“Why we have too few women leaders”

This TED talk is not recent, but it is still valid, unfortunately. Sheryl Sandberg (still the COO of Facebook) looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the topof their professions, and offers 3 pieces of advice to women:

  1. Sit at the table
  2. Make your partner a real partner
  3. Don’t leave before you leave

Of course, this is a short talk and it does not address all the different possible factors that can explain this lack of top-level women leaders. This talk focuses on what women as individuals can do, of course there are also things that should be done at other levels. Some may also argue that it is simplistic and such a talk may actually increase the gap between men and women, but I hope this kind of talk can increase a mutual understanding, or at least start a constructive dialogue. What could be missing a little here is the discussion about the potential female vs. female dynamic. If you are interested to know more, here is the full talk:

Women systematically underestimate their own abilities. If you test men and women, and you ask them questions on totally objective criteria like GPAs, men get it wrong slightly high, and women get it wrong slightly low. Women do not negotiate for themselves in the workforce. A study in the last two years of people entering the workforce out of college showed that 57 percent of men entering, are negotiating their first salary, and only 7 percent of women. And most importantly, men attribute their success to themselves, and women attribute it to other external factors.”

A year later, The Huffington Post and TED decided to repost the talk and Sheryl Sandberg provided some insight on the experience: an article you can find here.

Sources: TED, The Huffington Post

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