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Monday, June 22, 2015

Women in Forbes list for 4th consecutive year Sheryl Sandberg talks about gender equality !

In 2010, Sheryl Sandberg,  gave a TED talk about women in the boardroom. They were too small in number because they faltered on the way there.  The talk was an immediate hit, generated reams of comment internationally and had more than 2 million views on YouTube. It was only natural that it should become a book…….

Women are powerful ~and you do not need an index to confirm that ...  yet Forbes dos that ....recently I had posted on Forbes Magazine  list of ‘World’s most powerful women’ –  wonder who is powerful and by which yardstick ?  Seven women who appeared on their  inaugural list in 2004 are still there this year too : Melinda Gates, Christine Lagarde, Hillary Clinton and IndraNooyi,  Oprah,  Queen Elizabeth II, and HoChing. The definitive annual audit of the foremost heads of state, iconic entrepreneurs and CEOS, celebrity role models, billionaire activists, and pioneer philanthropists, all ranked by money, media momentum, spheres of influence and impact.  This year’s top 10 are : Merkel and Clinton followed by Melinda Gates, Janet Yellen,Mary Barra, Christine Lagarde, DilmaRousseff, Sheryl Sandberg, Susan Wojcicki and Michelle Obama.The most powerful women in politics, philanthropy, business and tech are Merkel, Gates, Barra and Sandberg, respectively.

The 2015 power women list features eight heads of state (plus one monarch) who run nations with a combined GDP of $9.1 trillion with over 600 million citizens — including the newly elected Polish Prime Minister EwaKopacz. The 24 corporate CEOs control nearly $1 trillion in annual revenues.   The total social media footprint (Twitter, YouTube) of all 100 Power Women is nearly 475 million followers and fans. Yet it is not merely a l ist of politicians and technologists – there is a singer and songwriter at no. 64, a mega star alongside glam personalities like Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres. 

The woman 8th in that list is there for  the fourth consecutive year – it is  Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg,  powerful not only as a billionaire executive of one of the most influential companies in the world, but also as a voice for female empowerment in the workplace as the author of the 2013 best-selling book Lean In.In the book’s opening anecdote, Sandberg describes what a tough time she had while pregnant with her first child. She gained 70 pounds, her feet swelled two shoe sizes and she vomited every day for nine months. I read this and I thought immediately, she gets it.Seven Silicon Valley executives made it into the top 25 on the Power Women list. After Sandberg, the same five CEOs have traded ranks with each other as the top women in tech since Forbes started tracking tech as its own category four years ago. Only two newcomers joined the ranks of tech’s most powerful women this year. Former Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat (No. 32) traded her influence on Wall Street for power in Silicon Valley when she became Google CFO in May 2015. The move elevated her 58 spots on the list since her last appearance in 2011. Newcomer GGV Managing Partner Jenny Lee takes the 98th spot overall, one of only two venture capitalists to make the list. She cracked the top 10 on the Forbes Midas List earlier this year, becoming the highest ranked woman in the list’s history.

Sadly on May 1,  Dave Goldberg, husband of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg  died from accidental blunt force trauma while exercising as reported by Mexican authorities.  The tech veteran was vacationing in Mexico with his wife and two children, and died at age 47.Goldberg was found lying beside a treadmill in a gym of a private suite in Punta Mita, an exclusive vacation retreat with hotels and residences just north of Puerto Vallarta.  Reports suggest that Goldberg appeared to have lost his grip on the equipment's railings, fallen backward and hit his head. The resulting wound was an inch long, and Goldberg lost consciousness. Goldberg was a beloved Silicon Valley veteran and CEO of SurveyMonkey, which he had grown from a small shop to a venture-backed start-up valued at $2 billion. The impact of his sudden death has already rippled across the business world.

Sheryl in a piece written before the sudden loss  of her husband had stated : What do I want the world to look like in 2030? That's easy -- I want real equality, where women run half our companies and countries, and men run half our homes. The hard part is getting there. Without a major change in our stereotypes about women and men, true equality is still generations away.  She wrote about her grandmom born in 1917 when only a handful countries gave women the right to vote.  Despite heavy odds, she graduated from U.C. Berkeley, saved the family business, beat breast cancer and raised three loving children.  She added, by the time her mother was born, women had fought for and won the vote. But her mother still couldn't go to her top-choice college because -- they didn't accept women.  That way her #LeanInTogether campaign is all about: encouraging everyone to be partners in the fight for equality.   It about building  a world where women are equally accepted as leaders, and men as nurturers.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd June 2015.

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