Sunday 26 August 2012

Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

She is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Time Magazine named her in its "Time 100" list for 2012, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. From 1996 to 2001, she was the Chief of Staff to the United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton and from 2001 to 2008 she was Vice President of Global Online Sales & Operations at Google before going to Facebook. Sandra Sandberg is a leader. Sandra Sandberg is also a woman.

TED Conferences - Dec 2010
Speakers Sheryl Sandberg: COO, Facebook
Why you should listen to her:

Long before Sheryl Sandberg left Google to join Facebook as its Chief Operating Officer in 2008, she was a fan. Today she manages Facebook’s sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications. It’s a massive job, but one well suited to Sandberg, who not only built and managed Google’s successful online sales and operations program but also served as an economist for the World Bank and Chief of Staff at the US Treasury Department.

Sandberg’s experience navigating the complex and socially sensitive world of international economics has proven useful as she and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg work to strike a balance between helping Facebook users control privacy while finding ways to monetize its most valuable asset: data.

"Whether you call it “scaling the company” or “managing hypergrowth,” Sandberg is one of the few executives on earth with a demonstrated knack for it. It’s clear why Zuckerberg, in particular, needed her." -Vogue, May 2010

Uploaded by TEDtalksDirector on Dec 21, 2010
Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions -- and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

Forbes - Nov 28/2011
Busting the Myth That Women Aren't As Ambitious as Men by Kathy Caprino
I’ve heard over and over in the past several years reference to the idea that professional women aren’t as ambitious as men. Disappointingly, I even heard Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook (whom I deeply admire) mention this reported “lack of ambition” in women on The Charlie Rose show recently. To Mr. Rose she declared, “Until women are ambitious as men, they’re not going to achieve as much as men.” There have been scores of articles written on the topic, including a 2004 Harvard Business Review piece, “Do Women Lack Ambition?”

Huffington - May 8/2012
What Ambition in Women Looks Like by Marcia Reynolds
The first time I heard Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, say that women lack ambition, I thought, "She's an executive, not a researcher. This idea will be disproved." Yet she continues to be given a platform to tell this story. People continue to listen. This is another low blow to high-achieving women.
  1. Women are not motivated by the traditional "carrot and stick" approaches that business counts on.
  2. Young women often don't realize the barriers to their success are still so strong.
  3. Women are told to act like men and are then chastised for this behavior.
  4. Women shy away from important career-defining conversations, such as negotiating how and where they do their work, asking for promotions and letting people know about their accomplishments.

Final Word
I find it interesting listening to both Sandra Sandberg and the criticisms. What came first the chicken or the egg? Are women less ambitious or are they taught to be less ambitious? Are they less ambitious than men or are they ambitious in a different way than men? Technically, any woman can do any job a man can do. Okay, except being a sperm donor. But from there, when we stand back and look at the whole of society, we seem to be collectively sitting in some sort of divide between the traditions of our past and the new ground we're breaking for the future.

Twenty years ago I moved into a new apartment and set up an appointment for Bell to come and install my phone. I heard a knock at the appointed time and opened the door to a female technician. If I was mildly startled, it wasn't because I thought a woman couldn't do the job, it was because I had never seen a woman doing that job in my life.

As far as I'm concerned, gender has nothing to do with competency. I've had two female doctors over the years and while both of them asked me if I was comfortable with a female performing a DRE on me, I knew that their ability in performing the procedure was determined by the medical diploma hanging on their wall not their sex. Why would a guy supposedly be able to do it better? (There's a joke in there somewhere but I'll leave it up to you the reader.)

Our society is changing but it is in many ways changing far slower than we realise. Traditions are hard to get rid of because removing them leaves the situation unstable. People are uncomfortable and don't know exactly what to do. Yes, change will come but it may be more due to the older generation dying off and taking their traditions with them. The new generation will be more accepting of change but they too will have the problem of figuring out just what the "new traditions" will be.

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
-Timothy Leary (Wikiquotes: Feminism)


FYI: Many attribute the Tomothy Leary quote to Marilyn Monroe. My research shows this not to be true. The major quotation web sites say Tomothy Leary and the fan web site Immortal Marilyn point out the same error.

Wikipedia: Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Kara Sandberg (born August 28, 1969) is an American businesswoman. She has served as the chief operating officer of Facebook since 2008. In June 2012, she was also elected to the board of directors by the existing board members, becoming the first woman to serve on its board. Before Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. She also was involved in launching Google's philanthropic arm Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for the United States Department of the Treasury. In 2012, she was named in Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world assembled by Time.

Google search: women aren't as ambitious as men


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