Sandberg wants girls to keep an eye on leadership

Sheryl Sandberg doesn’t want girls to think that leadership roles are only for boys. That’s why in the January issue of National Geographic, the Facebook COO asserted that girls need to believe in the power of their potential.

According to The Cut, Sandberg had this to say on the importance of encouraging girls to pursue leadership positions both big and small:

“‘Raise your hand if you’re a girl in class,’ she said. ‘Run for class president. If you’re interested in it, be a leader. Don’t let the world tell you girls can’t lead.’ She added that imposing gender roles on children pigeonholes them from an early age: ‘From the moment they’re born, boys and girls are treated according to stereotypes. We tell little boys, ‘Don’t cry like a girl.’ Not helpful.'”

Interviewed separately for the same issue of NatGeoThe Cut reports that Gloria Steinem echoed Sandberg’s thoughts, saying that it’s important to raise children in a way that that puts them on a level playing field in the future.

“It’s important for girls not to internalize a sense of passivity or inferiority or second-classness, and for boys not to internalize a sense of having to be stronger or superior or in control.”

Amen to that.

First ‘Women in Product’ conference set for September

Female entrepreneurs just got an exclusive invite to one of the biggest women-only events of the year.

According to MAKERS, a Women in Product conference was announced on Wednesday, July 6 — an even that will be sponsored by Facebook and hosted on September 13 for women in the product industry.

The conference is open to “only female attendees who have had at least eight years experience as product leaders, the conference is set to take place at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters in California,” reports MAKERS.

Scheduled to speak at the event are Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, PayPal product executive Joanna Lambert and Eventbrite founder and CEO Julia Hartz, says MAKERS, among several others.

Sound like something you need to be a part of? Head over to the Women in Product site to sign up, as well as to check out the other speakers and schedule of events.

H&M called out in viral Facebook post

Shopping for jeans can be a less than pleasurable experience, and one British woman’s viral Facebook post just proved why shopping for women’s jeans can be something of a nightmare.

When Ruth Clemens visited the Leeds H&M and tried on a pair of sale jeans, the patron was shocked by the inconsistency in their denim’s sizing. According to the Huffington Post, Clemens then took to social media to explain just what happened when she hit the dressing room with the jeans:

“I was browsing your sale items in your Leeds store and spotted this pair of kick flare jeans,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “They were only a tenner – bargain! – and a size 16. I’m normally a size 14 on my hips (occasionally 16 if buying trousers) so I thought I’d try them on. It did not go well.”

Clemens then shared that the jeans did not fit her at all, and while the largest size carried by H&M’s is a size 16 (a U.S. size 12), the only other option available for women above a 16 is the plus section, which offers a limited selection of styles, reports the Huffington Post.

Wrapping up her post, which included a picture of the faulty jeans and a tiny crop top sold by H&M that was reportedly a size Medium, Clemens wrote:

“I am not overweight (not that that should matter) and although I’m 5 foot 11 my body is pretty average shape-wise. It’s already difficult enough for me to find clothes that fit well because of my height, why are you making jeans that are unrealistically small? Am I too fat for your everyday range? Should I just accept that accessible and affordable high street and on-trend fashion isn’t for people like me?”

The Huffington Post says H&M responded to Clemens’ post the next day, offering only an apology:

“Hi Ruth, thank you so much for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your experience in store recently. We always want our customers to have an enjoyable time when shopping in store and to leave feeling confident in themselves. At H&M we make clothing for all our stores around the world, so the sizing can vary depending on the style, cut and fabric. We value all feedback and will take on board the points you and other customers have raised.”

As the Huffington Post points out, H&M’s response to Clemens’ complaint does not offer even a hint of impending change to remedy the problem — a problem that is not only frustrating, but also one that can hinder a woman’s self-esteem while also limiting her clothing options.

While shopping for jeans is notoriously loathed, it should not be any further complicated with inconsistent sizes. There’s more at stake than just a loss of customers — like the loss of one’s self-confidence.