I recently came across a very interesting TED Talk featuring Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. If you are not familiar with Sheryl Sandberg, she is an extremely impressive woman. After earning her M.B.A at Harvard Business School, she went on to work for the World Bank and Google before joining Facebook. In this speech, Sandberg discusses some of the main points of her new book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. She gives some very useful advice for women trying to have a family without derailing their career.
Sheryl urges women not to “leave before you leave”. She explains how most women need to take a step back from their careers when they have children. This is even more problematic when women start preparing for their eventual departure long before it is necessary. They stop taking on extra responsibilities and turn down new projects because they are getting ready for their eventual maternity leave. The result is that having children has a much greater impact than necessary.