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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Leaning in to the Backcourt Violation

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean in: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013) has been credited with trying to re-start a conversation on the “gender-problem-that-has-no-name” (New York Times, 2/21/13). if you’re not already familiar with the book, here’s a quick summary: Sandberg recapitulates previous studies by academic researchers and gives them a platform among a certain group of elite power brokers (the evidence: Richard Branson of Virgin group had her TED Talk front and center on the Virgin Airlines reservation page for a week in mid-March). her key message is that subtle, unintended, diffuse, unrecognized forms of discrimination are nevertheless combining to produce systemic effects of gender disadvantage. a 2007 study conducted at Barnard stressed similar concerns and called such diffuse forms of discrimination micro-inequities.

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