-By Warner Todd Huston
Discussing her recent book “Lean In” during a recent visit to Switzerland, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, told an audience that powerful women are mostly disliked in the business world.
Appearing at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Sandberg launched a broadside against the stereotypes that she claims hold women back in business in the United States.
At one point, the Facebook chief disparaged T-Shirts for boys she had seen in the U.S. that said “Smart Like Daddy” and those for girls that said “Pretty like Mommy.”
“I would love to say that was 1951, but it was last year,” Sandberg said of the shirts. “As a woman becomes more successful, she is less liked, and as a man becomes more successful, he is more liked, and that starts with those T-Shirts.”
Sandberg went on to attack men who say women are “too aggressive” in business, saying, “They say this with no understanding that this is the penalty women face because of gender stereotypes.”
The Facebook COO did not mention the campaign in the U.S. for girls T-Shirts that say “Girl Power” on them, nor the many products on the market sporting the phrase.
Sandberg also claimed that women still have “two jobs,” one taking care of the family and a second for her business career. “Women still have two jobs in the most developed countries around the world; men have one,” she said.
Also on the panel was European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, Viviene Reding, who made a name for herself pushing legislation mandating that women be included on the boards of European corporations.
“There’s not a rigid quota. No one will get a job because she’s a woman, but no one will be denied a job because she’s a woman,” Reding said. Though how one might force more women on the boards of EU corporations without imposing some sort of quotas was not explained.
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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