Sheryl Sandberg’s Bestseller to be Made into a Motion Picture

As mentioned in a recent article, Sony Pictures has hired a screenwriter to fictionalize Sheryl Sandberg’s bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. The self-help book tells the tale of the lessons Sandberg learned while adapting to the male-dominated working world of Silicon Valley. She is now the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook. Her message throughout the book can be described as “a killer work ethic and unflagging drive can lead to success, even if men still set the rules of engagement in the corporate world.”

Some people, such as international lawyer Anne-Marie Slaighter, believe that even by following Sandberg’s advice, it is still extremely difficult for women to find a balance between home and the office. Who is right? Bloomberg Businessweek tries to analyze the gender gap data to figure it out.

In the US, female workers are still only paid 77 cents for every dollar their male coworkers make. Also, only 4.2% of chief executive officers at Fortune 500 companies are women. The accepted theory about workplace inequality is that childbearing and maternity leave keep a woman from rising to higher-ranking positions. Also, men and women collaborate differently in the workplace, causing differences in career outcomes.

A study on the contrasting styles of men and women in the workplace tagged workers in three separate companies and kept track of who interacted with whom. Emails and phone calls were also viewed to analyze the workers. At one of the companies, women were more productive than men at completing calls by an average of 24 seconds. The other companies did not show much evidence of contrasting work styles between men and women. However, men still dominate the higher-ranking offices of all three companies.

Another study was performed to see if the theory regarding maternity leave and childbearing is true. Cornell University researchers submitted 1,276 fake resumes for real jobs in the classified section of a local newspaper. The resumes were all equal in educational credentials and work experience, but differed in personal details about gender and whether or not the candidate had children. The study results showed that the men with kids were the most hirable, men and women without kids were next, and women with children were the least hirable.

Perhaps Sandberg is right that for some companies a woman can work hard and still achieve a high-ranking position in the company but for now it is still proven to be true that there is bias in the workforce when dealing with gender.

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