By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)Facebook had a red chair at their Silicon Valley headquarters and invited people to stop by and have a seat. Over 80 Facebook employees had their pictures taken “sitting” in the red chair as a statement of solidarity for women in technology.

What Is The Red Chair?

The Sit with Me campaign encourages women and men to “sit” to take a stand and validate women in technology, recognizing them for the important role they play in creating new technology.

We are excited to see Sheryl Sandberg has sat in the red chair.

In last year’s Barnard commencement speech, Sheryl challenged women to be more ambitious and encouraged the young women to sit down and lean in:

“If all young women start to lean in, we can close the ambition gap right here, right now, if every single one of you leans in. Leadership belongs to those who take it. Leadership starts with you.” She reminded women to “take a page from men and own their own success.”

Sit down at the table. Lean in. And ask others to sit with you in solidarity for the initiative to retain women in technology and leadership positions. Stay in the game. Succeed.

Why Do Women Need To Sit At The Table And Lean In?

  • Women expand the talent pool. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that IT will be one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy, with nearly 1.4 million job openings between 2008 and 2018. Given the lack of people graduating from college with computing-related degrees, however, two-thirds of those jobs may go unfilled. Women represent a vast, untapped talent pool that can bolster the technical workforce.
  • Women improve technical innovation. Groups with greater diversity solve complex problems better and faster than do homogenous groups, and the presence of women in a group is more likely to increase the collective intelligence (problem-solving ability, creativity) of the group.
  • Women increase your ROI. Research shows that companies with the highest representation of women in their management teams have a 34% higher return on investment than did those with few or no women.

Sit With Us – Join Us At Women 2.0 PITCH Conference On February 14!

Save 10% on your ticket to the Women 2.0 PITCH Conference with discount code “SITWITHME”.

Join Women 2.0 for a full day of product innovation leaders presenting case studies and best practices. Watch the finalists of the Women 2.0 Startup Competition pitch to a panel of investors for top prize. Participate in speed mentoring during lunch, and check out the exhibit hall. Network with 800+ of the Women 2.0 community and friends on February 14, 2012 at the Computer History Museum.

We will have a red chair and photographer at the Women 2.0 PITCH Conference to note when you join the cause. Share your story. Tell your friends. Inspire others to stay in tech and leadership roles.

Won’t you join and sit with us?
Photo credit: Sit With Me on Flickr.
About the guest blogger: Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006 with Shaherose Charania. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management, web UI design, and entrepreneurship. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the “+1” for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.