Published on December 3rd, 2011 | by thevyne


Sheryl Sandberg’s Tips that Every Professional Woman Should Hear

Image courtesy of Business Insider

By Kailei R.

This week, I had the pleasure of seeing Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, speak at Business Insider’s Ignition conference in New York. I first learned about Sheryl about a year ago when a TED Talk she did was circulating through social networks. What she shared about professional women was staggering and disappointing, yet inspiring and empowering. Ultimately, Sheryl Sandberg painted a picture that was not a candy-coated utopia describing that women can do everything and anything, but instead painted a stark reality that was cautiously optimistic but required action.

Below are some of the key take-aways from both my experience with her this week as well as the TED Talk that I think every professional woman should hear. I also recommend watching the TED Talk from December 2010 if you have not already to get the full story:

  1. Don’t underestimate your abilities! Women systematically underestimate their own abilities. We don’t negotiate for ourselves in the workforce. No one gets a promotion if they don’t understand their own success.
  2. Pat yourself on the back! Men attribute their success to themselves. Women attribute their success to external factors.
  3. Unfortunate statistic: success and likability are positivity correlated for men and negatively correlated for women.
  4. Reach for opportunities! Men are reaching for opportunities more than women.
  5. Choose the right partner: The most successful career decision you’re going to make is who your life partner is going to be.
  6. Make your partner a real partner: We’ve made more progress in the workforce than in the home. Households with equal earning and equal responsibility have half the divorce rate. They have a more active love life as well :)!
  7. Women don’t think they can have it all because they can’t. If it’s not an even split at home, we can’t physically do everything and do them well.
  8. Don’t leave before you leave: Don’t mentally leave work when you realize you want to have a family one day. Stay in and push hard. Keep your foot on the gas pedal until the very day you need to leave.
  9. Lean in! Men lean into their careers. Women hold back because they want balance too early and because that’s not how we are conditioned.

See Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Talk in 2010 here:


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