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如何造就更多桑德伯格

Patricia Sellers 2012年02月16日

本周六,CNN.com网站发表了一篇文章,标题是《怎样才能造就更多的桑德伯格?》(How to have more Sheryl Sandbergs.)。答案何在?作者寇妮•E.马丁和凯蒂•奥伦斯坦认为,关键在于“同伴压力”。

    近日,谢丽尔•桑德伯格话题不断。上周,我们在《财富》(Fortune)网站的“明信片”(Postcards)专栏回顾了《纽约时报》(the New York Times)关于桑德伯格的一篇人物特写。文章指出,桑德伯格对于年轻商界女性的期待似乎丝毫不亚于她作为Facebook的首席运营官对这家公司所表现出来的雄心。简而言之就是:放手去做,主宰世界。

    本周六,CNN.com网站发表了一篇文章,标题是《怎样才能造就更多的桑德伯格?》(How to have more Sheryl Sandbergs.)。答案何在?作者寇妮•E.马丁和凯蒂•奥伦斯坦认为,关键在于“同伴压力”。

    两位作者就职场女性不够进取的原因给出了自己的看法:“我们很少想过要做出一些特立独行的事情来,比如写一篇意见书,要求老板给自己升职等等。就算想过,也不会付诸行动。毕竟,身边的姐妹们和女同事都不这样做,我们为什么要这样做呢?”

    换句话说,只有社会上涌现更多的桑德伯格,才能造就更多的桑德伯格。

    如今,《财富》500强企业的“掌门”当中,只有18人是女性,我们显然需要更多的女性榜样。排名第34的大型石油企业——巴西石油公司(Petrobras)前不久刚任命格拉萨•福斯特为公司历史上第一位女性CEO。这是个可喜的进步,不过企业高层的“男女平等运动”进展还不够快。

    就在我们寻找女性典范之时,我恰巧碰到了一位女强人来访。当年,正是她给了《财富》杂志灵感,创造性地推出了“最具影响力女性排行榜”(Fortune Most Powerful Women)。1996年,时任广告巨头奥美(Ogilvy & Mather,隶属于WPP集团)CEO的夏洛特•比尔斯登上了《财富》封面,成了我笔下的封面故事《女性的性别与权力》(Women Sex & Power)的主人公。如今76岁的她依然宝刀不老,最近更是推出了一部新书,名为《我宁愿当头儿》(I'd Rather Be in Charge)。她路过我家时,进来坐了一会。我们讨论了一下女性与权力的问题。

    她认为,当今女性领导者太少的原因是:她们没有什么模式可以遵循。

    “人们要求女性展示领导才能的时候,她们常常会不知所措,因为她们对领导别人没什么概念,”比尔斯对我说。

    比尔斯说,虽然人们普遍认为女性比男性更加情绪化,但是喜欢在办公场合公开宣泄情绪的恰恰是男性。这一点给男性带来的好处是:“男性可以真实地表达自己的感受,不仅让人难以忘怀,而且令人信服。”

    男性在谋求升职的问题上要(远比女性)在行。比尔斯说:“他们知道自己的勇气底线在哪里、适应力有多强,也知道自己能不能‘唬弄住’老板。”男性之所以如此成功,和他们年轻的时候热爱运动有很大关系——聪明的女孩也该多运动。

    职场女性受制于种种社会偏见,往往会质疑甚至拒绝提拔,这正是42岁的桑德伯格在她的《财富》经典文章《离开之前不要放弃》(Don’t Leave Before You Leave)中所告诫的现象。比尔斯建议女性在面对升迁机会时,不要再怯生生地问:“您确定要提拔我吗?”,而应该大胆地问:“我有哪些优点让您决定提拔我?”

    这主意不错。这位《广告狂人》(Mad Men)时代的广告专家引起了我的好奇心:几十年后,当桑德伯格开始写回忆录的时候,会有多少女性会坐上了企业高管的宝座呢?

    译者:Nasca

    Sheryl Sandberg keeps on giving. Journalistically, that is. Last week, here on Postcards, we riffed on the New York Times profile of Sandberg, whose ambition for young women in business seems to match her ambition for Facebook, where she is COO. That is: Just do it...take over the world.

    On Saturday, CNN.com ran a story titled "How to have more Sheryl Sandbergs." The key? "Peer influence," posed the authors, Courtney E. Martin and Katie Orenstein.

    The authors explained what results when too few peers go for it, career-wise: "In many cases, the impulse to do something out of the norm of our peer group, like write an opinion piece or ask for a promotion, has simply never occurred to us. If it does, we don't act on it. Our girlfriends aren't doing it. Our female colleagues aren't doing it. Why should we?"

    In other words, we need more Sheryl Sandbergs to create more Sheryl Sandbergs.

    Today, when only 18 women lead Fortune 500 companies, we need more role models. Graca Foster was just designated the first female CEO of a major oil company: Brazil-based Petrobras, No. 34 on Fortune's Global 500. Great, but progress toward equality at the top remains slow.

    As we look for new models and peers, coincidentally, I had a recent visit from the woman who sparked the creation of Fortune Most Powerful Women. In 1996, Charlotte Beers, who was then CEO of ad giant Ogilvy & Mather (WPP), appeared on Fortune's cover for a story that I wrote called "Women Sex & Power." Now 76 and still irrepressible, Beers has a new book called "I'd Rather Be in Charge," and she stopped by to compare notes on women and power.

    Why too few women are taking charge today, as she sees the situation: There is no blueprint for women leaders to follow.

    "When asked to show their leadership capacity, women miss the cues because they don't know what leadership is supposed to look like," Beers told me.

    While women are generally viewed as more emotional than men, it is the men, Beers says, who tend to display emotion more openly in the office. And to their advantage: "Men can express exactly how they feel and make it memorable and persuasive," she says.

    As for getting promoted at work, men are much more adept: "Men know their bravery threshold, how resilient they are, and whether they can bluff their way through," Beers contends. Men's success largely relates to playing sports in their youth--which girls would be wise to do more of too.

    Women at work, bound to a narrower band of socially acceptable behavior, often question--or even worse, turn down--promotions. This is what Sandberg, 42, warns against in her classic Fortune essay, "Don't Leave Before You Leave." Instead of reacting to a promotion opportunity with a timid "Are you sure?," Beers favorite line: "What makes you think I can do this?"

    Good advice. The ad maven from the Mad Men era got me wondering: How many women will we see at the top decades from now, when Sandberg delivers her memoirs?

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