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Gender inequality a cross culture problem: Facebook COO

Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg at FLO event

Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg at FLO eventNew Delhi: Despite advances in education and opportunity, gender inequality remains a cross culture problem across the globe, according to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

“No country reaches its full potential unless and until the potential of its women population is tapped properly. Gender inequality is not a problem only in India and is not only of a particular culture but it is across cultures. We have it in India as well as in America,” Sandberg, said today.

Only eighteen countries had women as their head, said Sandberg who pointed out that India was just marginally better with 28 per cent representation of women in key posts compared to US where they had just a 23 per cent representation.

“This unequal representation is a problem all across the world. We don’t have enough numbers representing us at decision tables, local villages, local towns to Parliament. We are actually cheating our economic potential as we are not using the full power of the population,” Sandberg said.

The 44-year-old leader was participating in a conference organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation in association with Random House India as part of a five-day visit to the country.

Addressing a room full of mostly women from various walks of life, Sandberg shared inspiring insight into what motivates and sustains women in leadership position. She encouraged women to pursue their ambitions by learning to “Lean-in” to opportunities rather than adopting a “Lean-back” stance.

“Be it business or home, put gender on the table and discuss it. Then only will every single person be given equal opportunity and will be treated equally,” Sandberg, a mother of two children said.

Ranked among the most powerful women in business, Sandberg has had a long association with India since she began her career working with the World Bank here between the years 1991 and 1993.

“Many of my views on women come from the experience I had in India here. I learned in the halls of India government, the villages that if you want to make your wife, your daughter happy then you have to treat them with equality,” Sandberg said.

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