Sheryl Sandberg On Women Lacking Ambition (Close The Gap)

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By Rip Empson (Writer, TechCrunch)

By this point, women in technology, especially those in powerful positions, are probably tired of hearing about: women in technology.

But, tonight, during a conversation with Charlie Rose, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was asked exactly that: If the tech industry is today a place where women can find the level of opportunity that she, as a top executive at one of the world’s most well-known companies, would like them to be able to find.

Sandberg holds that women have made an incredible amount of progress in both higher education and management, gaining a larger share (if not taking the lead from men) in college and graduate degrees and leadership roles. But the glass ceiling refuses to crack completely.

“Over the last ten years”, Sandberg tells Rose, “women have stalled out at the top”. She continues:

“A lot of reasons, but I really think we need more women to lean into their careers and to be really dedicated to staying in the work force. I think the achievement gap is caused by a lot of things. It’s caused by institutional barriers and all kinds of stuff.

But there’s also a really big ambition gap. If you survey men and women in college today in this country, the men are more ambitious than the women. And until women are as ambitious as men, they’re not going to achieve as much as men…”

» Read the full article on TechCrunch.

  • Kate-Madonna Hindes (@girlmeetsgeek)

    “Women have stalled out at the top.” That just says it all. Apparently to ‘leaders’ like Sandberg, women are far too busy being less ambitious than to create global change.
    Perhaps Sandberg was knee-deep in the privacy clusterfark that is, “Facebook,” or maybe it’s just ignorant bliss but her quip that, “men are more ambitious than women,” just proved how truly out of touch she is.

  • Bridget

    I can see both sides here but when I first read this I was livid! Lack of ambition??? Not as ambitious as men??? I’m probably more ambitious than most men I know. If women lack any ambition it will be directly related to the constant family balance, life balance, and under-currents of sexism that we face which all lead us to utter exhaustion. However, we still have a long way to go and I know some women who DO give up too easily. Those of us on the verge of giving up (we’ve all been there) need to reach out and ask other women for a boost (or a kick in the arse).

  • Marlin Page

    As a former CIO and technology executive, I find the “lack of ambition” comment interesting. Having lived the life of often being the only woman at the table and speaking with women all over the world about technology I never walked away from a conversation feeling they had a lack of ambition. We have a responsible as women in technology to help those who are looking to move forward in the field of technology and suggest ways they can further their careers. This conversation should also start with young girls who believe that technology is boring and sometimes lack the self-esteem needed to excel in math and science. I could go on…but I will end it here!

  • Zsa Zsa

    I agree with Bridget. There are so many ambitious, driven women out there today and yes, I too am more ambitious than most men I know! In the Athena Network, for example, we are proud to say that we are ambitious, passionate and highly motivated businesswomen, and we help other women become that too! :)

  • Pamela Day

    Agree with all of the above. Red Herring. No ambition, not committed, be more dedicated, blah, blah, blah.

    NOT helpful. Give concrete, ACTIONABLE, advice or don’t bother.

  • Pamela Day

    Agree with all of the above. Red Herring. No ambition, not committed, be more dedicated, blah, blah, blah.

    NOT helpful. Give concrete, ACTIONABLE, advice or don’t bother.