Did you catch the piece on Sheryl Sandberg, No. 2 at Facebook, in the New York Times today?
She was at the the World Economic Forum, continuing to spread the message you may have seen on her viral video from a Barnard commencement address last May: Women just don’t aim high enough. She said there is an “ambition gap” when it comes to girls.
From the May 2011 Barnard address:
“Women almost never make one decision to leave the workforce. It doesn’t happen that way. They make small little decisions along the way that eventually lead them there. Maybe it’s the last year of med school when they say, I’ll take a slightly less interesting specialty because I’m going to want more balance one day. Maybe it’s the fifth year in a law firm when they say, I’m not even sure I should go for partner, because I know I’m going to want kids eventually.
“These women don’t even have relationships, and already they’re finding balance, balance for responsibilities they don’t yet have. And from that moment, they start quietly leaning back. The problem is, often they don’t even realize it. Everyone I know who has voluntarily left a child at home and come back to the workforce—and let’s face it, it’s not an option for most people. But for people in this audience, many of you are going to have this choice. Everyone who makes that choice will tell you the exact same thing: You’re only going to do it if your job is compelling.
“If several years ago you stopped challenging yourself, you’re going to be bored. If you work for some guy who you used to sit next to, and really, he should be working for you, you’re going to feel undervalued, and you won’t come back. So, my heartfelt message to all of you is, and start thinking about this now, do not leave before you leave. Do not lean back; lean in. Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and then make a decision. That’s the only way, when that day comes, you’ll even have a decision to make.”
Is that advice you’d give your daughter – or have taken yourself? Here’s the link to the full video and transcript at Barnard, and scroll down here to find her remarks in Davros.
Oh! And don’t miss our look at imposter syndrome – it’s more common than you might think for women in the workplace.