Christine Barney|Apr 27, 2015

In a recent interview, Bloomberg’s Emily Chang showed not only why Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg deserve to be role models for all, regardless of gender, but she also put an exclamation point on key gender issues that drag down business.

While I encourage you to watch the entire piece on the “Balancing Act,” we’ve provided a Cliff Notes version of the top insights from the interview. And, just for fun, see if you can decide who said which quotes – Sheryl or Richard. (The answers are at the bottom of this story.)

  1. Men and women both need to do their part – in the home and in the workplace. We don’t fully engage men in the home or women in the workplace.
  2. 80 percent of our lives are spent at work. It’s up to those of us who run companies to ensure that it is a delightful experience. We should question every aspect of it to make sure people are happy coming to work, and if they are proud of what they are doing.
  3. Diversity isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do for our business – to build a more successfully-performing company.
  4. The “have it all” language is only applied to women. We assume men can do it. Does a man ever get asked if he can have it all?
  5. Most companies can offer complete flexibility – more holidays, work at home. If employees want to work half time, Monday at home, job share – let them do that!
  6. Be results-focused, not face-time-focused. Don’t build a culture of being seen in the office trying. Focus on results, not just effort.
  7. Do meetings standing up. If you stand up, you get it done in three minutes.
  8. I don’t think we’ll get to a situation where women are equal in the boardroom for a 100 years.
  9. There is not an industry out there, no matter how many workers are women, that has enough women in leadership. As a man gets more successful, he is better liked. As a woman gets more successful, she is liked less. Our biases against women as leaders need to be exposed and changed.
  10. We don’t know what our world would look like if half our countries and companies were run by women and half our homes were run by men. But I say let’s try it. We might get a more peaceful, more productive, happier world.



  1. Sheryl Sandberg
  2. Richard Branson
  3. Sheryl Sandberg
  4. Sheryl Sandberg
  5. Richard Branson
  6. Sheryl Sandberg
  7. Richard Branson
  8. Richard Branson
  9. Sheryl Sandberg
  10. Sheryl Sandberg

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