Facebook COO pushes women to take the lead

March 19, 2013

Sheryl Sandberg's new book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead" encourages women to join and move up within the workforce. The Facebook COO's call is to women on the whole: whether single, married, with children, or without. Degree options for mothers, which scholarship-steered financial planning for college produces, would lead a whole new wave of women down the path of female assertiveness.

Uniting with Sandberg for change

A self-proclaimed feminist, Sandberg has created a stir with her publication. Her criticism of women hanging back in the working world has been controversial. Sandberg's ideas, which have been further perpetuated through the organization LeanIn.org, have nonetheless gained a following. 

"I applaud Sandberg's 'LeanIn' for publicly supporting the advancement of women as leaders, leaning into their career; and creating a foundation for the success of families, communities and economies," Ilene Fischer, CEO of Boston-based WomenLEAD, said in a statement. WomenLEAD is a female-run network aiming to establish true gender parity in the workforce. 

"If all of the organizations dedicated to women's advancement worked together we would collectively accelerate the enormous global impact that women can make," Fischer said.

Similarly, the National Association of Women Business Owners is also teaming up with Sandberg to help women take off in the workplace. 

"NAWBO is leaning in because we know how much female entrepreneurs have to offer one another," NAWBO CEO Diane Tomb said in a statement.

Breaking gender stigmas

In her book, Sandberg notes that in the workplace, women have a tendency toward conservatism. They don't ask for more when it is due to them. They hold themselves back in meetings. At the same time, however, men typically have no hesitation in making any such advancements for themselves.

Sandberg's ideology is that women should push themselves above this stigma. That being said, motherhood and influences outside of the workplace can become hindrances in making these strides.

Sandberg claims that women, specifically mothers, are an integral sector of the workplace that many companies overlook. Mothers might take advantage of this situation and strive to use the talent Sandberg refers to, rather than taking the backseat. 

Education as a basis for moving up

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, female presence in upper education has remained more or less constant.  Between 2000 and 2010, the number of female associate's degree recipients increased from 60 to 62 percent, while female bachelor's recipients increased from 57 to 58 percent. 

There has been a slight increase in the number of women that received master's and doctorate degrees within this time, showing how women are taking a certain initiative to move up in the working world. Sandberg calls for a greater push however, one where women truly demonstrate their value in the workforce.

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