TECH
07/04/2011 12:34 pm ET Updated May 18, 2015

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: 'I Feel Guilty Working Because Of My Kids'

Following a lengthy profile in Bloomberg, Facebook COO is now the subject of a New Yorker piece, titled "A Woman's Place: Can Sheryl Sandberg upend Silicon Valley's male-dominated culture?" and written by Ken Auletta.

This latest account examines Sandberg's role as second-in-command at the world's largest social network, as well as her prior roles at Google and the U.S. Treasury Department. Throughout her career, the profile reveals, Sandberg was always eager to lend a hand to others, women in particular.

Marne Levine, who worked with Sandberg at the Treasury, recounted several times when Sandberg invited junior officials to join the senior officials in discussion.

"The more senior officials, usually men, would sit at the [large confernece] table," said Levine. "The more junior, several of whom were women, would sit in the seating area. Sheryl was always at the table." Levine recalled that she would call over to the junior officials and encourage them to move to the big table. "We'll make room," she would say, according to Levine.

"I feel really grateful to the people who encouraged me and helped me develop," Sandberg told Auletta. "Nobody can succeed on their own."

Sandberg, who begins emailing at 5 a.m. every morning, had her first child in 2005 and joined the Facebook team in 2008. She spoke to Auletta about the challenges that working mothers face:

The No. 1 impediment to women succeeding in the workforce is now in the home. . . . Most people assume that women are responsible for households and child care. Most couples operate that way--not all. That fundamental assumption holds women back.


Guilt, she said, was the second biggest impediment. "I feel guilty working because of my kids," she admitted to Auletta. "I do. I feel guilty."

Sandberg has been an active force in promoting the advancement of women in business. "[M]en run the world," she said in May, at Barnard College's 2011 commencement address. "We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women's voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored."

Sandberg also hinted to Auletta about the possibility of Facebook filing for an IPO. "We will go public at some point," she said, though she didn't say whether that would be later this year or early next year, as rumors seem to indicate. It is believed that a Facebook IPO could place the company's value over $100 billion.

Visit the New Yorker to read more about Sandberg's hands-on, relationship-driven management methods, the furor she caused when she left Google for Facebook and much more.