TED | Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

While we’ve made advances, there are still too few women in top positions of leadership. How are we going to fix this?

I’m convinced that women are dropping out. However, today, I want to focus on we, as individuals, the messages we need to tell ourselves and our daughters.


1. Women systematically underestimate their abilities. Women do not negotiate for themselves in the workforce. Men attribute their success to themselves, and women to external factors.

Why does this matter? No one gets to the corner office by sitting on the side rather than at the table.

2. So, own your own success. But it’s difficult because what the data shows consistently is that “success” and “likability” are positively correlated with men, and negatively correlated for women.

We have to believe that we have the “A.”


3. I’m convinced that we’ve made more progress in the workforce than we have in the home. If a woman and a man both work full-time, and have a child, the women does twice the amount of house-work and three times the amount of child-care than the man.

I think the cause is more complicated than simply football. We’ve put more pressure on our boys to succeed than the girls.

4. We have to make it as important a job to work inside the home for people of both genders if we’re going to even things out.

Households with equal earnings and equal responsibility have half the divorce rate and “know each other” more, in the Biblical sense.


1. From the moment she starts thinking about having a child, she begins to stop “raising her hand.” What happens when you start quietly leaning back?

2. Don’t “leave” before you leave. Stay in, and keep your foot on the gas pedal. And then make your decisions.

I believe if the leaders were half-women it would be a better world.

— VIA —

I have mixed feelings. The striving for woman’s place in leadership is a valiant goal, and one I fully support. But, does that mean changing and challenging women in light of our dysfunctional culture or should the critique be further upon the culture’s view?

Or, are those two really all that opposite of each other?

I’m concerned also that in this discussion of the tensions between work and family (child-rearing specifically), where is the priority and value of raising children going to be placed? Sandberg briefly mentions some cultural aspects of raising children in the home, but should not there be a value placed on the family’s home more than the woman’s career? In addition, if she is having to tell women to assert themselves further, it seems to imply that there is a reality, not just a cultural one, that resists this; and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are other realities and complexities that can’t be summed up in a 18min. TED talk that affect a woman’s thinking, feelings, desires, emotions, etc.

The strongest point of this talk, for me, was making your partner a real partner; and not just for the “benefits.” If the genders hold very different perspectives and approaches to, well, everything, then equal attention to all things with that diverse set is, in my opinion, ideal for the human experience. I believe it can work wonders on our psyche, our culture, and our overall standards of living.

About VIA



  1. “Sandberg briefly mentions some cultural aspects of raising children in the home, but should not there be a value placed on the family’s home more than the woman’s career?”

    This is inherently sexist. Sexism and gender inequality are machinations of man, not God. Why is it that men with wives and children are allowed to pursue careers and success, but it’s a problem when married women with children want to? Why can’t economic roles be reversed? Women are not inferior, nor are men superior, at least, not by biblical standards. You want to know why Christians are so hated? Because they’re horrible people.

  2. VIA


    Your comment misses the point, misreads my statement, and is combative rather than helpful.

    To answer more specifically, economic roles CAN be reversed, and it has shown thus to be so in modern society. And you’re correct in the Biblical values of gender equality. But my statement was not addressing the issue of GENDER but the issue of FAMILY vs. CAREER. It is more a statement on the value of child-rearing in comparison to personal gain and endeavors than it is a statement on gender “roles.” Please forgive me, as I may have been able to articulate that better, however, you seem to have come to this post with a presupposition of defense that has tainted your reading of my comments.

    As for why Christians are so hated, there is a plethora of variegated reasons. I would lovingly recommend you choose a more thoughtful reason than “they’re horrible people,” as that can leave you appearing ignorant and hateful. All-inclusive labeling is unbecoming, inaccurate, and insipid. Let’s try to be more winsome, objective, and thoughtful in our discourse…shall we?

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  4. aP

    this is interesting to me in light of some recent reading i’ve been doing that notes a huge shift in culture at the time of the industrial revolution. Prior to that, the household was more equal in terms of partnership and people all working together. There were farms, from which your subsistance came, and everyone was required to grow animals & plants for food. There were jobs such as smithing and leatherwork and all sorts of other more ‘industrial’ jobs that were home-based, with women knowing as much about them as men (and often doing the jobs when men were unavailable – like during the crusades). the industrial revolution, for all its advances, took men out of the home. this created the start of an imbalance that did crazy things to the culture of male-female relationships and to culture. Women became the keepers of virtue, where men had previously held this role. Women became the main populators of churches. Men were ‘outside’ in the workforce, while women were ‘at home’ caring for things behind closed doors. Public and private came to be very much separated… and we’re still feeling the aftershocks, obviously. it’s an imbalance that’s working to right itself. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be successful unless we place proper value on the life of the home as well as the life of the workforce. it’s complicated!

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