Facebook COO urges Taiwan students to 'lean in'
CNATAIPEI, Taiwan -- Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg encouraged Taiwanese female students via video conference on Wednesday to “lean in” and pursue their ambitions.
September 19, 2013, 12:25 am TWN
During her speech to 200 students at Taipei First Girls' High School, Sandberg stressed the low percentage of female leaders in the government and corporate sectors around the world and urged the students to resist gender stereotypes in their everyday lives.
The 44 year-old also encouraged the students to aim high, take risks, believe in themselves and raise their hands for opportunities.
“Men sit at the table. Women should sit at the table too,” said Sandberg, who authored the best selling book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.”
After her speech, students asked the Facebook executive such questions as what girls can do to invest in themselves, what she felt could be done to end the unequal treatment many women still face, and whether it was more important to have a good career or a good husband.
Sandberg stressed that women should not limit their own choices.
“You can have a good job and a good husband,” she said, advising students who want to achieve career success to marry men who want equals and are not daunted by their successes.
After the speech, the 200 students each held up a poster with their own dreams written on them as an act of female empowerment.
Lia Chen, 17, whose dream is to assist abused women and children, said she previously believed she could only achieve her dreams by working at the grassroots level but felt Sandberg provided her with another perspective.
“She reminded me of the power of a top female leader who can serve as an example for others to emulate,” Chen said.
Seventeen-year-old student Irene Wu, whose dream is to design and open a coffee shop, said what she got out of Sandberg's speech was to follow her own voice.
The video conference, broadcast live on YouTube, was organized by CommonWealth Magazine, which published the Chinese version of Sandberg's book in early September.
A former chief of staff to the United States treasury secretary, Sandberg worked for Google Inc. before joining Facebook in 2008. She was named to Fortune's 2012 list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.
In 2010, Sandberg gave a TED talk, which became a hit, discussing why there are so few women leaders in the business world. She encouraged women to “sit at the table,” negotiate for themselves, reach for promotions and take risks.
Her book, “Lean In,” further delves into the lives and choices of working women and gives them advice on how to build fulfilling careers.