12 Days of Festivus: Day 1

On the first day of festivus my colleague gave to me, an emu up a gum tree!


Introducing our General Manager, Leanne Downer

I’m a manager who believes that to succeed you build a great team around you, then you support them, trust them and listen to them.

Away from work I love to get outside and be active. I have a dog who loves his twice a day walks and a garden that requires work on it every weekend!

I love to travel (not only for work) with Alaska being top of my wish list to visit again. The best thing about flights are they get me to my destination, and they give me an opportunity to indulge in my other passion which is reading.

What book have you reviewed?

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (2013) by Sheryl Sandberg.

What is this book about?

In Australia, women have outnumbered men in higher education since 1987 (57% in 2011). Have you ever wondered why this mix does not translate to leadership positions, especially in the corporate world where men still dominate.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook stated in her introduction to Lean In, that as a woman and a leader she wanted to speak out about this gender inequity and that she wanted to help women achieve their full potential.

This book presents suggestions to women, based on Sandberg’s personal experiences, on how to step forward in order to succeed professionally. Fundamentally this book aims to inspire cultural change.

What did you enjoy most about this book?

What I enjoyed most about the book was the insight that Sandberg provided to her readers through personal anecdotes, allowing us to see someone who was vulnerable and funny, as well as very intelligent and driven. I may not agree with everything that Lean In proposes, but you cannot dismiss a book that encourages the world to be a more equitable and happier place.

One of the things that Lean In did make me look at was how I can better support women in our workplace. Should I be encouraging our women to take more risks, should I be taking more risks on our women?

I have a couple of takeouts from the book that I will set in motion. They are that setting obtainable goals is the key to happiness and that done is better than perfect!

How many emus do you give this book out of five?


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DiUS wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work and gather at both our Melbourne and Sydney offices. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging and celebrate the diversity of Aboriginal peoples and their ongoing cultures and connections to the lands and waters of Australia.

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