ABOUT THIS SERIES: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s call to action in her book “Lean In” ignited a national dialogue about women in the executive ranks. With metro Atlanta as a major business hub and Georgia home to 15 Fortune 500 companies, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wanted to tap into this conversation and provide a platform for an exchange of ideas. We invited a range of female executives to participate in a roundtable discussion. They had a lot to say. So we leaned in, listened and brought you this series.
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Founder of social media consulting firm Uniquely Defined
Also: Daughter of Veronica Biggins
Executive search veteran and managing director of the Atlanta office of Diversified Search
Also: Former director of presidential personnel under President Bill Clinton
Senior vice-president of integrated marketing communications at Coca-Cola Co.
Also: Featured in Fortune’s “40 under 40” issue in 2009
President of Cinnabon
Also: Moved up from Hooters restaurants hostess to vice president
Partner at real estate law firm Hartman Simons & Wood
Also: Past president of Commercial Real Estate Women Atlanta
Teri Plummer McClure
Senior vice president of legal, compliance, audit and public affairs at UPS
Also: Serves on Emory University Board of Trustees
Executive vice president of Turner Broadcasting System
Also: Former attorney with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker
Executive director of Spelman College’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement
Also: Holds doctorate in social policy analysis from Harvard University
Sally Quillian Yates
U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
Also: First woman to serve in the position
ABOUT THE REPORTER
Kelly Yamanouchi has been a business reporter for the AJC since 2008. She joined the paper from the Denver Post, and has also worked at newspapers in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu and other cities.
Yamanouchi grew up in San Jose, Calif. She graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in English before getting her master’s in journalism at Northwestern.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In Sheryl Sandberg’s new book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” the Facebook COO discusses challenges facing women who seek to climb the corporate ladder — not just externally, but also within themselves. She argues that women should “lean in” and be more aggressive to advance their careers, rather than dropping out of the running.
Some have voiced agreement with her advice. Others have questioned the merits of her message for working women who may not have the same means and flexibility as she has to pursue a demanding career path. They argue that more of the focus should be placed on changing workplace practices.
— Kelly Yamanouchi