Business leader and activist Sheryl Sandberg is a powerful role model to women who want to make their mark in the world — and do it on their own terms.

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Today is International Women’s Day. And according to the International Women’s Day website it is “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” To commemorate this day, it seems appropriate to hear from Sheryl Sandberg whose life experiences uniquely qualify her to make observations worthy of our attention, especially on this day.

In the course of seven years, starting in 2008, Sandberg was named COO of Facebook (and still is), was elected to the company’s board of directors (2012) and became a widow with two young children when Dave Sandberg, her husband and the children’s father, died unexpectedly in 2015.

Through it all, Sandberg remains active in pursuing one of her life’s passions –  mentoring women. This article “Top 24 Inspiring Sheryl Sandberg Quotes on Life, Leadership and Equality” lists some of Sandberg’s most memorable quotes. I’ve noted a few of my favorites concerning women and equality:

  • “When you look at successful women, they have other women who have supported them, and they’ve gotten to where they are because of those women.” 
  • “We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” 
  • “Every woman I know, particularly the senior ones, has been called too aggressive at work. We know in gender-blind studies that men are more aggressive in their offices than women. We know that. Yet we’re busy telling all the women that they’re too aggressive. That’s the issue.” 
  • “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.” 
  • “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”

From the heights of professional achievement to the depths of human loss, Sandberg has seen a good bit of life. Men and women alike would be wise to listen to what she has to say.

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