Much to-do has been made about Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In. I have to admit I’ve caught the fever that has been going around over how great the ideas are behind the book. Women being more assertive in the work place, yes! Any book that inspires, informs and highlights paths to success for women is a must read.
Often in my own career I’ve found that successful women hold back from sharing the secrets to their success as if there’s only room at the table for one. In a world where competition is everything, it’s nice to see Sandberg, 43, the COO of Facebook and one of the world’s most influential women in business, lay out the tools for getting out of one’s own way on the path to success.
There are many examples of women, particularly in their 40’s and older who have not only leaned in, but are leading the charge for women’s roles in high profile leadership positions. Here are just a few women that deserve mentioning amongst many more who prove that we are capable of anything as long as we are willing to take a seat at the table.
Tamron Hall, 42, is the host of MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall. While most people are more familiar with Soledad O’Brien on CNN, and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, Hall is quietly and steadily building a following with her afternoon broadcasts. Quick witted and sharp as a tack she’s proven time and again that she’s not afraid to go toe to toe with the big boys of politics on her show. With beauty, brains and brawn, once she gets her shot at prime time, it’s a wrap.
Julia Pierson, 53, is the newly appointed Director of the United States Secret Service. She is the first woman to hold this position. She started out as a parking lot attendant at Walt Disney World while in high school and now is in charge of revamping the tarnished image of the Secret Service after the high profile Summit of the Americas prostitution scandal. Leave it to a woman to know how to clean up a man’s dirty mess.
Shonda Rhimes, 43, is an award winning creator, writer and show-runner for three hit ABC television dramas. Grey’s Anatomy, it’s spin off, Private Practice and Scandal have all amassed a huge following and critical acclaim on the small screen. Thursday night’s social media landscape is dominated by Scandal devotees giving scene by scene analysis and reaction to the show’s intricate plot-lines. Rhimes’ is the first woman to helm three successful network television shows simultaneously.
Jenna Lyons, 44, is J Crew’s President and Executive Creative Director and she is the woman who dresses America, according to the New York Times. Among her many fans which include, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Obama, she is the go to muse for quirky styling for the busy everyday working woman. Mismatching prints and clashing colors are the norm for the all American looks she puts together for the famous catalog and for herself. She keeps the media buzzing with her social life as well by leaving her husband to take up with her girlfriend. Now that’s what you call a modern woman!