Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has been one of the loudest voices in tech when it comes to how women are treated in the workplace.
Her 2013 book “Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead” focuses on encouraging women to take on leadership roles.
Now, Sandberg is co-penning a column in The New York Times with Adam Grant from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to further the conversation about women in the workplace.
In the latest instalment , Sandberg and Grant explain why women are sometimes reluctant to voice their thoughts and opinions in meetings.
It boils down to this one idea, which Sandberg and Grant sum up here:
When a woman speaks in a professional setting, she walks a tightrope. Either she’s barely heard or she’s judged as too aggressive. When a man says virtually the same thing, heads nod in appreciate for his fine idea. As a result, women often decide that saying less is more.
In other words, women may feel like speaking their mind is useless because either no one will listen or their reputation might be damaged.
The column cites examples to back up this theory from various studies and experiments, including one that showed women at a health care company who spoke up with valuable ideas didn’t receive improved performance evaluations.
Men who contributed ideas, however, saw significantly higher performance evaluations.
According to Sandberg and Grant, there’s one way to solve this — place more women in leadership roles.
It’s an issue that’s been more evident than ever in the tech industry throughout the past year. Tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Apple, and Google among others have made their gender statistics public, and the results have been less than desirable. Men make up 70% of the workforce at Google, and 69% of Facebook employees are male, for example.
You can check out the full column at The New York Times.
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