Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Faced Sexual Harassment, But Not From Employers

By Queenie Wong
The Mercury News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Allegations of sexual harassment have continued to rock Hollywood, the news industry, politics and Silicon Valley. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer is now even speaking out about some of her own harrowing experiences.

The Mercury News

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, is one of the world’s most powerful women, but even she has experienced sexual harassment.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Sandberg wrote that she’s never been sexually harassed or assaulted by anyone she’s worked for, but she has dealt with “unwanted sexual advances” on the job.

“A hand on my leg under the table at a meeting. Married men –– all decades older than I –– offering ‘career advice’ and then suggesting that they could share it with me alone late at night.
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The conference where a man I declined leaving a dinner with came to my hotel room late at night and banged on my door until I called security,” Sandberg wrote.

“I didn’t work for any of these men. But in every single one of these situations, they had more power than I did. That’s not a coincidence. It’s why they felt free to cross that line.”

Sandberg, who didn’t identify the men in the Facebook post, said she dealt with harassment less often as she gained more power. It still happens, though, from time to time.

Allegations of sexual harassment have continued to rock Hollywood, the news industry, politics and Silicon Valley this year.

More victims have come forward with stories on social media using the hashtag “MeToo.” Sandberg said telling these stories isn’t enough, and warned of a backlash.

Companies need to improve how they handle sexual harassment accusations and put more women in power, she wrote.
Promoting women won’t solve all these problems, but Sandberg believes it would be a step in the right direction.

“We are seeing what happens when power is held nearly exclusively by men. It gives rise to an environment in which, at its worst, women are treated as bodies to be leered at or grabbed, rather than peers entitled to equal respect,” she wrote.

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