Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook and the writer of the book “Lean In” visited BİLGİ

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Sheryl Sandberg the writer of the book “Lean In” and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the social media giant Facebook, used by virtually 1,2 billion individuals, met BİLGİ students on 21st January, 2014 at the santralistanbul Campus.

Sheryl Sandberg, one of the most powerful figures of Facebook after its founder Mark Zuckerberg, had served as the Chief of Staff to then United States Secretary of Treasury under President Clinton and became a prominent figure in that position. Sandberg, continued her career at Google as its Vice President of Global Sales and Operations before she was transferred to Facebook upon the offer from Mark Zuckerberg, also a graduate of Harvard.

Sheryl Sandberg, has been named in Fortune's 50 most powerful women in business list. This successful businesswoman, has recently published a book out of her experiences titled Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. In the book, as translated into Turkish by Doğan Publishing, Sandberg encourages women to stand for leadership in the business world. Sandberg, who writes, “It is a very obvious fact that men still rule the world. This means that the voices of women are not heard as much as men's”, also stated that she wrote her book for the women who desire to reach the peak of their own fields or to fulfill any aim that they strongly wish for.

Sandberg's book inspired the Lean In movement in USA. Lean In is committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals.

In her speech to BİLGİ students, Sandberg, emphasized that the participation of women in the decision-making mechanisms was not sufficient although women constituted 50 percent of the world's population. Sandberg, who reminded that there has been only one woman leader in Turkey's course of politics, added: “There has been none in the States. The women's rate in the Turkish parliament is 14 percent. One third of the European Parliament is women. However, none of these rates can make it to 50 percent. Women's voices are not heard strongly enough for the decisions that change the world.” Sandberg stated that it was of great significance for women to have gained the right to elect and be elected in 1934 in Turkey and added: “Turkey has adopted this right way before many countries in Europe and the rest of the world have.”

Sandberg noted that there were examples from her own life along with the obstacles she faced in her professional life in the book, Lean In. Sheryl Sandberg, having answered the questions of BİLGİ students, remarked that the women struggled with emotional challenges in the business life as well, and encouraged them to be stronger. In her closing remarks, Sandberg asked the question, “Do women have the equal rights? Do they lead their own lives?” to BİLGİ students and asked them to think about these questions for a moment. Sandberg stressed the importance of individuals' realizing personal changes on their own rather than waiting for the whole system to be changed. Sandberg advised the students to break the stereotypes as well.

Prof. Remzi Sanver, the Rector of İstanbul Bilgi University, expressed that it had been a pleasure to host Sheryl Sandberg, one of the world's most prestigious and powerful businesswomen of the world at BİLGİ. “We feel honored by all the world leaders, business people, academics and artists we have hosted at our university. A solid and a deep-rooted tradition has been generated in BİLGİ's academic life through the exchange of experience of pioneering academics, politicians, opinion leaders and managers. I consider it a privilege to be able to listen to her contributions to the sector and benefit from Sandberg's experiences, who paved her own path in the fields of innovation and governance. We are also grateful to Ms. Sandberg for reminding us that the struggle for women's rights and their position in the professional business life will never end,” he added.