10 November 2015
Sheryl Sandberg

A lot of people told me that you can't actually be a serious business exec and advocate for women at the same. You have to pick. But I wanted to try to do both. I did this TED talk called 'Why we have too few women leaders' and I started getting emails from mothers from all over the world.

I got one from a woman who hadn't had a raise in years and went in and got a raise. I got one from a woman who was a stay-at-home mom living in a very low-income district, who wanted a better teacher for her child. She saw my TED talk, insisted on meeting with the principal and got a better teacher for her child.

So one of the reasons I wrote my book is that I became convinced by all of these letters coming in that these messages were resonating with women in all kinds of different circumstances.

How to change the world

I write about equality because, no matter how much progress women have made, the world is still overwhelmingly run by men. Men run every industry and every government in every country in the world. That means that when the decisions are made that most impact our world, women's voices aren't equally heard.

That's true in the corporate boardroom, it's true at the PTA meeting, it's true at the town hall and so I wrote Lean In to try to address the issue. To talk openly about the stagnation women are facing at the top and just to give practical advice to both women and men who want to do their part to change it.

  • Lean In

  • Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is a massive cultural phenomenon and its title has become an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of bestseller lists internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated opinion pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership.

    Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they'd feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in.

    The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women's favour – of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

    In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business – draws on her own experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale.

  • Buy the book

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