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Gender: Sheryl Sandberg Presents: Deeply Troubling Stats About Women

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 28, 2013


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sheryl sandberg lean in

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is well on her way to becoming one of the world’s richest self-made women.

And that’s pretty impressive.

More impressive though, is how, instead of buying her own island and retreating to it, Sandberg is using her power and influence to try and improve the world.

She’s written a book called “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

It’s an unapologetic manifesto aimed at fixing one of the world’s biggest problems: a lack of women in power.

Sandberg says there are all sorts of reasons women do not hold equal power.

But in this book she talks about one reason in particular: that women are taught that they need to keep themselves out of power, and that they therefore limit their own ambitions and sabotage their own careers.

Sandberg’s most powerful rhetorical device in the book is a saturation of stats that are sometimes shocking and sometimes reverberating – but always the kind that make you reevaluate what’s going on around us.

Women are 57% of college graduates and 63% of masters degree holders, but that majority fades as careers progress.

21 of the Fortune 500 CEOS are women.

21 of the Fortune 500 CEOS are women.

AP

Women hold 14% of executive officer positions.

Women hold 14% of executive officer positions.

NASDAQ

Women hold 16% of board seats.

Congress is 18% female.

Congress is 18% female.

AP

In 1970, Women were paid $0.59 for every dollar men made. It’s now $0.77.

In 1970, Women were paid $0.59 for every dollar men made. It's now $0.77.

Shutterstock

So what’s going on?

So what's going on?

Nadine Rupp / Getty Images

Women have to prove themselves more than men. A McKinsey study says men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted on accomplishments.

But maybe women are also holding themselves back.

In a survey of 4,000 employees at big companies, 36% of men said they want to be CEO. Only 18% of women said the same.

More male college students say they want to “reach managerial level” three years after school than females.

Women are much less likely to say they want to be president.

Women are much less likely to say they want to be president.

AP

Middle school boys say they want to be leaders when they grow up. Middle school girls usually don’t say that.

Successful women are more likely to feel like “impostors” who will be found out.

Despite outperforming men, female surgical students give themselves lower grades.

Girls perform worse on tests when they have to check off M or F before taking it.

Men attribute their success to innate qualities and skills. Women attribute their success to luck and help from others.

When men fail, they say its because they weren’t interested. Women blame their lack of ability.

Men are 60% more likely to think of themselves as “very qualified” to run for office.

Men are 60% more likely to think of themselves as "very qualified" to run for office.

AP Photo

So why do women seem to aspire less and be less confident?

So why do women seem to aspire less and be less confident?

Nadine Rupp / Getty Images

Parents talk to girl babies more than boy babies.

Mothers overestimate their sons’ ability to crawl and underestimate their daughters.

Mothers spend more time comforting and hugging infant girls.

Mothers spend more time comforting and hugging infant girls.

White House Flickr

Mothers are more likely to just watch their infant boys play by themselves.

Mothers are more likely to just watch their infant boys play by themselves.

YouTube

Teachers call on boys more often.

Teachers answer boys when they call out, but scold girls who call out, and tell them to raise their hands.

Teachers answer boys when they call out, but scold girls who call out, and tell them to raise their hands.

AP

One reason limiting the ambition of women is bad is that women are often primary breadwinners.

41% of women are primary breadwinners. 23% are co-breadwinners. 52% of black kids are raised by a single mother.

Fortunately, the solution to much of this is pretty simple …

… Sharing financial and childcare responsibilities with a husband makes for less guilty moms, more involved dads, and “thriving” children.

@Linkedin

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