Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is promoting her new book in Beijing and joins a discussion on challenges facing women. [Photo by Mei Jia/China Daily]
It was translated into Mandarin by Citic Press in July and has already attracted a similar buzz as Steve Jobs’ autobiography among readers, becoming one of China’s most downloaded books.
While China may be a booming market for books by silicon valley’s top minds, discussion regarding the social media giant’s operations in China was pointedly lacking.
Joined by Wang Xin, COO of China’s largest web portal Sohu as well as Zhang Qin, CEO of Autonavi, the country’s top digital mapping provider, the panel discussed personal experiences rising to a position of power.
“Together with Facebook and with Sheryl, we can advance women,” Xiang Bing, dean of Chueng Kong Graduate School of Business, which hosted the event, said.
To coincide with the book, Sandberg, a mother of two, launched the Lean In initiative, encouraging women to meet monthly and discuss gender issues in the work place.
So far, there have been more than 7,000 “lean” groups formed worldwide, with some of the first being founded in Beijing.
“We want this to benefit the audience, but we also want to find a way to start a movement in China,” said the panel’s only male member Teng Bingsheng, associate dean of CKGSB.
A 20-year-old Renmin University student said the book inspired her and her friends to create their own circle.
Emphasizing the vast number of men compared to women in positions of power, Sandberg said utilizing the full capacity of a workforce can have an impact on more than just equality.
“I believe that it is so clear that the demands of our economies require the full participation for women,” Sandberg said.
“So next time you’re going to call a woman a little bossy – take a deep breath and say she has executive leadership skills instead.”