Wednesday 23 July 2014

Facebook chief Sheryl gives lesson in love to women: 'be picky'

Emma Jane Hade

Published 17/04/2014|02:30

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Facebook chief Sheryl Sandberg is known for her prowess in the boardroom – but her advice to women is to pick the right men to help them get ahead in the workplace.

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The mother of two told the crowd gathered at the Facebook international headquarters along Dublin's Docklands yesterday to "be picky" when it comes to choosing a man.

She said women "are not going to get equality in the workforce, until we get equality in the home", and key to that is having the perfect partner.

"Be picky, I'm serious," the 44-year-old warned.

"Date whoever you want, really, but the cool boys, they are not going to change as many diapers, so don't marry them."

The chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook was in town to launch the social media giant's European 'SME client council'. This is a platform designed to link up small-medium enterprises with Facebook, and to establish a relationship between them which will assist their business to expand.

Once valued at $1bn (€720m), she certainly knows what she is talking about when it comes to getting ahead.

Last year, she published her controversial best-selling book 'Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead', offering women workplace advice.

She has now re-released the book with six extra chapters.

She said yesterday it was possible for women to have children, a healthy marriage and to strive in their careers.

Sheryl Sandberg joins a selfie taken by admirers at her Dublin talk on work equality yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren
Sheryl Sandberg joins a selfie taken by admirers at her Dublin talk on work equality yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren

"If enough women start wanting men to be like that, they will (be like that). We can change this," she said.

"I think conversations (with men) need to be explicit. When I went into my first marriage, we didn't talk about this."

Sandberg first married at 24, but divorced a year later. She is now happily married to her second husband since 2004, with whom she has two children.

"It's really important to have explicit conversations. Maybe not on the first date," she joked.

"If you are afraid to talk to your boyfriend about that, you are probably with the wrong boyfriend. Find someone else.


"It is really important that fathers do their share, and you have to start that at the beginning. In the USA, women do 30 to 40pc more housework and childcare. The numbers vary (around the world), but the message is the same – men have one job and women have two.

"Marriages where husbands do as much or more – they are happier marriages," she added.

She believes women "should have children whenever you want," but agreed that parenting does come with a penalty, and that "a bunch of that is just basic discrimination which fathers don't face".

Although she agrees with gender quotas, she cautioned: "They will never be sufficient. We have to attack the underlying stereotypes."

Poached from Google by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Washington DC native has been with the social media giant since 2008.

But what comes next for the woman who seems to have achieved it all?

Despite encouraging women to "lean in", she said she would have no problem "leaning out", and hopes to take some time off in the coming years.

"If I want to take a year off, five years off, if I want to work at home with my children – I am going to feel comfortable doing that," she said.

She hopes to continue to "make the world a little smaller" through Facebook, as she "loves the company . . . I love what we do in the world".

Irish Independent

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