I am a huge TED Talks nerd- I readily gobble up anything on there that has to do with uplifting and empowering women and humankind. My new favourite TED Talks video features Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook discussing why our society has too few women leaders. It is a must-see if you’ve ever wondered why women don’t often make it to the top of the corporate or socioeconomic ladders of success.
Here is the short version of her talk to entice you:
Problem: Women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world. Women are dropping out.
Her solution/messages for women who want to make it to the top:
1) “Women need to sit at the table”- women systematically underestimate their abilities and don’t negotiate for themselves in the workforce. Women attribute their success to external factors like “I got lucky” or “I worked really hard” and don’t own their own success. Success and likeability are negatively correlated for women and the opposite is true for men.
2) “Make your partner a real partner”- Men and women need to share equal responsibility for home and childrearing.
3) “Don’t leave before you leave”- Women start ‘leaning back’ from involvement in workplace once they start thinking about having children. Stay fully committed to work right up until you have a child.
According to Wikipedia, this woman is no slouch:
Sheryl Kara Sandberg is an American technology executive, activist, and author. As of August 2013, she is the chief operating officer of Facebook. In June 2012, she was elected to the board of directors by the existing board members becoming the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. Before Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, and was involved in launching Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org. Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for the United States Secretary of the Treasury.
In 2012 she was named in the Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time magazine.As of January 2014, Sandberg is reported to be worth over US$1 billion, due to her stock holdings in Facebook and other companies.