It's the power, stupid: Sheryl Sandberg on workplace sexual harassment
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's 48-year-old COO, has once again ignited the debate on sexual harassment at workplace. She shared her personal experiences in a lengthy FB post on Sunday. "Married men, all decades older than I, offering 'career advice' and then suggesting that they could share it with me alone late at night," she wrote, urging companies to have well-defined mechanisms to tackle such complaints.
Who is Sheryl Sandberg?
Sheryl Sandberg, will complete 10 years at Facebook in March 2018. A mother of two, she is the author of the bestselling books 'Lean In' and 'Plan B'. Married to SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg until his sudden death in 2015, she has previously served as the vice-president of online sales & operations at Google, and the staff chief at the US Department of Treasury.
Skewed, sexist power play at workplaces fuels sexual harassment, assault
Citing instances from her own life, Sheryl takes on the #metoo discussion, saying that though she'd never experienced assault or harassment from any of her bosses, it always came from a co-worker with greater professional power than her. She also said that such instances grew fewer as she climbed the corporate ladder, holding under-representation of women in powerful positions responsible for their mistreatment.
Now is a watershed moment empowering victims to speak up
Sandberg expresses happiness at people finally holding their perpetrators responsible but says more needs to be done to fully exploit this "watershed moment". Though not the first one to do it and certainly not the last, she calls for systemic, lasting changes to deter bad behavior at workplace and protect everyone from young professionals in low-paid positions to people of color and minorities.
We must not lose this opportunity: Sheryl Sandberg
However, unlike others, Sandberg doesn't keep it vague. She lays down clear guidelines that she thinks can make workplaces more gender-neutral and respectful for women, encouraging them to succeed. Her rulebook includes everything from training staff in respectful behavior to creating a fair, transparent investigation process, taking swift and decisive action in case of wrongdoing, and holding each employee responsible in keeping offices safe.
'Don't just hire women - mentor, advise and promote them'
Sandberg says hiring more women and giving more of them positions of power is the sure-shot way towards a more equitable workplace culture. Take both men and women colleagues out to discuss work or take neither, she reasons. Sandberg ends by saying, "It wouldn't solve all the problems if more women were in power, but we could get quite a lot of good done."