Pursuit: Impressive Lady Profile 101, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

Last week the focus was on women pursuing/studying engineering.

This week let’s take a brief look at a woman making it big in the tech world (without an engineering degree!): Sheryl Sandberg.


She is the 5th most powerful woman in the world  and has an impressive past.

She transitioned from politics to the tech world. Sandberg served as chief of staff of the U.S. treasury department, was Google’s VP for global sales and operations, and is now the Chief Operating Officer for Facebook. She is also an outspoken advocate for women in the workplace.

You might have seen her popular TED talk, if you haven’t you must!

Her Story

(More details can be read here and here)

Here are the highlights:

    1. Completed a BA in economics from Harvard
    2. Has her MBA in Business Administration from Harvard
    3. Mr. Larry Summers, one of her undergrad professors and thesis supervisors, took her under his wing
    4. He later hired her as a researcher at the World Bank (when he took on a position as chief economist) and as the chief of staff (when he became Secretary for the US Treasury under the Clinton administration)
    5. Later she joined Google
    6. She met Zuckerberg at two separate occasions, including the WEF in Davos. Soon after she left Google for Facebook.
    7. She’s credited for growing Facebook’s revenue
    8. Both her and Zuckerberg are individuals that could “significantly impact” Facebook by leaving
    9. After Facebook goes public this Friday, she’s speculated to become one of the “wealthiest self made woman

It’s obvious she’s impressive, what sort of advice does she give to women?

    1. Don’t leave before you leave” She argues that young women let their personal lives (boyfriends, marriage, family, children) dictate how they pursue their professional lives (salary, promotion, leadership). Which, she argues, stunts their long term thinking and how much they can theoretically achieve.
    2. Ambition Gap” she argues that women are not as ambitious as men, and that they need to set the bar higher for themselves, and dream bigger. (There are some opposing viewpoints: see here)
    3. A relationship based and honest management style. An insider profile in the New Yorker outlines Sheryl Sandberg’s management style as honest, and connection/relationship based. They write that she’s open to other peoples opinions and encourages debate of ideas.


What do you think?

  • Do you think women “leave before they leave”?

Divya Pahwa writes about young-lady career advice on the weekly series Pursuit, here on the  McGill Caps Blog.


Photo Credit: Business Insider


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