People have much to say about Facebook Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg, but whether or not you’re a fan of the woman and the author of the best-selling Lean-In, few can argue against Sandberg’s articulate, intelligent advice encouraging women to go beyond society’s expectations. It is both practical and critical for societies across the world.
Last Saturday, I spent the morning sitting front-row at the BlogHer13 conference listening to Sandberg speak to a packed room of over 4,000 bloggers, most of them women. She actively promoted her book, which now has its own spinoff organization, to encourage women to create the support systems they need to be able to work outside the domestic sphere.
Whether Sandberg meant to or not, her book and powerful talks motivating women to “lean in” at the table and in other key parts of their life, has lit a flame under a global women’s movement that frankly, needed the spark. The book has sold a million copies, hitting the best-sellers list from New York to Toyko, translated in hundreds of languages.
I was particularly struck by Sandberg’s focus on how society trains women to seek less by how we are treated as girls. Sandberg reiterated the quote that went viral on social media networks: “Next time you’re about to call your daughter bossy, take a deep breath and say, ‘My daughter has executive leadership skills.’ ”
Although this was not the first time I heard Sandberg dish out this very smart and important advice, she continued on to encourage women to be as diverse and as complex as we wish. We need to stop saying sorry for it.
I loved Sandberg asking the thousands of women in the convention room, what would they would do if they “were not afraid?” She told us to be unapologetically ambitious, and make sure our daughters are, too.
“I want to be unapologetically a woman, and unapologetically a feminist,” Sandberg declared.
Let us unapologetically be inspired, and follow Sandberg’s vision for women.
*This post of mine was also published in Click Ittefaq.