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Sheryl Sandberg Explains Why Younger Women Should Pursue Tech Careers

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Facebook leaders Sheryl Sandberg and Jocelyn Goldfein share advice.

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

The most influential woman in tech right now, Sheryl Sandberg, outlined some clues for younger women searching for a career or job in today’s economy.

In a post to Quora last week, she gave three pieces of advice for younger women and made an appeal for women to pursue careers in the tech industry:

Tech careers offer flexibility

Sheryl Sandberg explained how a career in technology provides flexibility for work/life balance:

“The flexibility offered in our industry is unlike anything I have seen in any other industry. In many tech companies, it is commonly accepted that people can work on their own schedules and often work from any location. This makes a big difference when trying to have a career and a family.”

It’s a meritocracy

You can prove yourself by delivering results. Sheryl Sandberg asserts:

“The tech industry is also often very meritocratic – with outcomes being judged by quantifiable results (products launched, products sold, numbers hit, etc) which is also helpful for women as it removes some of the subjective judgments women can face in the workforce.”

Yes, you can do it!

Women underestimate their abilities and this is especially daunting when engineers and scientists are needed more than ever. Sheryl Sandberg reminds us that:

“Studies show that women often underestimate their own abilities, which holds them back from taking on the challenges that help any of us achieve to our potential. Stereotype threat – the phenomenon that if people are aware of a stereotype they are more likely to act in accordance with it – is a real issue for girls in science, math and technology. Girls don’t think they can do well, and therefore they don’t. (This is why girls often do better in these subjects at all-girls schools.) If women believe they can succeed in tech, they will. And so many amazing technical leaders already do.”

Another champion of women in technology is Facebook Director of Engineering Jocelyn Goldfein who told BusinessInsider recently, “I feel like so many people are missing out on what’s an amazing career because they get themselves psyched out. The reality is programming is not that hard. If you can do high school algebra, you can do programming.”

Women 2.0 readers: Did you psych yourself out of a career in technology? Let us know in the comments!

About the writer: Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.