Hope other girls are listening

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sheryl Sandburg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, made nearly $31 million last year. She’s listed as fifth powerful woman in the world on Forbes’ list.

As FB goes public, she stands to become one of the wealthiest women in the world.

As one of few prominent women in tech, Sandberg has been vocal about empowering women.

“We still haven’t achieved the goal of real equality for women in the workplace and men in the home,” she wrote in an August op-ed. “We can – we must – do better.”

In a recent interview, she said, “Of 190 heads of state; nine are women. Of all the people in parliament in the world, 13 percent are women. In the corporate sector, women at the top, C-level jobs, board seats, tops out at 15-16 percent. The numbers have not moved since 2002 and are going in the wrong direction.”

When I read that, it really stuck with me.

I’m mature enough to say now, that when I graduated from high school, I had no real idea.The scope of what I could do – and can still accomplish – didn’t click for me until much, much later.

I’ve been lucky enough to discover a profession that I not only love, but one where I’m also able to make a living. Some people – in all actuality, most people – are not so lucky. They trudge through Monday through Friday to an 8-to-5 job they either dislike with an intensity that sometimes borders on hate or arrive with the resignation that they can’t do any better.

I argue that anyone – man or woman – can do better, if they chose; however, if we arm our children with the knowledge of what the world holds, imagine what they could accomplish.

Now, I’m going to focus on the younger female population for a moment.

More often on not, the tales posted on Facebook are anger-filled blasts from young women about their baby daddies not taking care of things or how life is treating them unfairly. I confess – that enrages me on many different levels.

As parents, I believe there are some things we need to drill it into our daughters’ heads. Namely – Just because you’re female doesn’t mean you have to grow up to be a nurse, a schoolteacher, (or a reporter) or any other role traditionally held by a female. You can be “she who rules the corporate/government/whatever profession world.”

Plus, you don’t need someone to take care of you and to pay your bills. You can do it yourself and have money left in the bank.

And probably most importantly, you need to be a competent and confident individual before entering the most important contract/business negotiation of one’s life – marriage.

It seems like Sandburg, with her $31 million salary, got that message. I just pray that my girls are listening.