Sheryl Sandberg is a high-profile woman in the tech world, where women, particularly at the top, are scarce. She is the 12th wealthiest self-made woman in America, according to Forbes, and she’s the Chief Operating Officer of one of the most influential and scrutinized companies in the world: Facebook.
She’s been called one of the 50 most powerful women in business (Fortune), one of the top 50 women to watch (Wall Street Journal) and one of the most powerful women in the world in 2018 — she was No. 11 (Forbes).
So what else could Sheryl Sandberg want? She’s also on a mission to help women succeed. From writing a book about how women need to become more ambitious to setting up a nonprofit to help women do just that, she supports other women to succeed in business.
She is no stranger to controversy, though. Her book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” while a New York Times best seller, also triggered a backlash from critics who claimed that Sandberg, with two Harvard degrees and a nanny, is privileged and elitist, and doesn’t share the experiences of most women in the business world.
Facebook executives are also facing congressional and federal investigations into their possible roles in U.S. election disruptions. Both The Guardian’s and The New York Times’s investigations of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Sandberg found that the execs ignored warning signs that outside organizations were using the social network to collect the personal data of millions of Facebook users without consent, spreading disinformation online and influencing U.S. elections. Sandberg has also been criticized for investigating Facebook critics, such as billionaire investor George Soros.
Whether you feel that she attracts criticism because she’s a woman in business and tech, or because of her position and actions at Facebook, Sandberg remains a force to be reckoned with. Here’s how she built her career.