Updated: Dec 1, 2019
Katie Couric is on the move again. She is conducting some great interviews, and her latest one, with Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, was stellar. Full disclosure dictates I need to tell you I’m not a fan. I was promoting “India’s Daughter,” a film up for Best Documentary a few years ago, when she interviewed the director, Leslee Udwin, at the New York City premiere. I was called up to the stage by Udwin after the panel was over, and when Couric was finished with our conversation, she actually took her hand and motioned me away without even a “goodbye.”
Surprised, I asked, “Did you actually just brush me off with a wave of your hand?”
She replied, “Sorry; it’s late, and I’m tired.”
She wasn’t sorry in the least. But perhaps that makes my review here of her interview even more compelling. She is now interviewing people in the manner she should have done all these years, and I’m glad she is on it now. But she is not a “girlfriend”; trust me on this. Back to Couric’s interview of Sandberg.
Sheryl Sandberg, in my opinion, always speaks from her own point of view, which — let’s face it — is not exactly representative of most women’s experience in this country. She is not entitled per se; she earned her place at the top. However, I do not subscribe to her “Lean In” philosophy, and it didn’t escape me that while she was making millions on a book that says women have to lean into other women and provide them with a place at the table, her own board of directors at Facebook contained only one other woman at the time … and she was from personnel. Nuff said there.
In her interview, Sandberg walked us through the Facebook philosophy and the strides the company has made in anticipation of the upcoming election. She expressed her concerns about “fake news” and all kinds of other ways the world will try to change the outcome of our elections. And she expressed all of this so much better than the inarticulate Mark Zuckerberg did in front of Congress. We have enough issues with those inside our country messing up our elections; we surely need to fix the mess that those on the outside are trying to create.
Do be sure to watch this interview, or read it —whichever you prefer.
Following is an excerpt from the article written by Mary Meisenzahl for Business Insider:
Toward the end of the 40-minute interview, Couric turned the conversation to Sandberg’s book and asked what we should do about men’s reluctance to mentor women in the workplace. “Lean In” was Sandberg’s popular 2013 book that argued women may hold themselves back in their careers and should be more assertive and demand raises, much like men. The book has since been frequently criticized as an ineffective solution that offers an individual answer to a systemic problem.
Sandberg answered by first referring to the Me Too movement, saying, “Women have faced harassment for far too long.” She said that while she thinks things are in a better place, we’re still “not protecting everyone we should.”
However, Sandberg also noted that she is worried about unintended consequences of Me Too, and cited a study saying that as many as 60% of male managers are nervous about meeting alone with a woman.
“If you cannot get a meeting, you cannot get a promotion,” she said. “What we really need to tell men is, if you’re not gonna have dinner with women, don’t have dinner with men.”