Weekend Wonderings

Happy Saturday!

January is the time for new beginnings.  And I always find that a new beginning is easier when there’s an enraged feminist ideal behind it.

I first saw this video when I was worknig in a job that…to be honest…I was cruising in.  I wasn’t trying.  I was waiting for the next opportunity to fall into my lap, and I talked about career and ambition but I did nothing about it.  I never asked, because that wasn’t the way I was made, I believed things would just happen by virtue of me having some intellect and the desire to work hard.

This talk, by Sheryl Sandberg, “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders” changed all that.

If you can’t access video, the transcript is here.

Sheryl Sandberg has been the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook since 2008.  Her talk holds three key messages.  No woman that I have ever shown this talk to has failed to be moved and spurred into action after hearing this.   She talks of women not having the confidence to negotiate, of women taking their foot off the pedal in case they one day want children, of how women should  “make their partner a real partner”.  And she does all this without judgement.


If you haven’t heard about TED talks before, now’s your time.  The tag line is “Ideas Worth Spreading”.  They say it far better than I: “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other”  There are over 14,000 fifteen-minute talks on everything you could possible think of..stories told, ideas shared, opinions proffered, science, technology, politics, philosophy, feminism, business, humanity…all with the goal of making you think, of broadening your horizons.

Here are some of their most popular talks from 2012.

Happy viewing, readers!

Categories: Money and Career, Weekend Wonderings, Written By Anna
6 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Jess F
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    What a great way to start the weekend. I found this so inspiring but also personally challenging- reading this with my four month old on my lap. It raises so many questions about what I want for me from my life- and what I want for my children. I love my job, it is such an important part of who I believe myself to be but honestly, did I leave before I left on maternity leave? Maybe. I also think I am like that girl in the talk who put her hand down after two questions, sometimes thinking ‘oh, if I work hard, people will see I can handle more responsibility etc’ instead of sitting at the table, of being proud of myself, of my achievements, of recognising my worth at work. So here’s to keeping your hand up… Thank you for posting this Anna.

    • Posted January 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Jess, your comment has actually made my weekend! I watch this whenever I feel I’m losing direction, or whenever I feel unworthy, or that I deserve something more.

  2. Leni
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with Jess – Thankyou so much for posting Anna.
    I am the girl at the end. We are trying to have a baby (although the universe seems to have other ideas at the moment) but I am also feeling that I have reached the natural point to move on in my profession, whether that be at my current place of work or at another. Sheryl Sandberg is right – i’ve already got off the train.I have stopped taking opportunites because I might get pregnant this month. Of course that is true but I might not get pregnant til next year ( or never at all!) and I will have wasted all that time twiddling my thumbs and missing my chances. I didn’t realise that that was what I was doing until today… so thankyou Anna, you have done a great thing posting this today. And thankyou Sheryl ( I’m sure she is an AoW reader with such a fabulous attitude as that!) for being such an inspirational woman.

  3. Lara Blue
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Truly inspiring. Thank you Anna xxx

  4. ClaireH
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Anna, I completely identify with your comment and also what Jess said about believing things would happen if you’re smart and work hard – not asking for things because it’s not the way you were made. I feel very similar, after having been told all through school, college and university ‘work hard and do your best and you will get results’…and then after a few years at work you realise that it’s not the same – that the people who shout the loudest or put themselves forwards (or quite frankly sometimes BS their way through things) are those who are being heard and getting on and that yes, I need to have more ambition and as Sheryl said, be the one sitting at the table and with my hand up. But it’s hard as it goes against my personality/upbringing.

    I’m currently job hunting after my last job finished at the end of November. I always knew this would happen as it was a fixed term contract, but my reaction to it has surprised me. If you’d asked me two years ago, when I took the job, I would have said I was competent and driven and yes, while a bit shy about networking and putting myself ‘out there’ in a profession that can sometimes value that a bit too much, I was just as good as anyone else. I don’t know what’s happened since then – maybe it’s that I was cruising, working on a project that was going so well and was so organised that there wasn’t the scope for innovation or the challenges to keep me fresh and engaged, or maybe I didn’t care as much about the project as I thought I did. As a result, when going for job interviews, I found myself not being confident enough and not talking myself up enough – partly because I believed that I couldn’t do it anymore and everyone was better at it than me and partly (as I’ve now come to realise) that I think I’ve fallen out of love with what I did and the passion/desire to be good at it, or even just to do it every day, wasn’t there anymore. I can’t say whether that was the last job or whether it would have happened anyway.

    So I’m now trying to change my career and do something where I will have more contact with the general public and where I hope I will feel fulfilled and like I’ve ‘helped’ people and done something good with my day. I just have to make sure I channel that desire into the job interviews! And make sure that when I do get a job, that I do take every opportunity, put myself forward and ask how I can be better at things…and try not to ‘leave before I leave’ but that must be so hard to do once you start trying for a baby, as Leni said above.

    Phew – that’s quite a ‘me-me’ confession but I feel better for having admitted that. I think I’ll also bookmark it and watch it whenever I need a confidence boost/kick up the arse!

    Thank you for posting this x

  5. Lottie
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Anna, this is inspiring-thank you!

    I regularly watch the TED talks, in fact even sharing one on facebook this morning, before I checked in on AOW. They are so often inspiring and thoughtful. SHeryl’s points are fantastic; what a role model for us all. She is so right about all of it. Most of all, I adore that you also noticed how so is non-judgemental too. There’s a lesson for everyone in this talk, whatever you do.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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