Larry Elder

Is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg really complaining -- in 2013 -- that "only" 14 percent of executive officers are female, that women earn 77 cents compared to a dollar earned by men, and that women hurt their own advancement by failing to "lean in" and become more assertive?

Is this 2013 or 1953?

In her new book, "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead," Sandberg writes that "while women continue to outpace men in educational achievement," women over the last 10 years have "ceased making real progress" in the top ranks of "corporate America."

That's quite an assertion -- especially since it isn't true.

Is it not the case that almost 60 percent of college students are women, and that females earn the majority of doctorates and master's degrees? Is it not true that in most large U.S. cities, single, childless women in their 20s now out-earn young men?

What about the fact that 40 percent of working wives out-earn their spouses -- up more than 50 percent from just 20 years ago? But for the media's infatuation with then-Sen. Barack Obama, and their resultant failure to properly vet him, Hillary Rodham would have become America's 44th president. She remains a frontrunner to become the 45th.

True, more men than women choose to go into the higher-paying fields of science, technology, engineering and math. But is "gender discrimination" -- rather than deliberate choice -- preventing women from pursuing those fields?

Let's examine Sandberg's assertion that she's seen no "real progress" in 10 years, and that the numbers of female board members, CEOs and executive officers have "stagnated."

Catalyst, a feminist nonprofit devoted to women in business, issues an annual report on the state of women in Fortune 500 companies. In 2002, women held 7.9 percent of executive officer positions in Fortune 500 companies. Ten years later, in 2012, women comprised 14.3 percent of executive officer positions. In 2002, America had six female CEOs in the Fortune 500. By 2012, there were 21 CEOs. The 2002 Catalyst report found females comprised 12.4 percent of those on the Fortune 500 boards of directors. In 2012, women held 16.6 percent of board seats. This is an increase of 34 percent. Not bad for lack of "real progress."


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.