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Sheryl Sandberg: I Would Not Have Called Myself A Feminist In College

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Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, speaks during a plenary session at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Keystone/Jean-Christophe Bott) | AP

In an interview published Saturday in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said she would not have considered herself a feminist in college.

That's somewhat surprising, considering that Sandberg has called herself the "pom-pom girl for feminism," and that her new book, Lean In, which came out this month, is being hailed as a feminist manifesto.

In many ways Sandberg, 43, is a poster child for the feminist movement. After getting her MBA from Harvard Business School, Sandberg worked at the World Bank, was Chief of Staff of the U.S. Treasury, was an executive at Google and now is COO of Facebook, where she earned around $30 million in 2011. Sandberg, a mother of two, is also the first and only woman to sit on Facebook's board.

Yet, when asked by HBR Editor Adi Ignatius if she would describe herself as a feminist, Sandberg replied, "Had you asked me that when I was in college, I would have said I was not."

Still, Sandberg seems to embrace the term "feminism" -- with a few reservations.

"I think we need to reclaim the 'F word' if it means supporting equal opportunities for men and women," Sandberg told HBR.

Earlier, in the recently released AOL-PBS documentary "Makers," Sandberg said she is "proud to be a feminist," but went on to note that "traditional answers" offered by the feminist movement may not be the right ones.

Read the whole interview at Harvard Business Review here.

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