Why are women not as ambitious as men?
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 923
- Category: Ambition
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Why might women being labeled ambitious is portrayed as a negative quality? Author Sheryl Sanberg excerpt , “Lean In: What Would You Do if You Weren’t Afraid”, published in the They Say, I Say, argues why women tend to be less ambitious than men when it comes to attaining leadership roles. Aggravated, Sheryl Sandberg effectively uses ethos, logos, pathos to inform readers on why women fail on achieving leadership positions. Sandberg also uses pathos adequately to urge women to believe in themselves and aspire to lead.
Sandberg begins her informative piece with an anecdote on how her grandmother was pulled out of school high school to help support the household, and then she outlines how she was viewed in her family as a girl and draws a comparison to the bigger issue of how boys were considered to be more valuable in leadership and education. Sandberg continues with the way that she was raised with the mentality that girls could do anything that boys could do.
Throughout Sandberg’s piece, she uses many strong resources that strengthen her credibility and appeal to ethos.These sources include “Judith Roth,president of Rockefeller Foundation and first woman to serve as president of an ivy league university”(645). Roth addressed to a group of ladies that her generation “ fought so hard to give all of you choices. We believe in choices. But choosing to leave the workforce was not the choice we thought so many of you would make’’’ (645). This shows to prove that these are reliable sources that have encountered the same issue of women in the workforce. Other sources include “2012 McKinsey Survey”, “2012 pew study”, and “ Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy Program” (649). With the support of these sources it helps out Sandberg’s credibility by proving that research was done on this topic. With the citations of studies and highly positioned women that have encountered the issue of women in leadership/workforce roles has also helped with Sandberg’s credibility . Along with sources, Sandberg gives significant examples from her personal life that contributes to her credibility. There are numerous accounts in the text which proved Sandberg has first-hand experienced or witnessed the truth about women achieving leadership roles. Sandberg states:
The stories of my childhood bossiness are told (and retold) with great amusement. Apparently, when I was in elementary school, I taught my younger siblings, David and Michelle, to follow me around, listen to my monologues, and scream the word “Right!” when I concluded. I was the eldest of the neighborhood children and allegedly spent my time organizing shows that I could direct and clubs that I could run. People laugh at these accounts, but to this day I always feel slighty ashamed of my behavior. (651)
Sandberg pinpoints the problem in this quote, with the problem is women are ashamed to be ambitious. This leads to men being more ambitious and being able to conquer leadership positions.
Adding to Sandberg’s ethos appeal, she uses strong appeals to logos, in the middle of the text, with many facts and statistics. Sandberg points out a statistic in the 2012 McKinsey survey, “ a survey of more than four thousand employees of leading companies found that 36 percent of the men wanted to reach the C-suite, compared to only 18 percent of the women” ( 647). This fact proves that men are likely to be ambitious about a more skillful job than women. Sandberg continues with factual information, “Compounding the problem is a social-psychological phenomenon called “‘stereotype threat.”; Social scientists have observed that when members of a group are made aware of a negative stereotype, they are most likely to perform according to that stereotype” (553). These statistics and facts are only a snippet of examples that logically support her claim. The numbers in these statistics build the attention, grabbing technique that draws attention to the issue.
Along with strong logos appeals, Sandberg effectively makes appeals to pathos inthe end. Sandberg acknowledges Ellen Bravos statement:
women are not thinking about ‘having it all,’ they’re worried about losing it
all–their jobs, their children’s health, their families’ financial stability–because of
the regular conflicts that arise between being a good employee and a responsible
This quote creates a sense of sympathy with the words “worried” and “losing”. It let readers know that women do struggle and it’s hard for them to commit 100 percent to work and personal life.
Sandberg switches gears from informing readers on how the level of ambition connects with women on not achieving leadership positions to urging women to believe in themselves and aspire to lead. The way she words her statements towards the end lets the readers create this sense of motivation. For example, Sandberg wrote in her speech to the graduating class, “ And I hope that you–yes, you–have the ambition to lean in to your career and run the world. Because the world needs you to change it. Women all over the world are counting on you” (657.) With the words lean in, ambition, and hope, it all creates that sense of motivation. With diction used towards the end it has Sandberg appealing to the readers emotions.
In conclusion, aggravated Sheryl Sandberg effectively uses ethos, logos, pathos to inform readers on the truth about why women are not achieving leadership positions. Sandberg also uses pathos effectively to urge women to believe in themselves and aspire to lead.