Per the suggestion of a (female) coworker, I’ve recently read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. For those of you unfamiliar with Ms. Sandberg, she is the current COO of Facebook and the previous Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. As such, Ms. Sandberg is one of the few female executives of a Fortune 500 company and has made it her mission to speak out about what needs to change in the business world in order to better accommodate female leaders, as well as what women can do to be successful within the current system.
As soon as I began reading Lean In I began to notice my own failures to lean in. Meanwhile, my male peers appeared to have no issues leaning in hard.
The first realization that I had conformed – at least in part – to gender norms was a slap in the face. During our weekly meeting, a managing director with whom I work rather closely announced that he had a new case but was very busy and was looking for an analyst to take the lead on it. Obviously, it was a great opportunity. I immediately began thinking of excuses for why I shouldn’t volunteer: he would have just asked me if he wanted me to do it, I have a lot of work on my plate, I don’t have the quantitative skills. While I was hesitating, a less experienced male analyst who had never worked with the managing director before walked right up and said he’d love to help.
Shit, I immediately thought. This is exactly what Sheryl was talking about.
Before that point, part of me had thought while reading that I don’t exhibit the typical behaviors of the working woman. After all, I’m highly confident and work in a female-heavy office, which makes it easier to speak up and be involved. And yet, here I was, sitting like a lame duck while my male counterpart walked right up and grabbed the metaphorical trophy. At that moment, Lean In became my manifesto.
I immediately began thinking of excuses for why I shouldn’t volunteer.
Despite critic feedback to the contrary, I don’t think Ms. Sandberg’s advice is limited to a single type of woman, namely the working woman. I don’t even think it’s even solely directed to women. As the daughter of a kickass stay-at-home mom who touts the importance of finding a partner as opposed to a rich/handsome/cool husband, I appreciated Ms. Sandberg’s commentary on how men and husbands can support women and wives, and, perhaps more importantly, how women can support other women. All too often, I’ve witnessed or experienced women failing to support – or worse – deliberately trying to sabotage other women. This can happen within the workplace, but it also happens when stay-at-home moms throw shade on career moms and vice versa. Or when women who choose not to have children are criticized for their decision. Women are much more powerful as a whole than as individuals or subgroups and we should all be supporting each other as we make it increasingly possible for more women to pursue whatever will be most fulfilling for that individual and encouraging each other to do so. Men have been doing this all this time. When one woman sacrifices her gender for her own individual gain, she sets the entirety of the group back and therefore injures her own success. It’s a vicious cycle that I believe we are now in a position to break.
So to get the ball rolling, I wanted to use this week’s What I Love This Week to give props to a woman who pursued her dream and started a business that is doing something totally unique while simultaneously serving a demographic that has, perhaps inadvertently, been shut out of the market. Dana Lanier, a long-time doughnut maker in her own home, founded Doodle’s Doughnuts to help spread the love her home state of California has for Mom and Pop doughnut shops. Unlike all the other doughnut shops in Chicago, Doodle’s does not mimic Harry Potter’s bedroom-under-the-stairs aesthetic. Instead, it’s in a large two-floor space with lots of light, seating, and colors that make it easier to navigate strollers and hold play-dates. It’s also the only doughnut shop located in Old Town (sorry, Dunkin’, you don’t count).
Doodle’s signature doughnut, The Doodle, is a Bismark doughnut that’s filled with your choice of vanilla or chocolate cream and covered with pure white icing. Each Doodle comes with a mini piping bag of icing in your choice of color, with the option to purchase more colors if you’re really feeling like Picasso. Besides being fun to decorate, The Doodle (I had chocolate-filled and can’t speak on the vanilla-filled) was beautifully moist with a perfect filling-to-dough ratio.
Doodle’s sells a variety of donuts in addition to Doodle, including the Samoa doughnut, which I would not recommend over either The Doodle or the maple bacon doughnut. Want them to hold the doughnut? Not a problem — Doodle’s also sells strips of honey Sriracha, candied, or standard bacon.
However, the combination of being unique, fun, and delicious makes The Doodle my must-try for the week. And, as with all doughnuts, make sure to get it nice and early so you get them a peak freshness.