Gen-Z girls have their work cut out for them when it comes to making it in the corporate world in the upcoming decades. It was already tough, but it just now got tougher. Here’s why…
Back in 2008, when Facebook was on the rise, the woman responsible for the roaring success was Sheryl Sandberg. She served as the Chief Operating Officer, Zuckerberg’s 2nd in command. And thanks to her no-nonsense approach, Facebook became the platform synonymous with social networking.
She began her career as a Silicon Valley darling, giving hope to women in the tech industry everywhere. Her foundation, Lean In, was an empowered response to the male-dominated space, and Sandberg became a feminist icon. But with her meteoric rise came a set of problems that will take years or even decades to untangle.
Her position with the company is now in flux, as it was announced earlier this month that she would be departing Meta in the fall. Almost immediately, the company launched a probe to investigate the former executive.
According to Sandberg herself, she’s stepping down for unrelated reasons to her alleged “improper use” of company resources, but her image is taking a serious public hit as the days go by.
The shining star on what was then Facebook’s board of directors has a closet full of skeletons. Accusations range from clandestine agreements with other tech giants, proliferating targeted ads at the expense of individual privacy, and using corporate muscle to snuff out unflattering news stories about herself.
These repercussions are still rippling in the online sphere in ways that might not become apparent for years. It’s unclear if any of the allegations are true, but it’s undeniable that this influential female figure has some damage control to do in the coming months.
As Meta rises, and Web3 is no longer a nebulous possibility but a real and looming future, there will be a need for more Sheryl Sandbergs – more COOs to be “the adult in the room” and shape the future of tech. But thanks to Sandberg, women entering the world of tech will have to work twice as hard to gain credibility.
Your kids might not know who she is, but she’s shaped the world as we know it, taking a burgeoning industry and infusing it with doubt and bad practices.
Will Sandberg’s legacy have a lasting impression on women entering the industry? Time will tell. But she certainly didn’t do the next generation of girls any favors.