Women "leaning in" more, but still face challenges in the workplace

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg 08:24

First on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg revealed the results of her new study about women in corporate America.

The study by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company surveyed 132 companies that represent over 4.6 million workers.

On a positive note, the survey found that for the first time, women are negotiating for salaries and promotions at the same rate as men.

“When women negotiate, they are getting better outcomes. You’re not going to get what you don’t ask for, so it’s good they are asking,” Sandberg said.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg pushes for more wo... 05:19

But while “a lot better than it was,” the outcomes aren’t the same. The study found women are often penalized for being perceived as too intimidating, aggressive or bossy. 

In addition, women still mostly hold staff roles in corporate America, rather than positions that would ultimately lead to CEO titles. In fact, women have constituted 5 percent or less of Fortune’s list of 500 CEOs for over a decade.

“Women are not getting that very critical first promotion to manager at the same rate as men. Men are 30 percent more likely to get that first promotion into leadership and that’s why we continue to see women underrepresented at all levels,” Sandberg explained. “It starts earlier than people think.”

For women of color, the challenges of reaching executive positions are even greater. The study also found that women get less credit for their ideas than do men, and are more often interrupted by their bosses.

The “Lean In” author said that while we have things have certainly gotten better since her mother’s time, progress has stalled in the last decade. She said this can be traced back to society’s stereotypes and expectations.

“We expect men, even in 2016 all over the world and still in the United States, to be results-focused, organized, gets things done and we expect women to be emotional, giving. That’s why when a woman negotiates – not on behalf of someone else but for herself – we instinctively don’t like it,” Sandberg explained. “We want women to be able to lead and get results and become CEOs and we want boys and men to be able to be emotional and be full caregivers, both in the workplace and at home.”  

Full Sheryl Sandberg emotional commencement s... 25:55

The study found that between just 4 and 10 percent of men are full-time caregivers and women are still doing most of the work at home. But Sandberg said many men do want to be caregivers and women want to be leaders, and that companies should let “individuals make those decisions,” rather them hold them to “narrow gender stereotypes.” 

The purpose of this annual study, Sandberg explained, was to allow companies to “hold themselves accountable for the progress they are making.”

“Best performers, from the most entry-level employee to the best CEO, as a man, they know that if they can work better with half the population, they’re going to outperform their peers. And that’s why we’re seeing men and women lean in,” Sandberg said.

Sandberg also revealed some news about Facebook’s business growth. She announced that Facebook now has four million advertisers on its site – up three million from March – which she attributed largely to the prevalence of mobile phones. With the average smartphone user now checking his or her device 150 times a day, Sandberg said companies​ need to take advantage of mobile devices to reach customers and “move products off shelves.”

Sandberg also responded to recent reports that Facebook had given its advertisers overestimated average times​ that users spent watching videos on its site.

“About a month ago, we discovered an error in one of our video viewing metrics. It wasn’t the one we were billing advertisers on, but we take trust really seriously so as soon as we found it, we went to our clients and let them know we had this mistake and we were fixing it,” Sandberg said. “It’s also why we work hard to rely on third-party measurement. We don’t just grade our own homework.”