Women's Small Business Accelerator gala features 'Lean In' researcher Marianne Cooper

Kitty McConnell

The Women's Small Business Accelerator welcomes keynote speaker Marianne Cooper, PhD, to its second anniversary gala at the Boat House at Confluence Park on Oct. 15.

Cooper, a sociologist at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, was the lead researcher on Lean In: Women Work and the Will to Lead, the influential book by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. The book has spent the past year and a half since its publication on the New York Times list of business bestsellers.

Cooper's research revealed that many women still face obstacles despite a public perception that gender equality has prevailed in the American workplace. "What's interesting is that women face similar types of obstacles in all industries and fields," says Cooper, citing the internal limitations professional women put on themselves and "a set of external issues that women have to deal with, from gender bias to lack of flexibility."

Cooper says her latest book, Cut Adrift, is her attempt to personalize the statistics on growing economic inequality by interviewing families across the economic spectrum.

She hopes to highlight for her WSBA audience the "specific barriers that women face trying to get to the top and trying to start their own business," and provide tips on navigating those issues.

Given that American women are founding businesses at faster rates than men, Cooper believes that setting women up for "success in establishing small businesses" is crucial to economic growth. It's a view shared by the leaders and founders working on that mission through the WSBA.

Starting the Conversation: an Evening with the WSBA and Marianne Cooper

Hosted by the Women's Small Business Accelerator

Wed., Oct. 15, 6-8 p.m.

The Boat House at Confluence Park

679 West Spring St.

Columbus, 43215

Register online at