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Invaluable advice from Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

If you haven’t yet watched Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement speech at Barnard College, please take the time to do it. There are so many gems in this speech that it is worth listening to it several times. I agree with so many of her comments and share so many experiences that it sounds like she could have written the highflyingladies’ manifesto.

My favourite quotes and takeaways from her speech, if you don’t have time to view the video are:

  • I’m old enough to know that most of our lives are filled with days we will not remember” – very true, and very sad at the same time!
  • The promise of equality is not the same as equality. Men run the world
  • “Women became 50% of college graduatesin 1981 – 30 years ago – but when the decisions that affect the world today are made, women do not have an equal voice at the table”
  • “Studies have shown that success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. So as women get more powerful, everyone likes them less”
  • “It may sound counterintuitive but the most important career decision is whether you have a partner and who that partner is” (is your partner going to do his share of work at home?
  • “I can’t wait for the day that work life balance is not something just discussed at women’s conferences
  • At Facebook, they put two quotes on everybody’s wall: “Fortune favors the bold” and “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
  • Start out by aiming high”

But please listen to her speech if you can find the time. I am back to school myself tonight for the launch of the Women in Business club at the London Business School. I can’t wait to meet MBA class of 2013 and see what their dreams and aspirations are. I will report back tomorrow.

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