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14 Sheryl Sandberg Quotes on Women, Work, and Careers

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At 44, Sheryl Sandberg is at home in the heights of American power: She has her Harvard MBA, she was chief of staff for the secretary of treasury, she was a VP at Google, and she’s been the chief operating officer at Facebook since 2008.

The social network, once chastised for not monetizing soon enough, is now printing cash. Lots of it is going Sandberg, who’s now one of the country’s youngest billionaires.

She’s also become a face of gender equality: Her book “Lean In” isn’t just the biggest business book of the decade, it’s also a movement.

Here’s the author-exec in her own words.

On Tech’s Diversity Problem

“Endless data show that diverse teams make better decisions. We are building products that people with very diverse backgrounds use, and I think we all want our company makeup to reflect the makeup of the people who use our products. That’s not true of any industry really, and we have a long way to go.”

On the Arc of Your Career

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”

On the Glass Ceiling

“We’ve ceased making progress at the top in any industry anywhere in the world … In the United States, women have had 14% of the top corporate jobs and 17% of the board seats for 10 years. Ten years of no progress.

“In those same 10 years, women are getting more and more of the graduate degrees, more and more of the undergraduate degrees, and it’s translating into more women in entry-level jobs, even more women in lower-level management. But there’s absolutely been no progress at the top. You can’t explain away 10 years. Ten years of no progress is no progress.”

On Her Vision of Success

“Success for me is that if my son chooses to be a stay-at-home parent, he is cheered on for that decision. And if my daughter chooses to work outside the home and is successful, she is cheered on and supported.”

On Opportunity

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat.”

On Gender

“I spent most of my career, including my time at McKinsey, never acknowledging that I was a woman. And, you know, fast forward—I’m 43 now—fitting in is not helping us.”

On Marriage

“When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated, and ambitious.

“Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.”

On Shaping Her Schedule

“You know, there has never been a 24-hour period in five years when I have not responded to e-mail at Facebook. I am not saying it’s easy. I work long hours.

“I am saying that I was able to mold those hours around the needs of my family, and that matters. And I really encourage other people at Facebook to mold hours around themselves.”

On Why Marriage is a Career Decision

“Everyone knows that marriage is the biggest personal decision you make, but it’s the biggest career decision you can make. …

“Partner with the right person, because you cannot have a full career and a full life at home with the children if you are also doing all the housework and childcare.”

On Being Held Back

“The things that hold women back, hold them back from sitting at the boardroom table and they hold women back from speaking at the PTA meeting.”

On Why She Joined Facebook

“I just believed. I believed that the technology would change people’s lives. I believed putting real identity online — putting technology behind real identity — was the missing link.

“I’d worked on leprosy and malaria in India [at the World Bank] and asked myself the question: Why do we let 2 million children die every year around the world for not having clean water? Because they’re faceless and nameless. So, for me, Facebook looked like it was going to solve the problem of the invisible victim.”

On Being ‘Aggressive’

“Every woman I know, particularly the senior ones, has been called too aggressive at work. We know in gender blind studies that men are more aggressive in their offices than women. We know that. Yet we’re busy telling all the women that they’re too aggressive. That’s the issue.”

On Leadership

“Leadership is not bullying and leadership is not aggression. Leadership is the expectation that you can use your voice for good. That you can make the world a better place.”

On Changing Standards

“I think now is our time. My mother was told by everyone that she had two choices: She could be a nurse or a teacher. The external barriers now are just so much lower. If we start acknowledging what the real issues are, we can solve them. It’s not that hard.”

This post was originally published on Business Insider.

Photo: Thinkstock

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