Thursday, July 21, 2011

No, I am not an OSA staff

There is someone who asked me: do they let you come to the conference for blogging? Are you OSA staff?

I said: no, my talk is accepted then I volunteer to be the blogger. The order is very important.

You may wonder why I want to do this. True, I want to go to most of the talks. Some of the talks run in parallel session I wish I could be at both of them. I have a family which I want to spend time with. The responsibility of writing blog is constantly on my mind, which adds some extra stress to the trip. And last I have to get up sometimes 4am in the morning writing in the bathroom so that I don’t wake up my kids.

I myself don’t know why I want to do this. But on the way here someone left a recent issue of the New Yorker on the plane. I read an excellent article “A woman’s place, can Sheryl Sandberg upend silicon valley’s male-dominated culture?” by Ken Auletta. It is so interesting that I read the 9 page article all at once.

Sandberg was vice president for global on line sales at Google before she joined Facebook. Three years after she joined, Facebook is profitable.

In the article, Ken Auletta writes:

"Last December, Sandberg spoke at the TEDWomen conference. Her black hair framed her was young. Sandberg began by celebrating the progress women have made: “For any of us in this room today, let’s start out by admitting we’re lucky. We don’t live in the world our mothers lived in, our grandmothers lived in, where career choices for women were so limited.” More women than men graduate from college and graduate school, and receive doctoral degrees. Yet, she went on, “women are not making it to the top. A hundred and ninety heads of state; nine are women. Of all the people in parliament in the world, thirteen per cent are women. In the corporate sector, women at the top—C-level jobs, board seats—tops out at fifteen, sixteen per cent.”

To solve this problem, she proposed doing three things. First, she said, women need to “sit at the table.” She said that fifty-seven per cent of men entering the workforce negotiate their salaries, but that only seven per cent of women do likewise. Second, at home, “make sure your partner is a real partner.” On average, she said, women do two-thirds of the housework and three-fourths of the child care. And, finally, “don’t leave before you leave.” When a woman starts thinking of having children, “she doesn’t raise her hand anymore. . . . She starts leaning back.” In other words, if women don’t get the job they want before they take a break to have children, they often don’t come back. "

I don’t want to lean back. I am still trying to move forward with my very limited working time. Maybe that’s the reason why I want to do this despite all the trouble.