Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook and one of the world's most successful businesswomen, has called on companies to start paying women better in order to tackle the gender pay gap. It comes after the BBC published the salaries of its highest-earning staff, with only two women in the top 10.
"We need to start paying women well and we need the public and the corporate policy to get there," she told BBC Radio 4's "Desert Island Discs" program. "Certainly, women applying for jobs at the same rate as men, women running for office at the same rate as men, that has got to be part of the answer."
Elsewhere during the interview, she spoke of her admiration for Beyoncé, choosing her feminist anthem "Who Run The World (Girls)" as her first disc: "We start telling little girls not to lead at a really young age and we start to tell boys [to] lead at a very young age. That is a mistake. I believe everyone has inside them the ability to lead and we should let people choose that, not based on their gender, but on who they are and who they want to be."
Yet her appearance on the show wasn't without controversy, as she seemed to echo Sir Philip Hampton's off-kilter comments about women underestimating their worth and therefore not asking for a pay raise when she spoke about feeling held back at Harvard: "Every test I thought I was gonna fail. When I did well, I thought I’d fooled them. I didn’t feel that I had earned it and owned it, and it wasn’t until much later I felt that."
Sandberg has been criticized in the past for her 2013 book Lean In, which some thought was too elitist and unrealistic or inaccessible for many women. In it, she wrote about empowering women at work and how to succeed in a male-dominated sphere.
This post was written by Rebecca Cope. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.
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