(Read or Listen)
In “Why we have too few women leaders,” Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, gives a compelling speech about the lack of upward mobile women in the workforce. Her speech begins with a flurry of sobering statistics which back her claim that the low number of women in C-suite positions span all sectors. In non-profit, where one would expect we’d dominate, we only hold 20% of the top positions. While not blaming women entirely, she does say our not speaking up, having premature thoughts about family and simply “dropping out” will continue to have an adverse effect on the women following us.
My start in corporate America was very different from Sheryl Sandberg and Rachael Emma Silverman, blogger for The Wall Street Journal’s The Juggle. I started my corporate journey as an 18 year old single mom and, out of a constant fear of losing my job, I didn’t raise my hand, I didn’t “believe I got the A” and I didn’t negotiate salaries.
Going out on a limb here, I’ll say Sheryl and I share the same generation that will likely not accomplish a 50/50 split at the top and that might not seem like a big deal to some. However, if we don’t support the women bold enough to aim for corner offices, there will be less support for others setting their sites on the same. We owe ourselves and the ladies following us more than that.
Why have you “leaned back”?
Was it due to a relationship?
As mentioned in the video, the divorce rate is less for those that earn the same salary. So, to increase your chances of staying married, keep climbing and meet your husband at the top. The view is always better at the top.
Was it in hopes of starting a family?
One thing is for sure, years and opportunities pass. Give thought to how you’d like your life to look in the future but “keep your foot on the pedal” in the meantime.
Was it out of fear of being perceived as being “out for yourself”?
Change is seldom comfortable. Many times those surrounding you want to move forward as well, they just don’t know how. Your boldness will be an inspiration to others. Besides, if you’re not out for you, who is?
Sheryl’s video is about 15 minutes long but I can’t think of a better way to inspire you to greatness the 1st week of 2011. So, grab your headsets, paper and pen then click here to listen.
Who’s following you?
Are there women in your midst that would benefit from this information? Maybe a woman that’s sure of where she’d like to go but unclear on the best route to take? Or, maybe someone that just needs encouragement? Show your support for women following you by taking this opportunity to share this information with a friend.