Sheryl Sandberg: Male CEOs Keep Telling Me I’m Costing Them ‘So Much Money’

Sheryl Sandberg Fortune
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Fortune

Now that Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” has sold more than 1 million copies, she’s starting to get push back from some men, particularly those in the upper echelons of corporate America.

So she said Wednesday on stage at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington D.C.

“Everywhere I go men, usually CEOs (because most of them are CEOs) say to me, ‘You are costing me so much money, because all the women want to be paid as much as the men. And to them I say, I’m not sorry at all. I’m thrilled,” Sandberg, who is COO of Facebook, said.

“Lean In” encourages women to push themselves in their careers. But it’s not just a book. Sandberg has also launched a Lean In website and foundation where women (and men) can watch free lectures to learn how to negotiate for a raise.

Sandberg also defended the main criticism against her: she’s in a unique position to “lean in” with her Harvard MBA, huge salary, a staff at home and at work.

“I understand I have resources that most people don’t have,” she said. “But leaning in is about equality.”

She noted that two weeks ago a report on equal pay was released. “And what did we learn? Yet again, exactly no progress in closing the wage gap for women in this country,” she said.

Women earn 77 cents for every $US1 men are paid, the report, released by the American Association of University Women, found. The disparity is even greater for African American women (66 cents) and Hispanic women (53 cents).

That’s the same wage gap since 2002, Sandberg says. “That’s inappropriate and unacceptable and leaning in is about closing those gaps.”

She also had some funny things to say about the most annoying question she, and other successful working mums are always asked, “How do you do it all?”

She wants people to stop asking that. Or at least start asking the men, “How do you do it all? How can you be a father and an employer?”

Here’s the full video.