Equality is a project for everybody.
At one point in her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg tells the story of Cynthia Hogan, former chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hogan left her job in 1996 when her first child was born, and stayed out once a second child arrived prematurely. Twelve *years* later, Vice President-Elect (and her former boss) Joe Biden gave Hogan a call. Would she consider joining his staff as chief legal counsel in the White House?
"I knew that whether this would work depended on two men," she told Sandberg in an email. She asked her husband if he'd bear more of the responsibilities at home ("Of course, it's your turn," he told her) and the Vice President-elect if she'd be able to have dinner at home most nights ("Well, you have a phone and I can call you when I need you after dinnertime," he said in a very lovable Joe Biden sort of way, I am sure). She took the job.
Pretty much everybody knows that Sandberg has written a book that encourages women to "lean in" -- to not dial down their ambitions in the face of the pressures of running a household, and to push their hardest to rise up the ranks and bring America's leadership closer to gender parity. Already a bestseller, women are eagerly looking to the book for inspiration and advice; a quick glance at the social reading site Goodreads returns a list of *thousands* of women who have marked the book as "to-read" or "currently reading" in the past two weeks or so. "I have a long line of female friends who are waiting to borrow this book," writes one.
And that's great. But women are not the only ones who need to read this book. Though it's been marketed to and written for a primarily female audience, Lean In contains a whole lot for men to think seriously about. As Sandberg's story about Cynthia Hogan illustrates, equality is a project everybody must work on together.