On Thursday, March 28, 2013, over 800 Chicagoans packed the Palmer House Hilton to listen to Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg discuss her new book about women in the workplace, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will To Lead.”
Sandberg’s talk highlighted the need for women in leadership roles to become more involved in mentoring gender inequities in the workforce. She pointed to the need for woman to “lean in” to their careers if they truly want equality. “Find something you love doing, do it with gusto, find the right career and go all the way to the top,” Sandberg suggested. She observed that of the 500 fortune company CEO’s, only 21 are women. That’s less than 5% of all Fortune 500 companies.
Men continue to lead most nations, states, cities, corporations, and most everything except the home. Since many women ease up on careers as they have children, she advises keeping your foot on the gas pedal until a decision needs to be made (not before) regarding family.
As a mother of three, Sandberg has seen many careers derail by passing up on promotions because of pregnancy – even though many will return to their job following the birth. Sandberg advises, “It’s time for women to stop taking a back seat. Take your seat at the table, speak up and don’t leave money on the table.”
The book itself offers advice on how to negotiate salary. Sandberg points out that on average women make 77 cents to the dollar of what men make. Women are encouraged to ask for promotions, navigate career obstacles and set boundaries to make it possible to have a life outside work. To watch video of the event hosted by The Chicago Tribune and Nielson, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ45Y1R9x9M