Sheryl Sandberg Is Not Happy About The Fortune Most Powerful Women List
1:45 pm, December 27th | by Hillary Reinsberg
It’s not because she’s down at number 12.
No — Sandberg’s actually fine with the list itself, but was reportedly disturbed by what Fortune reporter Patricia Sellers told The Washington Post about the list. Sellers writes on Fortune.com today:
Over Christmas weekend, Sheryl Sandberg emailed me, sounding a bit distressed.
Referring to a big story about Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women in Sunday’s Washington Post, the Facebook COO asked if I’d been misquoted in saying that I believe women will never have 50% of the top jobs in corporate America. “Don’t depress me!” Sandberg wrote.
Sellers took the standpoint that women won’t ever hold 50% of the top jobs, not because they’re not capable and not even because the glass ceiling will hold them back. Instead, she says women actually have more choices that are an alternative to working your way up to the executive suite — and many women do make those choices. More women choose to stay at home and raise children, and more women take on jobs in services like teaching or healthcare. But Sellers thinks that’s okay.
Sandberg, on the other hand, doesn’t. She recognizes it’s true, but she seems unhappy about it, as her correspondence with Sellers shows. She thinks women should aim to have 50% of the jobs at the top, while men should aim to run 50% of the homes.
Sandberg doesn’t get much flack because her cause — this one — is a noble one. Who could say she’s wrong for promoting women in power? But we think Sellers has a point. Sandberg seems almost unwaveringly set on having women at the top of the world’s biggest companies. That’s a great place to aim, but it’s Sandberg’s goal, not necessarily everyone’s.