Strategy

Sheryl Sandberg’s first book a “call to action” for working women

Women's Agenda /

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg is set to use her first book to help women close the gender gap in leadership and rise up the corporate ladder, something she’s personally already achieved at the social networking giant where she was recently appointed the first female on the board.

According to AllThingsDigital, Facebook’s second-in-command will release the book exploring the struggles facing women in the workplace in 2013, published by Knopf.

Titled Lean in, the book is not intended as a memoir, but a “call to action” from Sandberg, who is one of Silicon Valley’s most high-profile female executives.

Juggling leadership roles and family has been a central topic of Sandberg’s in the numerous public speeches she has given since joining Facebook in 2008.

“I believe that the world would be a better place if half our institutions were run by women, and half our homes were run by men,” Sandberg told AllThingsDigital.

“The book contains practical advice for women — and the men who want to help them — on how to lean in and close the gap.”

When Sandberg was appointed Facebook’s COO in 2008, she helped dispel some of what has been described as a “frat-like atmosphere.”

Katherine Losse, who chronicled her experiences working at Facebook between 2005 and 2010 in her book The Boy Kings, described the sexist endemic in the Facebook “fraternity.”

During an all-hands meeting to introduce then newcomer Sandberg, Losse recounts that Zuckerberg told employees “Everyone should have a crush on Sheryl”.

Losse notes that Sandberg helped rein in the sexist attitudes toward women that pervaded the workplace in the startup years.

She recalls telling Sandberg about a technical director who “had been known to proposition women in the company for threesomes”.

That director, she later learned, had “been subtly demoted”.

“The arrival of Sheryl Sandberg really helped [with sexist attitudes in the office] because she was vocal and would say, ‘I really care about women in the workplace. I want to make this a good place to work’,” Losse told Huffington Post. “I think that was a huge relief for women employees.”

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