Sheryl Sandberg - Men need to do more childcare and housework
"What has happened is that there aren’t women in leadership roles, therefore people don’t expect there to be women in leadership roles; therefore, there aren’t women in leadership roles." – Sheryl Sandberg, during an interview with veteran journalist Marianne Schnall.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is now a household name and a role model for women empowerment within the corporate circle and elsewhere. Her book, “Lean In” and the subsequent movement which followed, has garnered support and positive reviews from women around the world, who take a cue from her and share their own accounts of breaking the glass ceiling, at home and at the workplace.
During an interview with veteran journalist Marianne Schnall for her book. “What will it take to make a Woman President”, Sandberg shared thoughts and anecdotes from her own life which pointed at the need for a change in mindset regarding gender roles in society. Much in the style of her best selling book, Sandberg spoke of various incidents which brought out society’s general perception of men and women and their respective potential as leaders. She stated that by always placing men in leadership roles, and women in subservient, non-leading roles, the idea of women being incapable of leadership, management, and success became imbibed into the general thought process. As with most habits, archaic thought processes too, die hard, and it is therefore unsurprising that despite there being a number of women who have indeed proved their potential in the corporate field, the existing thought processes make it hard for her to receive equal pay, praise, and acknowledgment.
Sandberg also stressed on gender inequality as being the reason for the lack of choice when it came to women deciding as to whether they wanted to settle down as home makers or pursue a professional career, or both. For men, the home maker and parent roles are not deciding factors when it comes to their careers, it is taken for granted that they will be given all the support that they need while pursuing professional dreams. For women, however, there appears to be a “left or right” approach, i.e. they are expected to sacrifice either family or career. Only recently has it been acknowledged that women can indeed, not only raise children as well as achieve professional excellence, but can also excel at both without compromising on quality. Sandberg herself is an example of an individual who has “leaned in”, while her contemporaries, Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, and PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi, have also done the same.
Stressing as always, on the need for more women leaders to come into the forefront in order to encourage others, Sandberg also brought forward the need for more support and less judgmental attitudes from men, and also, women themselves. To stop second-guessing ones self and doubting potential, and to work consistently towards achieving ones goal, and to stop being afraid, has been Sandberg’s most valuable advice to the women who look up to her. With Lean In becoming one of the most popular contemporary women’s empowerment movements in the world and within the social media world, it is hoped that women will indeed take Sandberg’s advice, and that men too, will take on supportive roles in child care and household work.