Sheryl Sandberg Says Facebook Helped Her Grieve For Her Husband
If you could ask Sheryl Sandberg anything, what would it be?
On Tuesday, the Facebook COO and LeanIn.org founder hosted a chat on Q&A site Quora, in which she answered questions from users such as “What would you tell your younger self when you were just starting out?” and “What should men do (and not do) to support the growth of women in tech?”
Below, our favorite nuggets from the conversation—though we highly recommend reading Sandberg’s responses in their entirety.
“Don’t let anyone tell you can’t have both a meaningful professional career and a fulfilling personal life. When you hear someone say you can’t do something, know that you can and start figuring out how,” writes Sandberg, whose non-profit LeanIn.org focuses on helping women do just that.
The COO also points out that no one—not even Sandberg herself—knew exactly where she was going throughout her career. “If you try to draw that line you will not just get it wrong, but you will miss big opportunities. As Pattie Sellers of Fortune Magazine says, careers are not ladders but jungle gyms,” she says. “Keep trying and you will find what you love to do… and once you do, you will crush it.”
On women in tech:
“One of the most important things we can do to promote diversity in the workplace is to correct for the unconscious bias that all of us have,” she writes in response to a question about how men can support the growth of women in tech. Sandberg recommends using training, like the kind Facebook (FB) provides to employees, to dislodge bias. More broadly, she recommends that managers “think about what [they] can do to make work work for parents.” Creating a work-life is equally important for mothers and fathers alike, she writes.
On coping with death:
After losing her husband, Dave Goldberg, this past May, Sandberg wrote a heart-wrenching Facebook post about his death. “I have lived thirty years in these thirty days. I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser,” she wrote then. As painful as her words were to read, writing them helped her tremendously, she told Quora. “When I lost my husband suddenly and unexpectedly in May, I felt very isolated…Recovering from loss is a huge part of the human condition and by connecting with people on Facebook I was reminded that I was part of that global community.”