Women in leadership positions are a rarity in the tech sector. They held just 15% of senior management positions at 150 leading Silicon Valley companies as of 2021. In an industry that is still far from meeting its diversity goals, Meta Platforms, Inc. (GOAL) Board member Sheryl Sandberg has long stood out as a trailblazer who has beaten the odds.
- Sheryl Sandberg is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful executives after working in key positions at Apple Inc (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOG, Google) when it was still just Google, Yahoo! and Meta (formerly Facebook).
- In addition to managing technology companies, Sandberg is the author of popular management books that urge women to assert leadership in business.
- As of June 2, 2022, Sandberg had an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion.
- Before joining Meta in 2008, Sandberg was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google.
- Sandberg was the first woman to serve on Meta’s board of directors, a position she is expected to retain after leaving her position as director of operations in the fall of 2022.
Early age and education
Sandberg was born in Washington, DC, the eldest of three children born to Joel Sandberg, an ophthalmologist, and Adele Sandberg. When he was 2 years old, the family moved to North Miami Beach, Florida.
As a child, Sandberg viewed her mother and grandmother as role models who balanced family with work and education. She was a valedictorian at North Miami Beach Senior High School before entering Harvard University to earn her bachelor’s degree.
Sandberg’s path to technology industry leadership was unusual. She was not exceptional in math in high school and completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard without access to the Internet or a cell phone. His first job after Harvard was at the World Bank, where she worked as a research assistant for chief economist Larry Summers before returning to Harvard to earn her MBA.
In his early days in the world Bank, sometimes supplemented her income by giving aerobics classes. After Sandberg earned her MBA, she joined Summers as her chief of staff at the US Treasury Department, where she served as an assistant secretary in the Clinton administration. When Summers became Treasury Secretary, Sandberg remained her top adviser.
In 2001, Sandberg moved to California to work as vice president of global online sales and operations at Google. His responsibilities at the young but growing search engine company included advertising and product sales, including Google Books. She stayed with Google until 2008 and earned a reputation as the consummate business leader.
In 2008, Sandberg joined Facebook as COO. He has managed the company’s business operations with a special focus on global expansion. His responsibilities also included marketing, sales, business development, and human resources.
In June 2022, Sandberg announced that she would step down as chief operating officer at Meta in the fall to focus on her foundation’s philanthropy.
Honors & Awards
In 2012, Sandberg became the first woman to join Facebook’s board of directors. As part of her compensation as chief operating officer, Sandberg received an equity stake that made her a billionaire after she left the company in 2012. initial public offering (IPO). In 2021, she was ranked 36th in the Forbes list of most powerful women, 15th on magazine’s list of the richest self-made women in America, and 12th on of fortune List of the most powerful women.
Sandberg wrote Leaning On: Women, Work, and the Will to Leada 2013 book featuring their personal stories, insights into gender differences and inequities, and tips for helping women achieve their goals. Lean on was an overnight success, attracted worldwide attention and reached The New York Times and Amazon.com best-seller lists.
Lean on inspired Lean In Circles, groups of 8-10 women who come together to network, discuss struggles, build skills, and provide personal and professional support. There are now more than 50,000 such groups.
After the sudden death of her husband in 2015, Sandberg challenged herself to build resilience in the midst of grief. In 2017, Sandberg and co-author Adam Grant, a psychologist at the Wharton Business School, published Option B: Facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy to help people overcome adversity and recover from pain.
Option B features Sandberg’s personal insights and experience, stories about others who have overcome challenges, and evidence-backed strategies for promoting resilience in the home and workplace. The book covers many topics, such as grief and loss, abuse, divorce, and imprisonment.
In addition to his books, Sandberg has become known for widely shared quotes on business leadership. These are some of her most notable sayings:
“The myriad of data shows that diverse teams make better decisions. We’re building products that are used by people from very diverse backgrounds, and I think we all want the structure of our company to reflect the structure of the people who use our products. That’s not true for any industry. really, and we’ve got a long way to go.”
“The things that hold women back, keep them from sitting at the board table, and keep them from speaking at the PTA meeting.”
“What would you do if you werent afraid?”
“Done is better than perfect.”
Where does Sheryl Sandberg live?
Sandberg lives in Menlo Park, California.
What inspired Sheryl Sandberg to write option B?
Sandberg and Wharton School of Business professor and psychologist Adam Grant wrote Option B: Facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy in response to the challenges she faced and the coping mechanisms she employed after the unexpected death of her husband. The book features life-changing experiences, strategies for helping people in crisis, and tips for overcoming adversity.
Why does Sandberg say that we have too few women leaders?
According to Sandberg, women tend to underestimate their abilities and often fail to assert themselves or advocate for their best interests in the workplace. She has argued that the reluctance is determined by societal bias against assertive women. Studies show that “success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women,” Sandberg said in a TED talk.
The bottom line
Sandberg is a self-made billionaire and one of the most influential business executives in the world. As a pioneering technology executive, Meta’s first female board member, philanthropist, and accomplished author, Sandberg continues to advance equity and diversity in business leadership.