April 17, 2013– Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD, invited college students nationwide to participate in a Livestream video conference. Sandberg spoke with more than 200 Stanford University undergraduate and graduate students who joined her in-person in Menlo Park, CA, and with more than 1,000 students from public and private institutions across the country, who participated in the hour-long discussion online.

Sandberg was joined by Rachel Thomas, president of is a nonprofit organization launched in conjunction with the book, and is a community committed to encouraging and supporting women leaning in to their ambitions. They offered insight to both women and men embarking on their careers, and provided useful tools, including the importance of body language and negotiation skills, for women to achieve leadership roles.

Addressing the audience, Sandberg stated, “You are our hope for a more equal world, you are my hope, you are the hope for my children. You are our hope to get to real equality.” She asked the audience, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”—urging each of them “go do it, because you can.”

In addition to speaking about their own personal and professional experiences, Sandberg and Thomas answered questions live and virtually about career development, starting a family, and dealing with setbacks. They addressed how men can help support women in the workplace, how to find a mentor when starting out in an industry, and emphasized the importance of equal partnerships.

Among many questions submitted was from Peter at Syracuse University. He asked, “In your book, you use the metaphor of a jungle gym, rather than a career ladder, to describe how people move from job to job these days. How did you figure out your long-term career aspirations, and what was your game plan when you were in your 20s?”

In response, Sandberg advised, “The metaphor of a career as a ladder is long-gone…I don’t know anyone who has the same job they had right out of school. I see too many people, particularly women, try to plan everything out. If I had planned everything sitting where you now are, there was no internet, so there was no Google, and there certainly was no Facebook. If I had planned it out, I would have missed those opportunities. [My advice is to] figure out your long-term dreams in a big way, but don’t try to connect the dots.”

This university-focused virtual event followed several on-campus events Sandberg conducted in coordination with the launch of LEAN IN. She has spoken at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, an event which included students from colleges across the Boston area, at Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and at Colgate University as part of their second annual Entrepreneur Weekend. The full conversation can be watched here:

LEAN IN: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
By Sheryl Sandberg. Published by Alfred A. Knopf on March 11, 2013

Hardcover: $24.95, ISBN: 978-0-385-34994-9
E-book: $12.99, ISBN: 978-0-385-34994-6
Audio book: $35.00, ISBN: 978-0-385-39423-4

Erinn McGrath, Alfred A. Knopf: (212) 572-2035,
Clinton McGue, APCO for (415) 500-3312,