I've just finished reading Lean In. Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, written by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook. The book 'examines why women's progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential'.
Due to Sandberg's job, and career history, the book is naturally written from a corporate position. It is also, obviously, from an American business perspective, which is massively different to European work culture. It may not seem the typical book for artists but I feel that Lean In is a hugely beneficial read for any woman or man striving for more equality socially, in the work place or at home (all of which of course, are knotted together) and for all women who want to achieve (with the definition of 'achievement' being specific and different to each woman) regardless of the industry you happen to work in.
I'm not qualified enough, knowledgeable enough or researched enough to comment on the state of female leadership and gender politics in the dance industry. My personal opinion is that actually, if anything, its harder to see the problem areas for women in the dance industry due to the large percentage of females - which gives a sense of equality. Yet there is still a plethora of complex social, personal and industry issues that effect both male and female artists.
For me Lean In is honest, thought provoking and has much to glean from, both as an artist who wants to be financially sustained by their art, as a woman and as someone who wants better for both men and women.
As Sandberg says 'knowing that things could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better'.
For the TED talk that inspired the book click here
Click here for the article that led me to the book.