Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote a moving and powerful Mother's Day post on her Facebook account on 6 May, which highlighted the struggles that single-parent families sometimes go through when trying to achieve a successful balance between work and family life.
Sandberg's 1,100 word long post saw her opening up for the first time about entering into a "new and unfamiliar world" following the death of her husband Dave Goldberg in May 2015. Sandberg called for better paid maternity leave and improved policies supporting single parent families in the workplace.
Sandberg wrote in her post: "On Mother's Day, we celebrate all moms. This year I am thinking especially of the many mothers across the country and the world who are raising children on their own. 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. I never understood how often the world would remind my children and me of what we don't have — from father-daughter dances to Parent Night at school."
Sandberg also tackled the social and financial pitfalls that single mothers face on a day-today basis, calling for a more supportive and wholesome view of what a modern day family is and should be viewed as by society as well as its leaders.
"Our widespread cultural assumption that every child lives with a two-parent heterosexual married couple is out of date," she added. "I think we all owe it to single mothers to recognize that the world does not make it easy for them, especially for those who struggle to make ends meet."
Providing statistics to describe the unfavourable odds single mothers face, especially in the US, Sandberg criticised the prevalent laws and policies of the country. She said: "The United States is the only developed economy in the world that does not provide paid maternity leave. We need to rethink our public and corporate workforce policies and broaden our understanding of what a family is and looks like. We must do more as leaders, as coworkers, as neighbors, and as friends."
Sandberg's post now has over 7,400 shares and is filled with comments thanking her for speaking out on such a personal yet important issue.