TED Talk recently about the lack of female leaders in the world. Instead of bemoaning all the things that have kept us down in the ranks at work and in government, she wanted to talk more about all the things we as women can do to break the glass ceiling.
The biggest problems Sandberg discussed in her speech are:
• We are too quick to attribute our successes to factors outside of ourselves, and we let other people participate instead of insisting that it's our turn.
• We do too much of the housework despite the fact that we work just as much as our partners.
• We pull back from work as soon as we even start thinking about maybe possibly having a baby.
These are all excellent points. For whatever reason, as necessity, freedom, and insistence have earned women the opportunity to work, somehow our cultural landscape has not caught up with our employment records. We can work, but it's expected to fit neatly into our schedules, with no changes in how we do our duties at home, and how we are traditionally expected to behave.
One of the more interesting statistics in the speech showed that for male employees, as success increases, likability increases too, but for female employees, as success increases, likability decreases. If women are too nice at work, they are deemed "too soft" for leadership positions, but if they are strictly business, they are deemed cold, mean, and unapproachable. Men don't have to think about how their personal attributes are affecting their coworkers, but we walk a constant line of not seeming too much like a pushover or too Anna Wintourish. Why? What are female bosses supposed to look like?
Sandberg's advice is sound in that there are no sweeping changes that can be made to fix all this, but rather slight shifts in thinking about ourselves, and those changes need to be communicated in our actions rather than our words. Because as much as we might want to dismiss this talk as hack in our post-feminist world, or something that only affect the ladies in "Mad Men," it is affecting you. If you go home from a long day at work to your boyfriend and think "Ugh, when am I going to find the time to do all these dishes?" and start mentally rearranging your meetings to see when you can fit it chores, it's affecting you. If you've held back on sticking up for yourself at work because you don't want to seem like a bitch, it's affecting you.
For women our age, working is no longer a choice we're making, but rather a necessity. We have to earn the money to pay for ourselves, and unlike Mad Men, work doesn't stop if we get married, either. We're in the workforce to stay, and we need to remember that we got the jobs we have because we are pretty damned good at what we do. Get out there and hustle ladies, and don't apologize for being a lady while you do it.
Watch the speech here and tell us your thoughts in the comments. How do you fit in the workforce? How do you feel about female bosses? How is the housework divided up in your household?
Get advice about love and relationships, sex tips, fashion tips, beauty news, ideas for entertaining at home, smart shopping, interior decor, women's health, thoughts on politics and news, plus funny videos, celebrity lists, and animal pictures on Lemondrop.com.