Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook has told female Harvard Business School students that it’s ok to cry at work in a speech that contradicts research stating that sobbing in the workplace is professional suicide.
The 42-year-old who played a major role in the social network’s global success advised women to ‘be honest’ about their femininity and resist the urge to compete with males in the office.
“I’ve cried at work. I’ve told people I’ve cried at work,” she was quoted in the Daily Mail.“I don’t believe we have a professional self from Mondays through Fridays and a real self for the rest of the time.”
Calling on women to be themselves at work, Ms Sandberg's advice has been challenged by Californian academic Kim Elsbach, who studies crying in the workplace. Elsbach told Forbes that women who cry at the office felt ashamed about doing so, and believed that their actions may have cost them opportunities to advance professionally.
An Israeli study published last year also cited that sobbing at work was rarely acceptable.