Sheryl Sandberg pushes women to "lean in"

Why aren't more women in leadership positions? Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg tells Norah O'Donnell women need to learn to "lean in"

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The following script is from "Sheryl Sandberg" which aired on March 10, 2013 and was rebroadcast on June 30, 2013. Norah O'Donnell is the correspondent. Tanya Simon and Deirdre Naphin, producers.

Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of the social networking giant Facebook, but that's not what's been putting her in the headlines. In a book published earlier this year, she tackled one of most hotly debated and intensely personal issues out there: women in the workplace. The book was an instant best seller and touched such a nerve that its title, "Lean In" has become part of the lexicon. In it, Sandberg proposes a reason for why there are so few women in leadership: the problem she says might just be women themselves.

Despite the fact that women have been getting more college degrees than men for 30 years, they still account for only four percent of CEOs in America's Fortune 500 Companies -- and as Sheryl Sandberg told us in March, that number needs to change.

Sheryl Sandberg: The very blunt truth is that men still run the world.

Norah O'Donnell: But what about the women's revolution?

Sheryl Sandberg: I think we're stalled. I think we're stalled. And I think we need to acknowledge that we're stalled so that we can change it.

Norah O'Donnell: Are you trying to reignite the revolution?

Sheryl Sandberg: I think so.

Sheryl Sandberg is an unlikely revolutionary. At 43, she is one of the few women at the top of corporate America, yet she's surprisingly uncomfortable with her own power and influence - something she has fought since her days at North Miami Beach Senior High, where her classmates voted her most likely to succeed.

Sheryl Sandberg: And my friend was on the yearbook staff. And I went to find her and I said, "I do not want to be most likely to succeed."

Norah O'Donnell: What?

Sheryl Sandberg: Most likely to succeed is not the girl who gets a date to the prom. And I was worried enough about that.

Norah O'Donnell: You were embarrassed?

Sheryl Sandberg: I was embarrassed. My entire life I have been told, you know, or I have felt that I should hold back on being too successful, too smart, too, you know, lots of things.

She says that kind of self-doubt isn't unique to her -- it resides deep inside most women, who learn to downplay their accomplishments at a young age. In her 20 years in the work place, she says she has noticed a stark difference in the way men and women view their success.

Sheryl Sandberg: Women attribute their success to working hard, luck, and help from other people. Men will attribute that-- whatever success they have, that same success, to their own core skills.

Norah O'Donnell: So what do you attribute your success to?

Sheryl Sandberg: I think, you know, my success, if I want to honestly want to attribute it, it's attributed to a lot of things, some of which really are luck, working hard, and help from others. Like, I've had--

Norah O'Donnell: What about your core skills?

Sheryl Sandberg: And my core skills. And my core skills. But it is both.

Norah O'Donnell: But Sheryl, you are-- you're one of the most powerful women in the world and you still can't attribute your success to your own core skills?

Sheryl Sandberg: No, I can s-- I can, more.

It's that mindset that led Sheryl Sandberg to reach the conclusion that's at the heart of her book: it's not just men who hold women back, women do it to themselves. They play it too safe at work, worry too much about being liked and turn down opportunities in anticipation of having a family one day.