Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg makes Mother's Day call to help working parents

The Facebook CFO is one of the most influential women in American business

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The Independent US

One of America’s most influential female executives has made a Mother’s Day appeal for the federal government to do more to help working women.

Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, said both the government and employers should made an extra effort to help parents, especially single mothers, who were struggling to raise their children.

“We all have a responsibility to help mothers as well as fathers balance their responsibilities at work and home,” she wrote in an online post.

“It’s time for our public policies to catch up with what our families deserve and what our values demand.”

Writing on Facebook as the US celebrated mothers, she added: “To start, it’s long past time to raise the federal minimum wage. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. Raising the wage would reduce pay inequality and help millions of families living in or near poverty,” 

Ms Sandberg is one of the most influential voices in corporate America, as well as being being one of the country’s wealthiest American women, with a net worth estimated at $1.38bn. The widowed mother of two, is known, among other things for her 2013 book, Lean In.

Sheryl Sandberg explains why we need more women leaders

Ms Sandberg, 47, said around 40 per cent of US households with children, relied on a woman as the most significant breadwinner. “Childcare for two children exceeds the median annual rent in all 50 states. How are parents supposed to work if they don’t have a safe and affordable place to leave their kids,” she added. 

Reuters said Ms Sandberg’s message was accompanied by a picture of her with her mother and mother-in-law, on the day of her wedding to former SurveyMonkey Chief Executive Officer Dave Goldberg, who died in 2015 from cardiac arrhythmia.

 

In Lean In, she encouraged women to be more ambitious in the workplace. Following Mr Goldberg’s death, she co-wrote the book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy that was published earlier this year.

Mr Sandberg also called for more protections for mothers, fathers, gay and transgender parents as well as for adoptive parents who seek a leave of absence from their job.

“We shouldn’t have to risk losing a job or being able to meet the basic needs of our families to do that,” she said. 

While President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump, has publicly stated her support for paid maternity leave, her father has not expressed a clear position on such benefits.

“Being a mother is the most important - and most humbling - job I’ve ever had,” said Ms Sandberg, concluding her post.

“As we rightly celebrate motherhood, we should give special thanks to the women who are raising children on their own. And let’s vow to do more to support them, every day.”

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