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Why we have too few women leaders

by Sheryl Sandberg


1. Discuss in pairs the questions below:

a. Are women in your country

discriminated against at work? How?
b. How has the position of women
changed in your country over the last
20-30 years?
c. How can women combine having
children with pursuing career?
d. What can be done to improve the
position of women in business?


2. Look at the expressions below and match them with their definitions:

A. at/from the outset 1. going from the start or beginning of

B. grandiosity 2. to take great pleasure or delight
3. modest opinion of one's own
C. to top out importance or rank; meekness
4. a sustained view of oneself as
better than others that causes the
D. to underestimate
narcissist to view others with
disdain or as inferior
E. self-esteem 5. to believe that someone or
something is the source of
F. to revel (in) something.
6. to think insufficiently highly of sth
G. humility 7. respect for or a favourable opinion
of oneself
H. to attribute 8. means to reach an upper limit.


3. Consider the following questions after watching the TED talk:

 Do you feel that women underestimate their own abilities?
 Are women shy and afraid “to sit at the table” and prefer to be on the side?
 How are successful woman perceived in your country?
 Are men reaching for opportunities more than women? Why?

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Why we have too few women leaders
by Sheryl Sandberg


4. Put the following expressions in one of the three categories:

1) Yes but I can't help 7) I agree with you up to a 12) There might be
thinking... point something in what you
2) You might be right but... 8) Sorry, I can't see what say
3) It sounds convincing you mean 13) That's just what I
but... 9) I have some thought!
4) That's a valid point reservations about it 14) It's exactly what I think
5) It's complete rubbish! 10) I couldn't agree more 15) I'm not sure about
6) I totally disagree 11) Sorry, but I don't get that...
what you say

5. Read the comments to this TED Talk and discuss in pairs how much you agree with
them using the phrases from ex. 4:

I don't think you can be a C-level man or woman and really give your child the attention that they
should have as they grow up. She does admit she doesn't have it right herself which is true. Not sure
anyone would have it right, which is why traditionally the person most closely associated with the
child (the mother) has taken the child-bearing role. –David Hale
I don't think that the answer to getting more women in top positions a question of raising the self-
esteem of women or "having them sit at the table." We need to change the climate of business and
politics not change the individual. The values, perspectives and thought processes of women are not
valued in the business/political world. The behaviors Ms. Sandburg was listing that she thought
needed to change: humility, cooperation, collaboration, hard work these are values - attributes that
should be cultivated. Not grandiosity! -Melissa Vennel
Awesome talk with a simple to follow message. Put your hand up, keep it up, and don't write
yourself out of the picture until YOU are done. Really good advice. Truth is that the advice that was
given in this talk was great advice for either women or men. –Craig Ross
Sheryl clarifies that women are MAKING the choices that are limiting our numbers at the top. Not
boards or investors or even husbands as one commenter suggested
Sheryl does not criticize us for making those choices, she encourages us to revel in the fact that
those that came before fought hard so we CAN make those choices today. But Sheryl does ask us to
consider making those choices with ALL the facts before us. She challenges women to understand
our base nature, understand how society reacts to (or fails to react to) how women approach
careers, opportunities and the pressure of societal "norms".–Jennifer Casanova

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