Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: Women Need To Be More Ambitious [VIDEO]
3:30 pm, November 8th | by Hillary Reinsberg
Last night, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg appeared on Charlie Rose, where they spoke about everything from Google and Apple to what it’s like being a woman in Silicon Valley. Sandberg had some interesting things to say about that — she argued that it’s women, not the industry, who need to make a change.
According to Sandberg, there are a number of factors that have stopped more women from taking up more of the executive-level positions at big corporations, both in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. After “catching up” in terms of college degrees and the number of working women about 30 years ago, she says, there’s been a “stalled revolution,” in part due to the fact that not enough women have “stepped up.”
“…We have basically a stalled revolution for women. You know, women became 50 percent of the college graduates in this country in 1981 and then made steady progress, more college degrees, more graduate degrees, more manager positions. Over — and we’re still making progress. Over the last ten years, women have stalled out at the top. Women in corporate America have 15 to 16 percent of the board seats and of the kind of CEO [spelled phonetically], the high-level jobs, and that has not moved in ten years.”
If more women don’t “lean into their careers” wholeheartedly, Sandberg says, there’s no way that women will be able to poach those CEO jobs.
“I really think we need more women to lean into their careers and to be really dedicated to staying in the work force. I think the achievement gap is caused by a lot of things. It’s caused by institutional barriers and all kinds of stuff. But there’s also a really big ambition gap. If you survey men and women in college today in this country, the men are more ambitious than the women. And until women are as ambitious as men, they’re not going to achieve as much as men.”
Sandberg’s argued this many, many times before — and she manages to make a convincing point. She adds here that there’s a noted problem in the fact that for men, there’s a positive correlation between success and likability, while for women, that correlation is negative. She argues that women are reticent to fully commit to careers, for this reason and often for family commitments, and as a result, there simply aren’t that many women in the corner office.
Whatever you make of her argument, Sandberg does manage to convince you that you can be one of the most important executives in the country, have a family (she has two kids) and be likable. Have a look at the video below, she does manage to be very likable: