Hey Ladies! M&M again.
I just read an interesting article in Time magazine that I think you will find interesting as well. As you are reading this, you probably have a couple other tabs on your browser open. One of them is more than likely Facebook.
We all know Facebook, and most of us love Facebook (except for the impressive few who still do not have an account or have deleted it). But did you know that the Chief Operating Officer is a woman? Sheryl Sandberg is redefining what it means to be American Business Women. She currently sits at one of the top positions of one of the most highly used social networks in the world.
But what I thought was encouraging and why I chose to write about her is this: One of the points of this blog is to encourage YOU to be a success in whatever career path you choose, but also have a family as well. Sandberg is not only married (to another successful CEO), but has two children as well ages 5 and 7. They live a very traditional lifestyle; playing lots of games, have breakfast together and often spend dinner time together as well. When Sandberg or her husband are both busy at work, they call on Sandberg’s sister to assist in watching the kids. She has done a very good job at dispelling the stereotype that you need to choose one or the other. Keep this in mind as you read.
Sandberg also struck me as fitting for a blog because she has written a book, Lean In, entirely on how One Quay got started on in the first place; women are not seizing the opportunities they are given. In the article, it is pointed out that women are very capable of doing anything; Margret Thactcher has shown us that women can lead huge Western democracies, Indra Nooyi can head huge companies, Billie Jean King can play exciting sports, and Ann Dunwoody proved we can lead from the highest ranks in the military (she was a four-star general in the army). It was also noted that over the course of the last thirty years, more women than men have graduate from college, but only 4.2% of CEOs of the country’s biggest companies are women. Where are we ladies?! Sandberg says that there is an invisible barrier in our minds, due to the different expectations our culture places on us since birth. She says that getting rid of these barriers is crucial for us to move forward in the ranks. Research has shown that women are just as ambitious as men, but that women express it in a different way. In our culture, women are supposed to be nurturing and peacemaking (this is a direct quote from the article, I think this is a point of debate). Those are not adjectives commonly used to describe the leaders with great power. We tend to think of those positions as aggressive and dominant.
So before I give you the proposed solution, I want to reach out to you and ask YOU what you think can be done. How do we fix this? What are ways we can take down the barrier in our minds? Comment on what you think can be done, or if you even think this diagnosis is true.
Talk with you soon!
Luscombe, Belinda. “Confidence Woman.” Time 18 Mar. 2013: 36-42.