The “Ambition Gap”

Posted on Posted in Women's Rights

This is so well put. Listen to Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland  talk about the “ambition gap” and the continual inequality between genders in the workforce due to social norms that begin in childhood and are perpetuated throughout our adult lives.

In the developing world these inequalities are much more obvious when it comes to the accessibility of education for girls vs. boys and basic freedoms that are often restricted by government and/or religious tradition. But in industrialized countries like the United States the gender gap is more muted. Our social norms have still not changed and our ways of thinking about how women and men should act are so ingrained in us that we fail to notice unless it is pointed out. My favorite quote from Sandberg who explains that it all begins in how we are raised when she points out: “little girls are called bossy . . . I challenge you go find someone who calls a little boy bossy.” Sandberg then goes on to link this social norm and way of thinking to adults in the workforce by noting that “success and likability are positively correlated with men and negatively correlated for women.” Watch the full 6 minutes below:

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