Too Few Women Leaders: Sheryl Sandberg

A female leader in a man’s world: Sheryl Sandberg

In this TED talk Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, speaks frankly about the reasons why capable women often don’t make it to the top.

In her opinion it’s got nothing to do with talent or even discrimination. It begins with the women’s belief in themselves, their unwillingness to put themselves forward for opportunities especially when they are thinking about starting a family.

“Don’t leave before you leave” is great advice. She hopes for a day when her young son and daughter can equally choose to be successful in business and to be valued for their work in the family.

Older Workers

You may be very interested to read the Ernst & Young report “Untapped opportunity: The role of women in unlocking Australia’s productivity potential”.  They come out very strongly in favour of women being able to negotiate flexible work arrangements, and the benefits to business for having flexible workers, particularly women working in part-time roles. Older workers, particularly older women workers, are often most interested in flexible working arrangements.  This report could support your case in negotiations with your employer.

The broad business benefits of greater female workforce participation are well documented. Women are a much needed addition to Australia’s labour force, not just making up numbers, but bringing valuable skills and diversity of thought. Now, new research from the Pulse suggests an additional factor: women in flexible roles (part-time, contract or casual) appear to be

the most productive members of our workforce. Women in flexible roles waste only 11.1%, compared to an average of 14.5% for the rest of the working population. Given 43.2% of women in the workforce work part-time, compared to 13.5% of men4, this translates into an important productivity bonus that few employers recognise.

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Jenni Proctor

Hi, I'm Jenni Proctor from Boomers Next Step. Remember when the formula for success in life was simply to strive for good marks at school, gain qualifications, get a great job, work hard and save for your retirement? Yes, I believed it too! For years my husband David and I wanted to develop a business that we could operate anywhere in the world, but both of us were educated to be employees.  We had entrepreneurial dreams and ideas, but still had employee mindsets. 14 years ago I took the giant leap!  I left my job in Education to start a business as a Career Counsellor and Coach, helping mature adults transition from one career path to another, and particularly from employment to entrepreneurship.  I had studied long and hard to gain new qualifications but sadly I hadn’t learnt how to market my new business. About 12 years ago we realized that we were not tracking well towards having the sort of retirement we wanted. We’d saved; we’d invested; and like so many other people we’d also lost some money along the way. It didn’t help that my business was not bringing in as much as I had been earning as an employee. Our dreams of extensive travel and helping our family were being replaced by a growing concern that we would outlive our savings. It seemed that a traditional retirement would not allow us to maintain the lifestyle we wanted. I love helping people plan the next phase of their lives, but we realized that was not going to be enough.  We needed a way to create an income stream that would pay for the travel and other lifestyle luxuries we wanted, that would provide mental stimulation, and would interest us both.

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