they could get, and negotiate less aggressively than men.

So, today, Politico admitted the Byers pieces caused a problem for them, citing Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, which has resulted in nothing less than a contagion of offensive maneuvers by women across the board, which is just beginning to be felt. It was written by Anna Palmer and Darren Samuelsohn:

Sheryl Sandberg is bossy. Nancy Pelosi is old. Ann Curry is weepy. And Jill Abramson is condescending, brusque and bitchy.

Sheryl Sandberg is bossy. Nancy Pelosi is old. Ann Curry is weepy. And Jill Abramson is condescending, brusque and bitchy.
Women at the tops of their fields are facing a deluge of public criticism recently, not for failing at their jobs ““ but for their demeanor.

POLITICO prompted a backlash Wednesday after publishing a story that quotes anonymous New York Times staff criticizing Executive Editor Jill Abramson.

The piece, which suggested Abramson’s style is costing her politically in the Times’ newsroom, added more fuel to the raging debate around gender stereotypes and leadership that is sure to intensify as more women take seats at the boardroom table and if Hillary Clinton makes a run for the White House in 2016.

The quick response from Politico bosses is something we don’t ordinarily see, which was directly related to blowback from females letting them have it. It may be small, but this rapid reaction to yesterday’s blowback is another very good sign that leaning in works.