Sunday, January 8, 2012

I am following Sandberg's route.


This is Sheryl Sandberg.  She is the COO of Facebook and I would kill to work with her and learn from her.  Any of my readers know how to make that happen? (okay, maybe not kill in the literal sense, but I could definitely go all Guido on someone's ass).

I am kind of a big fan of Sandberg's   She has said some important things in a couple of speeches to some people who needed to hear it,  Specifically she addressed her remarks to women. Once at a TED talk and again at the commencement message to Barnard College.

I have long thought that many women collude in their own oppression.  Sometimes knowingly, but mostly not.  I think the as feminist we so often look to what is being done to us, that we forget how we have participated in allowing the situation. As professional, or even on our way up, when we forget that we represent all women, even though that isn't fair.  

It isn't fair that the lesser regarded group is often held to a higher standard than the group that is in power.  It isn't.  And yet it is the reality of how our society works.  When the a member of the lesser regarded group performs badly, it reflects a stereotype held by the group in power.  When a member of the lesser regarded group performs well, it is a reflection of that individual.  If enough members perform well in a given situaiton, then the stereotype changes.

This is Sandberg's message.  "Don't leave before you leave."  What this translates to is that even if you know you are leaving the job you do on the last day needs to be the same as the job you do on your best day.  This is hugely important for women as we are the lesser regarded group in science and technology.  Business, too.  We can recreate our own reputations as well as that of women in tech and business just by holding ourselves to doing our jobs.

We can create choices for ourselves if we hold ourselves to higher standards. But this doesn't mean we have to be a bitch about it.  And this is Sandberg's second message: Be nice.  Have some manners.  It is easier.  And you don't have to act like a masculine jackass in order to be considered a professional woman.

You know what?  I'm in.