“Don’t Leave Before You Leave…”

I came across Sheryl Sandberg’s 2011 commencement speech at Barnard College.  If you’ve seen her Ted talk, Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders, it’s mostly a rehash of that talk.  Nevertheless, this is an inspiring speech, and I’m glad I live in a world where there are more women leaders.  Girls need more role models like Sheryl Sandberg–not the Kardashians or the “real housewives” of xyz city or the bachelorettes (or whatever is out there on television these days, since I don’t watch television).

My parents come from a culture where boys are valued more than girls.  They really emphasized the importance of getting a good education.  Yet, they also made clear that I should know “my place” in the home and in society. They told me that if I ever chose to have children, I would be the one to take time off from work to take care of the kids. They also told me that I should never make more money than my husband. “Um, what the heck did I work so hard for my entire life?” I would think to myself.

I interpreted their advice to mean that I should never get married or have children.  Just kidding.

In all sincerity, however, I too believe that a world where we have more women leaders and more women making important decisions, would be a better world.  Ladies, live up to your full potential.  Don’t let anything hold you back. Dare to dream big. REALLY big. Sit at the table. Keep your hand up. And most importantly, don’t leave before you leave.

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