T-SHIRTS emblazoned with the words “Smart like Daddy and “Pretty like Mommy” is the example Sheryl Sandberg used to typify gender attitudes in today’s workplaces.
The Facebook executive slammed the T-Shirts which are sold in the US as typical of the gender stereotypes in the workplace that hold back women at work.
“As a woman becomes more successful, she is less liked, and as a man becomes more successful, he is more liked, and that starts with those T-shirts,” Ms Sandberg told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The 43-year-old mother-of-two called for a much more open dialogue about gender, saying that companies should be able to ask their employees about whether they hope to have children.
“Every HR department tells you not to do that … but we need to have a much more open conversation,” the UK Telegraph reported her as saying.
Ms Sandberg who is the chief operating officer of Facebook was speaking at a session on how to boost women’s role in economic decision making.
She said that women face open and unconscious stereotypes from the moment they leave school with their performance judged differently to men and an expectation that they will take on the majority of the caring responsibilities at home, even if both parents work.
At one point Ms Sandberg asked men in the room to raise their hands if they had ever been asked whether they should be working, given that they have children. Nobody put their hands up
When women were asked the same question, several put their hands up.
“Women still have two jobs in the most developed countries around the world; men have one,”
“From the moment they leave school, the messages for women are different: ‘Don’t you want to have kids one day?’.”
Ms Sandberg also said women received less encouragement to excel at work, the DailyMail reports her as saying.
“Think of it like a marathon. Everyone’s cheering the men on. The messages for women are different: are you sure you want to run, don’t you want to run, don’t you have kids at home?”