Friday, January 14, 2011

how to succeed in business even if you're a working mom

Thanks to Jeff Kwiatek for pointing out in the comments yesterday that a dearth of women at the top afflicts not only creative professions. He sent a link to this TED talk by Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg who offers insights on why so few women get to the C-Suite. One problem she says is that women systematically underestimate their own abilities. Men tend to attribute their success to themselves, while women attribute it to external factors. And, like it or not, people believe what they hear.

Sandberg offers three powerful pieces of advice to women who want to go for the corner office:
1. Sit at the table (Belly up, ad broads)
2. Make your spouse a real partner. (We've made more progress at work than we have at home.)
3. Don't leave before you leave. Meaning, don't ratchet down your performance before you have to, such as in preparation for maternity leave. Some women stop raising their hands for career-making assignments long before they have to. Leave when you leave, not before. That way, you'll have more to come back to.
The remark that resonated most for me was her acknowledgement that no matter what your choices, life won't be perfect. “I know no women, whether they’re staying home or in the workforce, who don’t feel guilty sometimes,” she said, adding how hard it had been for her to drop her 3 year old off in daycare that day. Yeah. Even all these years later, I can relate.

No comments: