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Best of Bingham: Women’s Forum “‘Lean In’ or ‘Recline’: How Women Should Reach the Top?” Event A Big Success
Posted in Womens Forum

Modeled after a similar event hosted earlier this year in the firm’s Louisville office, BGD Women’s Forum members hosted an event in Indianapolis on July 23, 2014, entitled “‘Lean In’ or ‘Recline’: How Women Should Reach the Top?”

The event brought together 25 women for a personal and motivating discussion about the issues addressed in the well-known book “Lean In: Women Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg and the counter-article “Recline, don’t ‘Lean In’ (Why I hate Sheryl Sandberg)” by Rosa Brooks. Attendees were a mixture of firm attorneys, clients, referral sources, friends and community leaders.

The discussion, moderated by firm attorney Jessica Whelan, featured panelists Chief Justice Loretta Rush of the Indiana Supreme Court, Executive Director of the Central Indiana Affiliate of Susan G. Komen Natalie Sutton and Ciriello Plumbing President Laura Ciriello Benedict.

The panelists discussed both pieces; they also shared professional and personal experiences of “leaning in,” and in some cases “reclining.” Although the group did not come to a clear conclusion as to how exactly women can or should “reach the top,” a good time was had discussing the options.

Five Takeaways for Women from “Lean In”

  • If you do not negotiate a raise when you start a job, and your male colleague asks for $7,000 more, 30 years from now, he will probably be making $100,000 more than you a year.
  • Of 197 heads of state, only 22 are women; of the top 500 companies by revenues, only 21 are headed by women; and in politics, women hold just 18 percent of congressional offices.
  • It takes less than 100 milliseconds, or a snap of your fingers, for someone to decide what they think of you.
  • Telling a story is up to 22 times more memorable than relaying facts and figures alone.

Expectations drive behavior, and research shows that if you change your expectation, you can change your outcome.

Stay tuned for future, similar events from the Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP Women’s Forum.


The Best of Bingham is a series of posts by the Bingham Greenebaum Doll Women’s Forum recognizing the professional and community successes of our members, our colleagues and our clients.

To learn more about Jessica Whelan and her practice, please visit her profile.

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