Sheryl Sandberg Calls for U.S. Policy Changes to Aid Working Mothers

  • Facebook operating chief advocates for raising minimum wage
  • She also urges paid family leave and affordable child care

Sheryl Sandberg

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Sheryl Sandberg used a Mother's Day post on Facebook to advocate for a higher minimum wage, paid family leave and other policies she said would benefit American women.

The Facebook Inc. chief operating officer said companies can't resolve social issues on their own and that the government needs to step in. In addition to higher wages and paid time off for parents, she said the U.S. must ensure child care is more affordable. She said 40 percent of American households with children rely on a woman as the primary breadwinner.

“It's time for our public policies to catch up with what our families deserve and what our values demand,” Sandberg wrote in her Facebook post.

Sandberg's message comes at a sensitive time in the U.S. amid extended political upheaval. While Republicans have resisted proposals for hiking the national minimum wage, President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, has advocated for a child care deduction as part of tax reform. Her plan could cost the government $500 billion over a decade and may not win support.

Facebook has tried to remain politically neutral after criticism from people on the right and left over reports of censorship and fake news around the presidential election. This year Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg pledged to visit every U.S. state to improve his understanding of the country, producing a series of photo opportunities suited to a political campaign. Sandberg's Facebook post didn't directly address the Trump administration or its proposals.

Sandberg has often used her online posts to share personal stories and advocate for women in the workplace. In a Mother's Day post last year, she conceded that her bestselling 2013 book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, did not adequately address the realities facing many single mothers. Sandberg learned to identify with their struggles after losing her husband suddenly about two years ago. She wrote a new book published last month called Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.

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