Sheryl Sandberg’s Stout Mother’s Day Call For Supporting Single Moms

Sheryl Sandberg’s Stout Mother’s Day Call For Supporting Single Moms

It takes Stout to be outspoken and put your thoughts in the public eye.

It takes an even bigger dose of bold & brave to admit that you might not have gotten it right the first time.

A Call To “Lean In”

In 2013, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg took on women and Stoutness in her best-selling book about women in the workplace, “Lean In”. Her advice on how to take specific steps to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment inspired many women. It also raised the ire of others – particularly single mothers, many of whom lacked the resources Sandberg built her plan upon in her book.

Reflection From Tragedy

In 2015, Sandberg tragically joined that group of women, when her husband died unexpectedly. On Mothers Day a year later, she reflected (in a Facebook post, of course) on how right the single-parent critics of her book had been.

“Some people felt that I did not spend enough time writing about the difficulties women face when they have an unsupportive partner or no partner at all. They were right . . . Before, I did not quite get it. I did not really get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home.”

A Call To Action

Sandberg went on to acknowledge that even now, she has been buffered from the draining financial burden many single mothers face, and has a village of help. But honoring the Stout premise of her original book, she has used her experience to begin calling upon corporate America and society to “lean in” for women who are going it alone.

We need to rethink our public and corporate workforce policies and broaden our understanding of what a family is and looks like. We need to build a world where families are embraced and supported and loved no matter how they fit together. We need to understand that it takes a community to raise children and that so many of our single mothers need and deserve a much more supportive community than we give them. We owe it to them and to their children to do better. We must do more as leaders, as coworkers, as neighbors, and as friends.
– Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO



Being Stout is good – but using your Stout to bring it out in others? Greatness. For more inspiration from the bold, brave & determined, check out our #StoutSHOUT archives.

Photo by Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair