(Reuters) – Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg spoke to Harvard University students in her first public appearance since the company’s disappointing initial public offering, but refrained from addressing the controversy around its messy, glitch-plagued debut.
Instead, Sandberg urged students graduating this week from Harvard’s business school to work for fast-growing companies, communicate honestly and address inequality in the workplace.
“We need to acknowledge openly that gender remains at issue at the highest levels,” she told a crowd of students and their families assembled Wednesday afternoon on a lawn outside the business school library alongside Boston’s Charles River. Only about 16 percent of the highest corporate jobs are held by women, the same level as a decade ago, she noted.
Sandberg, who visited her alma mater with her parents and two children, only once made reference to the IPO in her speech. After urging the graduates to use Facebook to stay in touch, she said: “We’re public now, so could you please click on an ad or two while you’re there.”
So they’re down to the level where they are begging you to click an ad?