Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO at the 2013 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. (Photo: World Economic Forum)
Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook and the macho-woman attacking gender stereotypes is launching a book sometime in March titled “Lean In”. She is very vocal it seems about the role employers play in holding women back in the workplace and also goes as far as calling some women out on not being assertive enough. I am sure most women will have a lot to say when the book finally makes it to their hands. But the fact of the matter is that, women are still underpaid, undervalued and over-deliver in corporate America and all around the world. We cannot continue to keep silent on important issues that affect majority of the population and I am happy to see women of influence like Sheryl Sandberg speak up about the discrimination and abuse of women in the workplace.
In the book Lean In, Sandberg stresses the status quo in consumers, and how singled out T-shirts sold in the US, with the boys’ version emblazoned with the words “Smart Like Daddy”, while the girls’ version says “Pretty like Mommy”.
“I would love to say that was 1951, but it was last year,” she said. “As a woman becomes more successful, she is less liked, and as a man becomes more successful, he is more liked, and that starts with those T-shirts.”
She then talks about the double-roles of women at home and in the workplace.
“Women still have two jobs in the most developed countries around the world; men have one.”
Unfortunately, this is still true in most households, and until we can get men on the same page as women on household responsibilities and duties, not much will change on the homefront. Women need a support system at home to give them the freedom to focus on the important things like building relationships with their children, networking, traveling, and taking some personal time for rejuvenation. Most women do not have this luxury and thus their career suffers.
As a young career woman, I wish I had thought about my career when I was dating, and how my personal life and family would affect my career. I honestly do not have time to network as much as I would love to, neither can I afford a nanny to watch the toddler so I can finally network with my childless peers. I also, do not have much time to respond to follow-up on crucial work conversations/emails because there is just no way I can fit that in into piles of laundry, my never-ending grocery list and dirty dishes. And as I slowly acclimatize to being a single mom, there is just no room to get much done at home that isn’t “mommy-oriented”.
Choosing a partner who understands your life goals, and one who understands that marriage and parenting is 50/50. A partner that takes ownership in everything including the dirty laundry, dirty dishes, crying toddlers, trash pick-up. One that will support you through your business meetings, and networking events thesame way you support his, that is the kind of partner we all need.