Female COO Thinks More Girls Aspire to Be Like Her Thanks to Sandberg

Illustration for article titled Female COO Thinks More Girls Aspire to Be Like Her Thanks to Sandberg

Leslie Bradshaw, chief operating officer at Guide, a text-to-video startup, believes more young women think it's possible to be a CEO or COO these days because of the [Sheryl] "Sandberg Effect."

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From a NPR op-ed:

In some ways, the rise of the female COO could be solidifying the modern female office archetype, replacing the show-running executive assistant (or secretary) who may sit outside the office but knows the details of everything going on inside because she orchestrated it. At face value, a powerful foil to the male CEO rock star is good visibility for female executives, but it could also be a dangerous extension of the hackneyed suggestion that "behind every great man stands a great woman."

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Tech CEOs "are the rock stars of this business generation," she writes. Exactly: they're wealthy and privileged, even if they've worked hard to get where they are. Women make up around half of the national workforce, but about 60 percent of the minimum-wage workforce and 73 percent of tipped workers. It's awesome that more young women think they're qualified to be CEO/COO, but real progress means better policies for the majority of women, not just rock stars.

Image via AP.

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DISCUSSION

arischwartz
Ari Schwartz: Dark Lord of the Snark

I actually think this may be my biggest disconnect with modern American culture and in some ways Western feminism: I don't think that being a CEO means that you're "better off." I don't think it's necessarily a measure of "success." It's unhealthy (I think) to make kids feel like being CEO of some fancy-pants company is "success." Or anything else high-flying, frankly.

I say this as someone who struggles with feelings of inadequacy because he simultaneously hates working a lot, but also has this hare-brained idea that "success" means being "more."

I have nothing against people who want to be C-level. But I really hate how we make "success" such a binary thing. Are you a happy, well-adjusted person with a happy family and a good social circle? Great! But you don't make over six figures and work for a Fortune 500 as an exec/c-level employee? Oh, sorry, that's not success...

I also think that this, in part, further devalues the position of the working class, as it further fetishizes the idea that office work is "better." By focusing on how all 250 or so women (assuming 50/50 distribution) can become CEOs of Fortune 500s, we ignore the other... 250 million women.

But, y'know, rich people.

Personally, I would rather that people (men, women; women, men; whatever) focus more on being balanced happy human beings in a society with almost laughable wealth but immeasurable levels of discord and unhappiness. Why does the measure of success have to be in work and wealth?