A friend tipped me off to an article in the New Yorker about Sheryl Sandberg, the current COO of Facebook and former VPof Global Online Sales and Operations at Google.
The article is a must read and a great a conversation starter. Sandberg has had an extroadinarily successful career and this article addresses her influential presence in the male dominated Silicon Valley. I walked away from the article:
Wrestling with her statements about motherhood:
She struggled with her own work-life balance, and developed a sense that too many women at Google and elsewhere were dropping out of the workforce after becoming mothers, in part because they had not pushed to get a job they loved before they began having children. In her six years at Google, she had hired scores of male and female executives, but, she says, “the men were getting ahead. The men were banging down the door for new assignments, promotions, the next thing to do, the next thing that stretches them. And the women—not all, most—you talked them into it. ‘Don’t you want to do this?’ ” And later in the article: She said, “The No. 1 impediment to women succeeding in the workforce is now in the home. . . . Most people assume that women are responsible for households and child care. Most couples operate that way—not all. That fundamental assumption holds women back.” The second impediment is guilt, she said. “I feel guilty working because of my kids. I do. I feel guilty. In my TED talk, I’m talking to myself, too. I’m not just talking to other people. I have faced every one of those things myself.”
Reflecting on "success and likability":
Sandberg says she eventually realized that women, unlike men, encountered tradeoffs between success and likability. The women had internalized self-doubt as a form of self-defense: people don’t like women who boast about their achievements. The solution, she began to think, lay with the women. She blamed them more for their insecurities than she blamed men for their insensitivity or their sexism.
Thinking about selflessness among women:When Summers travelled by limousine or airplane, Sandberg gave up her seat next to him to make sure that other officials and staffers got time with the boss. “A key part of what Sheryl does in her life is helping people advance, to be seen and to be heard,” David Fischer
Don't let a case of the mondays keep you from this article...take time to read it sisters!
A Women's Place, by Ken Auletta in the New Yorker
TEDS Talk, December 2010