Facebook COO tells female students to pursue ambitions

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Sep 20, 2013 - Page 14

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg encouraged Taiwanese female students to “lean in” and pursue their ambitions via a video conference on Wednesday.

During her speech to 200 students at Taipei First Girls’ High School, Sandberg stressed the low percentage of female leaders in the government and corporate sectors around the world and urged the students to resist gender stereotypes in their everyday lives.

The 44-year-old also encouraged the students to aim high, take risks, believe in themselves and raise their hands when opportunities arise.

“Men sit at the table. Women should sit at the table, too,” said Sandberg, who authored the best-selling book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.

After her speech, students asked the Facebook executive such questions as what girls can do to invest in themselves, what she felt could be done to end the unequal treatment many women still face and whether it was more important to have a good career or a good husband.

Sandberg stressed that women should not limit their own choices.

“You can have a good job and a good husband,” she said, advising students who want to achieve career success to marry men who want equals and are not daunted by their successes.

A former chief of staff to the US secretary of the treasury, Sandberg worked for Google Inc before joining Facebook in 2008. She was named in Fortune magazine’s list of the 50 most powerful women in business last year.

In 2010, Sandberg gave a TED Talk which became a hit, discussing why there are so few women leaders in the business world. She encouraged women to “sit at the table,” negotiate for themselves, reach for promotions and take risks.

Her book further delves into the lives and choices of working women and gives them advice on how to build fulfilling and successful careers.