Joining a wave of business leaders mainly from the Silicon Valley tech sector but also from atypical corners including the auto industry and telecommunications, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted a direct and fervent endorsement of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on her Facebook page last night. Her statement came shortly after the end of Clinton’s acceptance speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, which saw a litany of celebrities, politicians and other public figures weighing in – mostly to praise but with plenty of criticism.
“Just a few years ago, I played a song for my kids that named all the U.S. presidents. My daughter asked, “Mommy, how come they’re all boys?” We are close to making my daughter’s question a relic of the past,” said Sandberg, who penned the somewhat controversial book Lean In, about women in the workplace and feminism in the corporate world, in 2013. “Watching this historic moment with my children, I am thinking about our past and their future.”
Citing Clinton’s (and the Democratic party’s) economic platform, Sandberg said “we need an economy that works for everyone, where opportunity is not just a promise but something that people experience in their daily lives.” Sandberg also praised Clinton as someone who “celebrates America’s diversity and believes we’re stronger for it,” and listed the struggle facing single mothers and the country’s changing family norms as other reasons for her support.
Among other business leaders endorsing Clinton are AT&T executive Jim Cicconi, Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Republican Dan Akerson, former CEO of General Motors. The list naturally includes liberal billionaire Warren Buffett as well, who is rather rare among members of the financial sector. Wall Street and the finance industry have largely supported GOP candidate Donald Trump, as has venture capitalist and Sandberg’s fellow Facebook board member Peter Thiel, a Trump delegate who spoke at the GOP convention earlier this month.
Read Sandberg’s full statement below.
Tonight Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to address our nation as the nominee of a major party for President of the United States.
Just a few years ago, I played a song for my kids that named all the U.S. presidents. My daughter asked, “Mommy, how come they’re all boys?” We are close to making my daughter’s question a relic of the past. Watching this historic moment with my children, I am thinking about our past and their future.
But my support for Hillary is not because she is a woman. It is because she is the most qualified candidate—and she is the leader we need.
We need a leader whose policies reflect where we’re going, not where we’ve been. There is still so much to do—on equal pay, on equality in the workplace, on building a society where everyone has the chance to reach his or her potential, regardless of background, gender, race, or sexual orientation.
We need an economy that works for everyone, where opportunity is not just a promise but something that people experience in their daily lives.
We need a society that is safe and welcoming of all Americans—one that opens its arms to those who come here looking to work hard and build a life, just as my family did three generations ago. We need someone who celebrates America’s diversity and believes we’re stronger for it.
We need a leader who acknowledges that the American family has changed and is changing. Since the early 1970s, the number of single mothers in the United States has nearly doubled. Forty percent of families headed by a single mother of any race or ethnicity, live in poverty and that number is 46 percent for families headed by black and Hispanic single mothers. Yet our attitudes and policies do not reflect these shifts.
Such change will not happen overnight, but it will never happen unless we have role models and leaders who make these values their own. History is not a movie that plays out before us; it is the result of choices we make. And this year, our choice is clear.
Tonight, I am hopeful thinking about what it means for my children to watch Hillary Clinton accept the Democratic nomination for president of the United States and for me to able to tell them #ImWithHer.