Maybe Sheryl Sandberg really is building a new feminist movement.
Following the Facebook (FB) COO's PR extravaganza around her best-seller Lean In, the first mega-mover and shaker to join the conversation about women and work was Warren Buffett. The Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) chief wrote an enlightening essay in the Fortune 500 issue, did his first-ever interview about women (with me), and joined Twitter to help spread his word globally.
This week, Sallie Krawcheck bet her own money on women--by buying 85 Broads, a community of businesswomen that began 26 years ago with alums of Goldman Sachs (GS). Krawcheck acknowledges the irony of her leaping on the female empowerment bandwagon. When she was at Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC), she strived to avoid gender issues. But since dropping off the corporate jungle gym in 2011, Krawcheck says she has realized, "The numbers on women and diversity are so freakin' compelling." She contends that we're at a "tipping point" in terms of women's impact on the global economy.
And then there is Lynn Tilton. Via Patriarch Partners, her New York-based private equity firm, Tilton owns 75 companies--Rand McNally, Spiegel, MD Helicopters, and Stila Cosmetics, among them--and oversees 120,000 employees. Three weeks ago in California, Tilton was at a meeting of trustees of the XPrize, an organization that devises competitions to bring about breakthroughs to improve the world. Tilton decided on her mission: "I chose women and girls," she recalls, noting that she's fed up seeing women graduate from colleges at higher rates than men and then fall off corporate tracks far too often.
On an XPrize team that included former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, Tilton pitched an idea called "X2: Mother of All Prizes." Her proposal was to double the monetary award for any XPrize winners whose teams have at least 50% female leadership. The XPrize judges loved Tilton's idea and selected X2 as a grand prize winner. Tilton tossed in $5 million of her own money to fuel the concept.
"I want to light a match to start a bonfire," says Tilton, who counts just one female CEO among the chiefs of her 70 companies. "My businesses are very tough," she explains, admitting that she herself, renowned for her flashy attire and attraction to distressed companies, is not a typical female exec. "I think women are more mission-oriented than money-oriented," she adds, with a hint of sadness. "But I'm not going to cease to try to get more women at the top."
Guest Post by Amanda Pouchot, co-founder, The Levo League
A friend recently told me about a male colleague; he joined her company one month after she arrived. "He's asking for a $10,000 dollar raise tomorrow at our performance review," she griped. "I can't believe he's doing that. I just can't imagine asking for a raise after only being here for seven months."
Today is Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into MOREFortune Editors - Apr 9, 2013 1:54 PM ET
When Carolyn Everson, Facebook's (FB) VP of global marketing solutions, confronted a management void in Europe, she opted to fix the problem herself. She moved her family--husband Doug and twin daughters--from New Jersey to London.
Now Everson is on the ground for six months, fortifying the European business, visiting international advertisers, and helping in the hunt for a new leader for the region. Last evening, during a quick trip home (she's MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 28, 2013 2:55 PM ET
Here's a workplace dilemma: How does a male boss mentor a woman in a world where 64% of men are afraid to be in a room alone with a female employee?
Ken Chenault has no fear. "You've got to develop relationships. You can't do things just in a formal context," says the American Express (AXP) CEO, who promotes informal mentoring at his company.
Here's Chenault and Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg talking with me MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 27, 2013 10:42 AM ET
Want to hear my interview with Sheryl Sandberg about what men can learn from Lean In...and how the Facebook (FB) COO applies her book's message to her own family? Click here.Patricia Sellers - Mar 22, 2013 1:29 PM ET
In the crazy media buildup to Monday's release of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, author/Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg was surprised that men didn't chime into the public discourse. That changed in the past few days. PIMCO CEO Mohamed el-Erian wrote a wise commentary on Sandberg's crusade. I interviewed Sandberg about her message to men. Next week, I'll share with you my interview with Sandberg and MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 15, 2013 11:07 AM ET
Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead seems to be a book for women only.
Maybe it's not.
New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Jamie Dimon threw book-promo bashes for Sandberg this past week.
This morning, I met with Sandberg and American Express (AXP) CEO Ken Chenault—another male master of the universe whom the Facebook (FB) COO has captured on her Lean In bandwagon.
Maybe it's feminist MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 13, 2013 4:18 PM ET
Sheryl Sandberg's evangelism—take risks! go for the big job! Lean In, sister!—hinges on her claim that women aren't moving up in corporate America. Is the Facebook COO-cum-feminist champion right that we are in a state of stagnation?
"There's stagnation at the very top," Sheryl Sandberg told an audience last evening at the Time Warner (TWX) Center in New York.
Here and at just about every stop on her marketing blitz for Lean In: MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 12, 2013 3:32 PM ET
A look at Silicon Valley's two most powerful women from a journalist who has known both for nearly a decade--and offers news about Mayer's controversial HR policy and nursery at Yahoo
Never in the history of book marketing has there been a crusade quite like Sheryl Sandberg's. Last Thursday in New York, the Facebook (FB) COO hobnobbed with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, film director George Lucas and Barbara Walters MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 11, 2013 3:37 PM ET
Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer aren't the only ones stirring up debate about women in the workplace.
Sunday's New York Times featured an unexpected guest writer: former Lehman Brothers (BCS) CFO Erin Callan on "Is There Life After Work?"
As you may recall, ex-Lehman CEO Dick Fuld pushed out Callan and President Joe Gregory in June 2008, four months before Lehman crashed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 11, 2013 11:41 AM ET
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