Sheryl Kara Sandberg – Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

sherylBeing confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your potential. -Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is an American business executive; she has worked at top positions for top companies. As a woman with such a high position, she’s no doubt faced a lot of sexism, discouragement, and insults from other people. However, she didn't let any of this get to her, and instead showed everyone what she was made of by taking on top positions with Google and Facebook. She is a person with not only a lot of courage, but also incredible faith in herself.

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1969, Sheryl Kara Sandberg grew up in North Miami Beach. She attended North Miami Beach High School, where she joined the National Honor Society. Graduating in 1987, her GPA was 4.6 at the time she finished.

After high school, she attended economics at Harvard, where she got a degree in economics. Her thesis adviser was Lawrence “Larry” Summers, a well-known economist. When studying economics, she added a feminist spin to her time spent in the field. More specifically, in addition to studying the dynamics of economic inequality in relationships characterized by abuse of intimate partners, she also created a group for Women in Economics and Government, as she wanted more female students to work in these sectors.

She graduated summa cum laude in 199, and worked at the World Bank afterward. Summers, the chief economist in the organization, asked her specifically to be a research assistant, a position that she took. Next, after working at the World Bank for two years, she returned to Harvard, this time in its business school. She graduated with distinction and went to work for the American Treasury Department.

Eventually, Summers became deputy Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton; he offered her the position of becoming his chief of stuff, and she accepted. She continued working at this position when Summers moved up in the administration and became Secretary of Treasury. In 2001, after George Bush, Jr. and his Republican came to power, she went to live in Silicon Valley, in Washington. She wanted to try her hand in the emerging field of the Internet.

sheryl1It was here that she worked for Google, as their vice president of global sales and online operations. She worked with them until 2008, at which point she had become known as one of the most skilled executives in US. In 2008, she started working at Facebook, as its COO. She became a billionaire in early 2014; two years previously, she had become the first woman to join the company’s board of directors.

She wrote Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead; this bestseller has had more than a million sales. It discusses matters surrounding the relations between government, business development, feminism, and the lack of women therein.

Sandberg married David Goldberg in 2004. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2015. They have two children together. 

Sandberg’s story tells us a lot about not letting other people’s opinions get in the way of your plans. As a woman, she didn't have many peers who were in high positions like her. In that kind of position, she was probably constantly being looked down on because of her gender—being told that she couldn't do the work, that she wasn't intelligent enough, or even that she was acting too bossy. But Sandberg didn't let criticisms like these stop her career. Instead, she worked incredibly hard to create success for herself, and that's something we can all aspire to.

Affirmation for today:

I am fearless when adversity surrounds me.