Lean in, Ya’ll

Becky Blalock, author of the forthcoming book Dare

All that’s left to do now on the women’s leadership book I’ve been editing is cleanup. No more heavy lifting, and we’re going to hit tomorrow’s deadline for the publisher. (And then I’ll have one more round of notes…)

I like to think of the book as Lean In for the South, although of course its appeal isn’t limited to that region. The Atlanta, Georgia-based author retired recently as CIO of a major utility firm, and she interviewed 50 C-suite women all over the country who are super impressive, if less storied, than the high-profile ladies of Palo Alto. She is lovely and amazing, and I’m so excited for her!

It has been so interesting to hear what it was like to work in a technically-oriented company in the ’70s and ’80s – not just as a woman, but in a world where the nascent Internet was still barred from commercial use. She mentions that all the women wore bow-tied shirts with square-toed shoes, trying to blend in with their male coworkers. I immediately started smelling the next Mad Men.

When she won her first senior executive role, she was one of two women in the company of 20,000 who had arrived in the C-suite. The numbers today are barely better.

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